Major Party Endorsements in California Seem Amazingly Effective

At California’s June 5 primary, 154 partisan races were up. The Democratic Party made endorsements in 114 of the races, and the Republican Party made endorsements in 100 of the races. The party endorsements were included in Voter Pamphlets mailed to each registered voter.

Out of the 214 endorsements, there are only six instances at which the endorsed candidate failed to receive the highest vote among that party’s candidates. The two Republican instances were: (1) in the 51st U.S. House district in San Diego and Imperial Counties, endorsed candidate Xanthi Gionis received fewer votes than Mike Crimmins; (2) in the 32nd Assembly district in the San Joaquin Valley, endorsed candidate Jon McQuiston received fewer votes than Pedro Rios.

The four Democratic instances were: (1) in the 31st State Senate district in Riverside, endorsed candidate Steve Clute received fewer votes than Richard Roth; (2) in the 5th Assembly district in the Sierra Nevada mountains, endorsed candidate Marc Boyd received fewer votes than Tim Fitzgerald; (3) in the 44th Assembly district in Ventura County, endorsed candidate Tom Mullens received fewer votes than Eileen MacEnery; (4) in the 57th Assembly district in southeast Los Angeles County, endorsed candidate Rudy Bermudez received fewer votes than Ian Charles Calderon, although that race is so close, the remaining ballots to be counted might change it. Thanks to Dave Kadlecek for finding three errors in the original post.


Major Party Endorsements in California Seem Amazingly Effective — No Comments

  1. Party hack voters voting the dictates of the party hack leaders ???

    P.R. and nonpartisan App.V.

  2. The voters in 2010 voted for the new “Top Two” primary system because they were fed up with the political party leaders. But they put in a system that took away the right of the voters affiliated with the parties to choose their candidates. Now the party leaders have more power than ever to choose what candidates go on the ballot in November.

  3. Note also that in SD 3 there are two Republican write-in candidates, and the Republican Party endorsed one of them. This endorsement appears on the California Republican Party website, but apparently wasn’t in sample ballots (at least, it isn’t in the Solano County sample ballot, the only one I can currently find on-line of the four counties in the district). Because write-in votes aren’t yet counted, we don’t know whether Frank Miranda (the Republicans’ endorsed candidate) or Gary Clift (the other Republican write-in candidate) got more votes.

  4. Also, in AD 32 (in Kern and Kings counties in the San Joaquin Valley), the Republicans endorsed Jon McQuiston but he received fewer votes than Pedro Rios, also a Republican.

  5. Also in AD 44 (Los Angeles and Ventura counties), the Democrats endorsed Tom Mullens, but he received fewer votes than Eileen MacEnery, also a Democrat.

  6. Also in AD 57 (Los Angeles county), the Democrats endorsed Rudy Bermudez, but he received fewer votes than Ian Charles Calderon, also a Democrat (though this race is close enough that it could change when all votes are counted, as Calderon only leads Bermudez by 28.7% to 28.0% as of 5:23 pm June 7th).

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  8. If my figures are correct the AIP made 196 endorsements
    based on counties, therefore there could be some over
    lap. For United States Senate the AIP endorsed Robert Lauten a Republican that was a former member of the AIP
    State Central Committee. He joined the Republican Party
    to back Dr. Ron Paul. I am informed that Dr. Ron Paul
    in San Francisco received near 230 write-in votes in the
    AIP Primary, but they will not be officially counted.

    Yesterday, the AIP of California elected Mrs. Alena Quien as its Vice Chairman. She will serve until her replacement takes office on September 4, 2012.

    Sincerely, Mark Seidenberg, Chairman, American Independent Party of California.

    P.S. I am informed that there was some overlap between
    the AIP and the GOP endorsements.

  9. Which parties were allowed to put their endorsements in the pamphlet?

  10. Arthur DBianca

    Republican, Democratic, American Independent, Green,
    Libertarian, & Peace & Freedom.

    Sincerely, Mark Seidenberg

  11. How many of the minor parties will be endorsing 1 of the top 2 in each gerrymander districts ??? — with or without some *donation* to such third parties by the top 2 candidates or their behind closed doors gangs.

  12. That is a superficial and misleading analysis. Did Fairvote do it?

    For example, in AD 1, there was one Democratic candidate, and 2 Republican candidates.

    The Democratic party endorsed the lone Democratic candidate in that race. The analysis would pretend that the voters followed in lockstep behind the party leadership, when we don’t know how many Democrats voted for the Democrat because of the endorsement, or because he was the only Democrat in the race. Since he finished 3rd, some Democrats (and other) voters may have voted contrary to the pretended dictates of the party bosses.

    The Republican party endorsed neither candidate, yet both qualified for the general election. Perhaps it was the lack of endorsement that caused that.

    In other cases, the party would have been endorsing an incumbent. The Dawn Party endorses Sun rising in the East.

    In other cases, one candidate may have been recruited by the party, had a credible-sounding resume, actually spent some money on his campaign, appeared before the editorial board of every newspaper in the district, showed up for the candidates forums, etc. A second spent no money campaigning, and whose description in newspaper articles consists of his name, ballot designation, party preference, and home city (nothing beyond what is in the notice to candidates).

    The party endorses the first candidate and he gets the most votes for his party.

    At minimum, a study of endorsement effectiveness would isolate instances where a party endorsed the sole candidate affiliated with a party, or endorsed an incumbent; and also study races where they did not make any endorsement.

  13. #3 The filing deadline for write-in candidates is 22 days before the election; the deadline for party endorsements is 83 days before the election.

  14. Some polisci wonks in grad school going to be doing the analysis stuff for each top 2 primary for another zillion years ???

  15. #13: I don’t know the particular situation with the Republican candidates running in SD 3, but it is quite possible for a candidate to know he or she is going to run as a write-in candidate (and a party to know that and to support that) 83 days before the election. In that case, the party could and should be able to list that endorsement in the sample ballot (though I don’t know whether election officials and judges would interpret the law to allow publishing endorsements of candidates who didn’t qualify for the ballot).

    One example of a situation where that might happen would be with candidates of minor parties who can no longer afford to file to be on the ballot due to the changes in law that makes signatures in lieu of filing fee no longer a feasible alternative to paying a significant filing fee to get on the ballot. In that case, the candidate might decide not to try to get on the ballot, and to plan to run as write-ins, with only nominating signatures needed, with the support of their party in doing that.

    Another situation where that might happen is if a candidate tries and fails to qualify for the ballot due to too many signatures being invalid. If he or she has already raised money and begun conducting a campaign, continuing with the campaign only as a write-in is the obvious choice, with the support of a party that may already have made an endorsement (remember, parties making endorsements do not wait to make their decisions during the week between the deadline for candidates’ qualifying and the deadline for parties’ submitting endorsement lists to election officials).

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