The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) is trying to make the governor's race between Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and business man John Cox interesting. Good luck with that. Given the disrepute of the Republicans here on the Left Coast, the relevant question is probably whether the GOPer can break 40 percent. I'd guess it will be a close call.
According to the Secretary of State:
Most of those "no-party-preference voters" are young, city dwellers, and often from the communities of color. If they vote -- and Republicans keep giving them reasons to turn out in defense of their communities and their futures -- they lean Democratic, however reluctantly.
PPIC polling meanwhile finds a 10 point gap among likely voters, favoring leadership that pushes back against the Trump administration. No wonder Gavin is running as Mr. Resistance. I don't trust my former mayor's leadership, but he'll make the right noises. That we must have.
A wrinkle in 2018 is that California is in the midst of a transition to all-mail elections, in which every registered voter will be mailed a ballot and the number of polling places and drop-off points for election day voting are cut back. Five counties tried this in the June primary:
I worked briefly on that 2015 election and I think this conclusion is exactly right. Voters had to learn anew how to vote -- and then many rejoiced to get the task done in their homes in advance. Other counties, except Los Angeles, can opt-in to the universal mail-in ballot system in coming elections. This procedural change comes on top of the existing no-excuse "absentee for all" option which meant that 11.5 million ballots were mailed to primary voters across the state. Election Day as the focus of voting is receding.