Thursday, November 10, 2005

Further analysis of election results

Final statewide returns show that all eight propositions failed, but there's more to the story than that. For example, Prop 77, the governor's flawed redistricting plan, passed in only five counties, with between 51% and 56% of the vote in those counties. On the flip side, five counties had 70+% no votes.

Prop 73, parental notification for underage abortion, showed a distinct coastal/inland split. In most coastal areas, especially urban areas, it failed badly, with San Francisco, Marin, and Santa Cruz Counties all showing 75+% against. The only coastal counties that supported Prop 73 were Ventura, Orange, and San Diego. In the central valley, though, it was another story, with several counties racking up 60+% votes in favor.

Prop 78, the drug discount plan supported by pharmaceutical companies, won the support of only one county: Imperial County in the very southeast corner of the state, bordering Arizona and Baja California. Imperial was also one of only two counties supporting the competing Prop 79, the other being Alpine County near Lake Tahoe. Clearly the voters in Imperial County are very concerned about prescription drug prices.

San Francisco was the only county to support Prop 80, electricity re-regulation, and by an anemic 53% at that. On the flip side, 80% of Modoc County [northeast corner] voters said no. In fact, the next best result for Prop 80 was 42% yes in Alpine County.

The governor's big personal power grab, Prop 76, won in only five: Orange plus four gold-country counties, with no more than 55% of the votes. For the opposition, nine counties racked up 70+% no votes, with two exceeding 80%. Thank you, San Francisco and Alameda Counties.

The breadth and depth of the no votes on all four of Governor Schwarzenegger's measures cannot be spun as anything less than a sharp repudiation of his policies and of him personally. His public approval rating is nearing FEMA levels. What remains to be seen is whether Ahnold can shift from "governating" to governing. Free hint: it involves more of sitting down and negotiating, less of posturing and name-calling. [Political name-calling is the pundits' job!] Your (former) personal popularity can't change the reality that the people of California do not support your highly partisan policies. When the people of California trust our bumbling state legislature more than you, you'd better believe you're in trouble!