MOORLACH UPDATE — Blue State Review — November 13, 2014

Coming from the private sector, as a partner in a C.P.A. firm, it was quite a risky maneuver to run for public office twenty years ago against a long-time sitting incumbent. “Nobody’s going to beat him,” is what I was told by then San Diego Treasurer-Tax Collector Paul Boland. After being in a few campaigns, I can tell you that they are a lot of work and winning beats losing. I’ve also had fun options (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_gubernatorial_election,_2014, MOORLACH UPDATE — Governor — February 23, 2013, MOORLACH UPDATE — New Option — May 4, 2013 and MOORLACH UPDATE — Gov. Moorlach? Not — April 10, 2013 – which was actually June 10, 2013). With a lot of data acquired during this public sector journey, I shared the cold, hard facts of campaigning in California in my speech to the Cypress Chamber of Commerce (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Post-Mortem — November 7, 2014). The editor of the Orange County Breeze was there and she springboards on the subject of analyzing last week’s election results in the two pieces below.

John Moorlach asks for volunteers

Written by Shelley Henderson

Outgoing Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach was the featured speaker at the regular Cypress Chamber of Commerce networking breakfast on Tuesday, Nov. 11.

Looking at being termed-out as Supervisor, Mr. Moorlach researched the possibility of running for governor. He decided against running, and has not said what he will do once his term as Supervisor ends in two months.

Mr. Moorlach cheerfully laid out all the reasons why nobody in his right mind would consider running for elected office, and why running for statewide office as a Republican in California is beyond insane. He had the numbers, graphs, and maps to back up what he said.

And it was funny. No, really — Moorlach can make you laugh while presenting the most depressing factual case imaginable.

Then he earnestly asked for volunteers to run as Republicans for elected office in California.

An example of how to win

The expensive example of how to run and win as a Republican in California is the campaign of Young Kim, who beat incumbent Democrat Sharon Quirk-Silva in our own 65th Assembly District.

If you have the backing of your Party and a politically powerful mentor, you may be able to beat the odds and take out an incumbent. (One of Mr. Moorlach’s numbers: 90% of incumbents win.)

Boatloads of money were spent on both sides in that race. One end of our dining table was lost to campaign flyers for a month. The majority were for the 65th Assembly District. Our home answering machine filled up with robocalls, many for the 65th. The only precinct walkers who rang our doorbell who weren’t running for City Council or CSD Trustee were representing one or the other candidate for the 65th.

Another example of how to win

The opposite end of the election-funding game is shown by the campaign of Johnny Tacherra against Democratic incumbent Jim Costa in the 16th Congressional District. That District is inland from San Jose, Gilroy, and Salinas. It includes the cities of Merced and Fresno. It has been hit hard by the drought and liberal environmental policy.

Nobody but nobody except Mr. Tacherra expected anything but a return to Washington by Mr. Costa. Consequently, no outside support was offered.

Mr. Tacherra, a third-generation dairy farmer, ran a shoestring campaign based on personal interaction — he showed up anywhere in the District where a couple or three people were talking, including “Democrat-friendly” events.

He defended his position on controversial topics like immigration, and explained how Democratic policy led to the world of hurt felt by Central Valley agricultural interests.

The result?

The California Secretary of State shows him ahead of Costa by 741 votes. The election tally will be finalized on Dec. 5, and Mr. Tacherra fully expects to be declared winner.

Things to ponder

Mr. Moorlach congratulated newly elected (or re-elected) individuals in the audience. (Stacy Berry, newly elected to the Cypress City Council, and Steve Blount, newly re-elected to the Cypress School District Board of Trustees, attended the meeting.)

With a straight face, he encouraged others to step up and run for election, despite the daunting case he had just made.

My own opinion is this: over the two years until the next general election — which will be a presidential election with larger voter turnout — those who wish to steer California in a more conservative course should spend a huge effort in reaching out to voters who reflexively vote liberal or Democratic. Listen to their concerns and explain how conservative policy addresses those concerns.

Conservative policy and candidates will not advance if voters believe themselves entitled to government goodies that appear like the dewfall.

Further, conservative policy and candidates will not advance if dishonest attacks against them are not answered.

Focus on local elections where personal effort can prevail over money and lack of outside support.

And one of the biggest suggestions has to do with style: make ’em laugh! Be cheerful. Nobody wants to support a grump.

Red v. Blue results by county in 2014 general election

Written by Shelley Henderson

Kyle Kondik and Geoffrey Skelley, writing at Sabato’s Crystal Ball, provided several “quick takes” from last week’s general election.

One was an analysis of which party dominated by county: “In the nation’s 50 largest counties by population, Democrats won 34 of the 47 that had statewide elections this cycle.”

California loomed large in this analysis, and I have pulled out that information in the table below.

Kondik and Skelley also pointed out a bright spot for Republicans who are determined to improve their position in a redder-than-red state: “Though it mattered little for the margin in the California gubernatorial race, Republicans can take heart that they won three of the swing counties in the state that Obama won in 2012 — Fresno, Riverside, and San Bernardino.”

Looking at the numbers in the table, you can appreciate why John Moorlach — a numbers man — decided against running for governor.

Another thing to keep in mind while studying the table is voter turnout, lower in this year’s midterm election than in 2012’s presidential election. As a general principle, lower turnout favors Republican candidates, because those inclined to vote for them show up instead of staying home.

Unless conservatives can convince more people in the Counties of Los Angeles, Santa Clara, Alameda, and Contra Costa that conservative policy serves them better than liberal progressive policy, the only way Republican candidates will win is in conservative islands floating in a red sea.

County 2013 est pop 2014 D 2014 R 2012 Obama 2012 Romney
Los Angeles 10,017,068 66.1% 33.9% 69.7% 27.8%
San Diego 3,211,252 50.9% 49.1% 52.5% 45.0%
Orange 3,114,363 44.1% 55.9% 45.6% 51.9%
Riverside 2,282,507 46.7% 53.3% 49.6% 48.0%
San Bernardino 2,088,371 46.6% 53.4% 52.3% 45.0%
Santa Clara 1,862,041 72.9% 27.1% 70.0% 27.1%
Alameda 1,578,891 82.1% 17.9% 78.7% 18.1%
Sacramento 1,462,131 62.0% 38.0% 58.1% 39.1%
Contra Costa 1,094,205 68.3% 31.7% 66.2% 31.1%
Fresno 955,272 46.8% 53.2% 49.7% 47.9%

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