Election 2010: Predictions for California

Jerry Brown, Governor of California, again.

Ok, I took a day off. I promise I will not do that again. So, where were we?

Ah yes, California.

First race, Governor of California. It is pretty much safe to now say that Jerry Brown will yet again be Governor of California. Polls early in this race showed a strong race. Meg Whitman, Brown’s Republican opponent, seems to have peaked right before the debates. After the debates, and a nice string of anti-Whitman commercials, Brown has been able to pull ahead.

Unless something unforeseen happens, Brown has this thing locked up, and maybe by a “larger than expected” margin. The Political Hurricane prediction for this race is Jerry Brown with 53.9% to Whitman’s 46.1% of the major party vote.

In addition to the Governor’s race, the race for Lieutenant Governor is also another one that Democrats are keeping their eyes on. Controversial San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsome is taking on current Lt. Governor Abel Maldonado. Maldonado wasn’t elected to the position, instead he was appointed by the Governator to replace John Garamendi, who replaced Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher in California’s 10th Congressional District.

This race is expected to be closer than the Governor’s race, but Democrat Newsome should still be able to pull off the victory. The Political Hurricane is predicting a 49.1% to 45.9% victory for Newsome. The rest of the votes are expected to be scattered between other minor party candidates.

The other statewide race that is getting a lot of attention is the U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer and former HP Chairwoman Carly Fiorina. Most people expect Boxer to run away with this in the “liberal” state of California. Still, Boxer has always had a fight on her hands when running for the Senate. While her reelection in 2004 was easier, her past elections saw some close margins.

2010 is also expected to be close. But even with Fiorina’s millions, well-organized campaigns and, well, some damn good commercials, Boxer should still be able to retain the seat. We predict that Boxer will win 50.7% of the vote, while Fiorina nets 46.3%. The other 3% will be scattered amongst other candidates.

While the statewide elections seem to be somewhat close, the Congressional districts are pretty much set. There has been some talk that Democrats Loretta Sanchez, Dennis Cardoza and Jim Costa might lose their seats, but we doubt it. In addition, some are saying that Dan Lungren might lose his seat as well. Still, he always seems to weather the storm.

The only real Congressional race to watch in California would be the 11th Congressional district. Jerry McNerney won this seat in 2006, and as well in 2008 by a better-than-expected margin. Now McNerney has some stiff competition from businessman David Harmer. The most recent Survey USA poll has Harmer with the momentum going into Election Day. Could this be enough to knock off McNerney?

The Political Hurricane is predicting a slight win for McNerney in this race, going against some of the political prediction sites, like FiveThirtyEight, who have Harmer winning this one. We have McNerney winning 49.75% to 48.25% for Harmer, with 2% going to AIP candidate David Christensen. Still, if new polling comes out, this race could change.