Los Angeles Times: Full Midterm Election Results
Here's a linked to the Los Angeles Times' full election results page which tracks races across the country and here in California. Many races are still undecided as provisional and mail-in ballots are slowly being counted in states and counties across the nation. Recounts are underway in Florida and Georgia while here in California, several extremely close House races are still awaiting a final outcome which may not come for over a week.
CALMatters: How Governor-Elect Newsom could shape California's future, issue-by-issue
Gavin Newsom first ran for governor in 2010, an effort he abandoned and then relaunched in 2015 with the long, long campaign that crescendoed tonight. Now that California voters have given the 51-year-old Democrat the job he has sought for eight years, he is about to discover that winning was the easy part.
Governing is hard, particularly in a state as big, complex, troubled and expensive as California. We have the world’s fifth largest economy and, with our cost of living, the nation’s highest rate of poverty.
The shortage of affordable housing has pushed the middle class out of the state’s coastal jobs centers—or out of state altogether—while exacerbating a decades-long crisis of homelessness and sending college housing costs into the stratosphere. Pension costs weigh on city finances, wildfires rage nearly year-round, the academic achievement gap hobbles prospects for too many poor and brown public school students, and lately the state’s relationship with the federal government has been one of permanent litigation.
Over the course of his very long candidacy, Newsom laid out a robust vision. In his words: “Guaranteed health care for all. A ‘Marshall Plan’ for affordable housing. A master plan for aging with dignity. A middle-class workforce strategy. A cradle-to-college promise for the next generation. An all-hands approach to ending child poverty.”
He hasn’t always detailed how he would pay for his promises, nor which policies he would be willing to jettison in the face of political pushback or certain budgetary constraints.
That changes on January 7 with his inauguration. On key issues, here’s what to expect.
CALMatters Op-Ed: Gavin Newsom's dilemma: Making a change while following Jerry Brown's lead
After the victory music had quieted, after the introduction by his wife was done, Gavin Newsom took to the stage at a Los Angeles nightclub and began to walk the fine line that will likely define his first year as California governor. Even as he laid out his vision for renewing California, calling it “a land of plenty but… far from perfect,” Newsom praised the man he will replace.
“For literally my entire life, Gov. Jerry Brown has been blazing his trail. He’s been a role model for me, and tonight we all owe him a profound debt of gratitude,” Newsom said to loud applause from the crowd that included many campaign donors, lobbyists and Democratic legislators.
It’s been more than 130 years since a Democrat followed another Democrat into the California governor’s office—and with this generational changing of the guard, Newsom will replace one who is particularly accomplished and popular. That means he’ll face a tension other recent governors have not: to both follow the path carved by his predecessor while also living up to his campaign slogan, “courage for a change.”
“Too many Californians are being priced out of housing, health care and higher education,” Newsom said as he declared victory in his campaign against Republican businessman John Cox. “Too many children are growing up in poverty, starting school from behind. In many ways, in many places, we are simultaneously the richest and the poorest state.”
Newsom’s priorities and connections are, in many ways, more of an extension of Brown’s than either camp tends to highlight. Both are Democrats eager to challenge President Trump’s approach to immigration and the environment. Both have roots in San Francisco and experience as big-city mayors. Even their family history is intertwined: Brown’s father was friends with Newsom’s grandfather; and Brown appointed Newsom’s father as a judge. Newsom has said he feels very connected to Brown’s legacy and is “inclined to protect it.”
Los Angeles Times: GOP Reps. Rohrbacher and Walters lose ground in latest ballot count
Democrats in two House races that remain too close to call in Orange County have gained substantial ground since the election on Tuesday, but tens of thousands of ballots have yet to be counted in each contest.
The 2,682-vote lead that Democrat Harley Rouda established on election night over Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of Costa Mesa jumped to 4,756 votes late Wednesday when the Orange County Registrar of Voters updated its tally.
Another Republican, Rep. Mimi Walters, saw her 6,233-vote lead over Democrat Katie Porter shrink to 4,037 votes.
“From the standpoint of the final count, I would rather be Katie Porter than Mimi Walters today,” said Porter strategist Sean Clegg.
Walters, who represents Irvine, Mission Viejo and Rancho Santa Margarita in the 45th Congressional District, is now ahead of Porter, 51% to 49%. But that edge is all but certain to narrow further, if not disappear. There are an estimated 70,000 to 90,000 more ballots to count in Walters’ contest as well as Rohrabacher’s.
