CA-10: A Quick Post-Mortem
Just a couple random thoughts from last night's victory for John Garamendi:
• Survey USA has been maligned by some for its robo-polling techniques, but they consistently overperformed other pollsters throughout the 2008 primaries, and they basically nailed the polling in CA-10. The final numbers track almost precisely with the final vote tally. Well done.
• These special elections largely come down to name ID, and there's not a whole lot you can do about that. The challengers certainly tried - Joan Buchanan spent $850,000 of her own money and got a whopping 12% of the vote. But Garamendi really cruised to victory in this one.
• Katie Merrill, last seen yelling at the netroots for daring to consider a primary of Ellen Tauscher, became Mark DeSaulnier's campaign manager, where she devised the craptacular strategy of focusing on Garamendi's residency requirement, which approximately nobody cares about, instead of building a campaign infrastructure outside of Contra Costa County. Despite having a minority of residents, in Solano, Alameda and Sacramento counties, Garamendi picked up over 6,000 votes on DeSaulnier, who finished well back in all those regions. There was no way he could have ever won that back in CoCo, where he lost as well by 2,300 votes. Maybe introducing yourself to people outside your base would have worked better than the "neener-neener, here's this technical non-violation" nonsense that is a proven loser.
• Lisa Vorderbrueggen still doesn't get it.
6. I thought Anthony Woods might break into double-digits. Instead, he ended up with 8.5 percent of the vote. He is a strong candidate who was probably too liberal for the moderate 10th District but he kept the elected officials on their toes. I suspect we will see Woods on a ballot again one of these days.
This "moderate district" thing really has to get flushed down a toilet somewhere. John Garamendi was endorsed by the California Nurses Association, the most progressive organization maybe in America. He's a single-payer advocate. He's strongly liberal and far to the left of Ellen Tauscher. And he won. Woods' difficulty was simply a product of name ID and a quick-strike primary. He didn't have labor ground troops and that was that.
• Just to reiterate, there will now be a general election between Garamendi and David Harmer on November 3. Garamendi will be strongly favored.