If the adage that “history repeats itself” proves true, then low turnout in next months’ primary election could help Republican candidates in the heavily Democratic state of California.
Despite reportedly seeing nearly 20 million registered voters by the June 5 primary, the Los Angeles Times notes, “a safe bet is that only about 6 million votes will be cast in next month’s election.”
Republicans tend to turn out in higher numbers than Democrats do during primary elections.
The Times noted that in the Central Valley, where Rep. David Valadao (R-Hanford) is up for reelection, “Democrats have a 17-point registration advantage.” However, they added that “if the models are right, that could drop to less than 6 points among those who actually cast votes next month.”
In Orange County, Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) and Rep. Darrel Issa (R-CA) are retiring. And while there are slightly more Republicans registered than Democrats in the districts, the Times notes that it is being predicted that there will be 15,000 more Republican ballots cast in June.
The most heated race, however, is the gubernatorial election where Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, leads and Republican John Cox and fellow Democrat former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa are competing for second place.
Following last week’s gubernatorial debate, Newsom reportedly headlined a rally hosted by the Service Employees International Union and Laborers International Union of North America at Augustus Hawkins High School while Villaraigosa attended an event in the San Fernando Valley; both in attempts to sway voters with mere weeks to spare.
State Treasurer John Chiang, also a Democrat in the gubernatorial race, waged a political attack against Villaraigosa in a video ad released on Saturday. Chiang is currently polling in fifth place, just behind Republican Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach).
“He was called ‘a failure,’ an ’embarrassment.’ As mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa drove L.A. to the brink of bankruptcy,” the narrator in Chiang’s ad says. “Villaraigosa’s recklessness threatened jobs, the economy and left no funding to test 7,000 rape kits, putting public safety at risk.”
The ad then goes on to say Chiang “helped save California from financial disaster.” It added, “Because John knows when we’re smart with our money, we can invest in a progressive future.”