News

Top two: Democrats feel the heat

A California ballot box. (Photo illustration, Shutterstock)

California’s fledgling top-two voting system, which creates an open primary for all statewide candidates, could prove costly to Democrats in liberal districts while rewarding Republicans who lose. In heavily liberal areas in Northern California, voters could be presented with the choice of two Democrats and no Republicans in the general election.

News

Assembly Speaker Rendon pitches the big tent

Newly installed Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon talks to reporters. (Photo: Speaker's office)

New Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon doesn’t believe the emergence of a less-liberal, more pro-business wing of his big Democratic caucus is going to set off a high-visibility war among Democrats. “I don’t know if the party has ever been monolithic,” Rendon said in a telephone interview. “We’ve always been a big-tent party, with a diversity of viewpoints reflecting the diversity of California.”

News

CA120: Confusion lurks in the California primary

Voters casting ballots in Ventura County during an earlier election. (Photo: Joseph Sohm, Shutterstock)

As we enter the June primary, we have an electorate that has been seen in polling to be more energized and with a desire to vote more commonly in general elections. The last time we had anything close to this kind of engagement was during the 2008 presidential primary. Since then, we have seen a 35% growth in No Party Preference registrations and an 88% spike in the number of Permanent Absentee Voters. In total, the population of non-partisan voters who get their ballots by mail has nearly tripled.

Analysis

LAO in retrospect: A conversation with Elizabeth Hill

Former Legislative Analyst Elizabeth Hill at one of her last official budget briefings. (Photo: AP/Rich Pedroncelli)

Elizabeth Hill became the first woman to head the California Legislative Analyst’s Office in 1986 when she was eight months’ pregnant with her second child. For 22 years, she held one of the most important positions in state government — advising the 120-member Legislature during fractious times and sometimes clashing over policy recommendations in an increasingly partisan environment beset by the passage of term limits, deep budget cuts, and recession.

News

CA120: The voter surge is now

Voters and potential voters at a political rally. (Photo: Joseph Sohm, via Shutterstock)

Overall, voter registration has skyrocketed in the first months of 2016. There have been over 850,000 registrations in the months between January 1 and March 31. This is twice as much as was registered during the same period in 2012. It even exceeds the total new registrations in the months leading up to the 2008 Primary, albeit that was a February primary, so much of the registration window was dominated by the fall and winter holidays.

Analysis

Poll: Trump leads in GOP primary

Republican presidential candidates at a March 3 debate. (Photo: Associated Press/Paui Sancya)

CA120: Our online California poll of 1,165 high propensity Republican voters has Trump currently atop the leader board by a comfortable margin. Trump receives 41% of the vote, to Ted Cruz’s 23% and John Kasich’s 21%. A separate sample of 466 Republicans registered since the turn of the New Year has Trump ahead 53%-21%-15%, indicating that Trump’s overall lead among the expected turnout is a few points greater.

Opinion

The push for zero emission vehicles

An electric vehicle powers up in San Francisco. (Photo: Dan Schreiber)

OPINION: Even though 2015 was a record sales year for automakers, the percentage of ZEV sales decreased eight percent year over year in California. The Northeast states lag in ZEV sales behind California – presently accounting for less than half of one percent of the regional market – despite some states’ offering consumer incentives and efforts to build convenient refueling stations.

News

Sharp concerns over crowded ballot

Voters in Ventura County cast ballots during a recent election. (Photo: Spirit of America, Shutterstock)

California’s clogged, high-stakes November ballot is riveting voters’ attention – and raising fears among those who have to count the votes. It’s a perfect storm: Intense interest in the presidential general election, a deluge of six dozen ballot in initiatives cleared for circulation, labor-intensive signature-verification requirements and the likelihood that the potential initiatives will be submitted in a tight time window, thus further straining resources.

News

Budget dispute over Tahoe funding

Lake Tahoe at sunset. (Photo: Dorothy Mills-Gregg

Deep in Gov. Brown’s 2016-17 budget was a big surprise for Lake Tahoe – the lake was cut out of its expected share of a $475 million environmental pie.

Opinion

Does Trump affect down-ballot races?

A California voter casts a ballot. (Photo: Vepar5)

OPINION: In a fairly rare occurrence, this year’s primary election in California could actually matter in terms of who becomes the Republican Party’s nominee. California had a chance of being relevant with March primaries in 1996, 2000 and 2004; however, Bob Dole and George W. Bush already had largely sealed their deals.

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