Governing: With a Divided Congress, States Will Likely Take Up the Slack
It's never a bad idea to bet on Congress failing to act. With Democrats taking control of the U.S. House and certain to have contentious relations with President Trump, Congress is going to be doing even less than usual.
"It's always been a substantial challenge to get anything meaningful through Congress," says Victor Riches, president of the Goldwater Institute, a conservative think tank in Phoenix. "Obviously, that's going to be more difficult now."
For the next two years, the House will hold hearings to investigate Trump, while the Senate will work to confirm his judicial picks. No doubt Trump will issue more executive orders, as President Barack Obama got in the habit of doing once he faced divided government.
But there won't be much substantive legislation crossing Trump's desk. "That will leave a policy vacuum that the states will seek to fill," says Aubrey Jewett, a political scientist at the University of Central Florida.
With conservatives and progressives alike being frustrated by Washington, they'll turn to states to push their favored policy agendas. Each will be able to find plenty of friendly outlets.
Washington Post Op-Ed: Yuval Levin: The 2018 midterms told a tale of two weak parties
In the wake of an election, we naturally tend to be struck by the strength of the winning side. Who now has momentum in our politics, and what sort of mandate have they won? But the peculiar mixed result of Tuesday’s midterms should help us see the distinct and troubling character of our politics now: It is the weakness of all sides, and the strength of none, that shapes this moment.
This was evident in 2016, too. Both major-party presidential candidates were broadly unappealing people, and each was well-suited to lose. The question was who would turn off more voters. The binary character of presidential elections left us looking for explanations of the outcome in President Trump’s distinct strengths, but when you examine his razor-thin victory in a few decisive states, it’s his opponent’s weakness that really tells the tale. And Trump has since governed as a weak president alongside a weak Congress.
Tuesday’s elections revealed the same pattern. Republicans had a very friendly Senate map, with 10 Democrats facing reelection in states that Trump won handily. Republicans walked away with roughly three more seats, giving them a slightly less narrow majority in a body that still requires 60 votes for real legislative work. Meanwhile in the House, the Democrats had an opportunity for major gains throughout the country, but they made modest gains in friendly suburbs — winning almost exclusively districts that Hillary Clinton won two years ago.
In essence, each party won some marginal voters powerfully turned off by the other, but neither found a way to meaningfully broaden its coalition — which is what it would take to really show strength.
City Journal: Joel Kotkin: Signs of Hope in California?
Ronald Reagan is not coming back, but California may be avoiding a trip to the insane asylum. Yes, the GOP’s lackluster gubernatorial candidate, John Cox, lost by almost 20 points, and the only issue in the legislature is whether the Democrats regain their supermajority in both houses. But it could have been much worse.
The GOP lost only two or three congressional districts in southern California and appeared to be holding its own in the interior. In my own district, to my surprise, Mimi Walters, who was out-campaigned and outspent, managed to win. Others, like the more contentious Dana Rohrabacher, did not.
Without a change in approach, Republican growth potential is limited by changing demographics and an increasingly bifurcated state economy. At best, the GOP, running on its traditional anti-tax platform, can get up near 45 percent—as shown in the failed repeal of the gas tax, Proposition 6—but no further. This strategy still works marginally in places like Orange County and the interior but fails overall.
In a sense, California elections are now about how far left the state is willing to go. Proposition 10, a measure to expand rent control, was soundly defeated by a massive ad campaign targeting homeowners fearful of seeing curbs on the prices that they could charge to rent their homes. The outcome suggests that if the business community appeals to the middle-class without the Trumpian baggage, voters will support more moderate positions. Perhaps even more important was the victory of Marshall Tuck, a Democrat running with Republican support for Superintendent of Education against the candidate of the teachers’ union. But the limits of moderation are always evident. Steve Poizner, a registered Republican running for State Insurance Commissioner, appears to be falling behind Ricardo Lara, a far-left Democrat best known for leading the fight for single-payer health care.
Despite improved earnings by lower-wage workers, Republicans remain in serious trouble in Latino and African-American communities. Simply put, a competitive California needs a racial realignment that adds to the shrinking base of white GOP voters. The best target for that goal is the Asian community, the state’s fastest-growing and arguably most successful ethnic group. Asians may be repelled by Trump’s immigration rhetoric, but they tend to be middle-class homeowners who care about schools and safety, and they won’t be happy if the Democrats move further left in terms of seizing zoning policy from communities or feeding the public sector with ever more middle-class taxes.