Now what?Top Highlights, Politically Aware Thursday, June 7th, 2012
Commentary: Politically Aware
Most of Tuesday’s primary election results are in the books, paving the way for our first way-too-early look at the general election in November.
Obama vs. Romney. If California is in play in the presidential election, you can practice saying President Romney. Still, the amount of money and effort the candidates put into the state could have important effects on down ballot elections. An active Obama machine could turn out much needed votes for Filner and Peters. An organized effort by the Romney campaign and Mormon Church could put DeMaio over the top.
DeMaio vs. Filner. Look up polarized electorate in the dictionary and there is probably already a picture of these two. Decline-to-state voters (and some who are party affiliated) look at this election like a starving vegan looks at a choice between beef and dairy. Take a deep breath, pick one, and know there will be a bad taste in your mouth.
DeMaio will spend millions to win. Unions will try to match him in support of Filner. DeMaio will tell voters that they need him to enact Prop. B, but in a strange ricochet, Prop. B’s passage could help Filner argue he is now a needed check on a conservative pension reform plan.
In reality, this may be the odd election that comes down to endorsements, and there are three that matter. In order of increasing importance:
District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis. No friend of DeMaio early on, Dumanis became the Republican hatchet woman at the end of the primary. She seems interested in staying in the GOP’s good graces, perhaps to prevent a primary in her re-election. A Dumanis endorsement of DeMaio could bring him some moderate voters. Her silence would say almost as much in Filner’s favor.
Mayor Jerry Sanders. I think it’s a safe bet that the mayor’s video take down of DeMaio’s “Bull—it” ended the councilman’s hope of an endorsement. A Filner endorsement seems unlikely, but would be a huge coup. At this point, DeMaio is praying for the mayor’s silence, but as a fellow Republican, that again speaks volumes.
Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher. If Fletcher wants a future in electoral politics, he needs to keep his name in the headlines and endorsements are one good way. As with the mayor, DeMaio appears to be praying for silence for two reasons. First, it’s unlikely that Fletcher would endorse the guy who got the endorsement from the party he bolted. Second, he and Filner have been a father/son Vaudeville act at some of the debates, offering each other jobs in their potential administrations. If Fletcher endorses Filner, and brings along his supporters, it’s game, set and match Filner.
Side note: Fletcher’s endorsements will be a window into his future plans. To remain an independent, he needs to endorse a mix of Democrats and Republicans, and perhaps avoid Filner. Endorsing Filner with a predominantly Democratic slate means you may see a (D) next to his name in the not too distant future.
Stay tuned for coverage of the still too-close-to-call District 52 congressional race.
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