|CALIFORNIA||55 Electoral Votes|
California went from 54 electoral votes to 55 as a result of the 2000 Census
(Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Calif. Secretary of State)
California has: 58 counties.
Five largest counties: Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, Santa Clara, San Bernardino.
Five largest cities: Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Long Beach.
Secretary of State
Indep. Party (Const.)
Times CA. Pol.
Although Republicans had made some headway by electing Gov. Schwarzenegger and cutting the Democrats' registration edge, California remained a "safe Kerry" state. Kerry gained a plurality of 1,235,859 votes (9.98 percentage points); he won in 22 counties to Bush's 36.
General Election Details
Kerry/Democrats | Bush-Cheney '04
Total Registration: 15,707,307...Dem. 7,134,601 (45.4%) Rep. 5,485,492 (34.9%) AIP 321,838 (2.1%) Grn. 138,734 (0.9%) Lib. 94,900 (0.6%) Ref. 79,152 (0.5%) NL 58,275 (0.4%) Misc. 137,999 (0.9%) Decline 2,256,316 (14.4%)
Total Votes Not Cast in Presidential Race 177,010 (1.6%)
2,739,155 of the 11,142,843 total votes cast were by absentee ballot -- 24.58%.
Turnout as a percentage of voting age population was 44.80% or 44.09% if one excludes the 177,010 votes not cast in the presidential race. (U.S. avg. 53.76).
Brash talk and a significant investment of resources by the Bush campaign and the Republican party failed to pry California's 54 electors out of the Democratic column. As in other recent statewide elections, the Democrats' registration edge of about 10% held solid; Vice President Gore won with a plurality of 1,293,774 votes (11.80 percentage points). Los Angeles County weighed in heavily, producing a plurality of more than 800,000 votes for Gore. Overall, Gore won in 20 counties to Bush's 38. Early in the campaign it appeared Ralph Nader might be a factor. From Aug. 1 to Election Day he spent 13 days campaigning in Calif., but he ended up not having much impact on Gore's showing. Pat Buchanan failed to make a mark despite significant TV buys.
General Election Activity
Other Races: Four U.S. House
seats changed from Republican to Democratic control, bringing the state's
House delegation from 28D and 24R to 32D and 20R. In the 15th
(San Jose), Assemblyman Michael Honda (D) took the seat vacated by Rep.
Tom Campbell (R) 54%-42%; in the 27th (Pasadena/San Gabriel), State
Senator Adam Schiff (D) defeated incumbent Rep. James Rogan (R), one of
the House impeachment managers, 53%-44% in a very costly campaign (the
two raised over $10 million); in the 36th (Torrance), Jane Harman
(D) narrowly defeated incumbent Rep. Steve Kuykendall (R) to reclaim her
former seat, and in the 49th (San Diego), Assemblywoman Susan A.
Davis defeated incumbent Rep. Brian Bilbray (R) 50%-46%. The 20th
(lower San Joaquin Valley) was also very closely fought, but Cal Dooley
(D) successfully fended off a challenge from Rich Rodriguez (R).
In the U.S. Senate race, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) easily overcame a challenge
from Rep. Tom Campbell (R), winning with a plurality of more than 2 million
Two ways to qualify for the ballot: (1) Secretary of State determines candidate is generally recognized; or (2) circulate nominating petitions. "Selection is based on any combination of several criteria, including but not limited to: being generally recognized as seeking the office; qualifying for federal matching funds; appearing in public opinion polls, candidates' forums, debates, etc.; being on the ballot in other states' primaries; actively campaigning in California; having a campaign office in California." [2004 Presidential Primary Candidate Qualifications and Requirements (2)]. On December 24, 2003 Secretary of State Kevin Shelley certified the names of candidates he had selected to appear on the March 2, 2004 primary ballot. The list had 10 Democrats, 1 Republican, 1 American Independent, 4 Greens, 3 Libertarians, and 2 Peace & Freedom candidates.
Deadline to register to vote in the March 2 primary is February 16, 2004.
Total Registration, February
17, 2004: 15,091,160
Dem. 6,518,631 (43.20%) Rep. 5,364,832 (35.55%) AIP 291,055 (1.93%) Grn. 157,749 (1.05%) Lib. 86,053 (0.57%) NL 30,597 (0.20%) P&F 70,475 (0.47%) Misc. 91,729 (0.61%) Decline 2,480,039 (16.43%)
voters can participate in the Democratic primary by selecting Democratic
on the ballot.
-By March 2, the California Democratic presidential primary was almost an afterthought. The two remaining major candidates, Sen. Kerry and Sen. Edwards, did not spend much time in the state, and three state propositions -- Prop. 56 (legislature could enact tax bills with 55 percent vote) and the Schwarzenegger-backed Prop. 57 (a one time bond of up to $15 billion) and Prop. 58 (balanced budget act) -- drew most of the attention.
as of Mar 16, 2004 at 2:19 pm
|-Nonpartisan voters can participate in the Republican primary by selecting Republican on the ballot.||
On June 26, 2000 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the blanket primary system used in California's March 7, 2000 primary in California Democratic Party v. Jones on the grounds that it violated "a political party's First Amendment right of free association."
On Sept. 30, 2002 Gov. Gray
Davis vetoed SB1975,
a bill introduced by Sen. Ross Johnson (R-Orange County) to keep the presidential
primary on the first Tuesday in March of presidential election years, but
separate the statewide primary election and move it to the first Tuesday
after the first Monday in June (Johnson's initial bill had August).
Johnson sought to create a dual or bifurcated primary primarily to address
the problem of low voter turnout--the statewide primary comes a full eight
months before the general election. However, in his veto message
Gov. Davis noted the statewide cost estimated at as much as $10 million.
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Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 Eric M. Apleman/Democracy in Action.