June 2018 California Primary Analysis (I): Introduction and Gubernatorial

I just got my sample ballot for the “Statewide Direct Primary Election” on June 5, and boy, is it going to be a confusing election for people. We have two contests with enough candidates to take two pages (27 candidates for Governor, 32 for Senator, and two contests for our assembly district: one for the “short term” because the previous assemblycritter left early thanks to #metoo, and one for the “full term”, with the same candidates). Then there are all the other state, county, and district contests, plus the propositions. Not to mention the fact that California does “jungle primaries” (which I’m growing to dislike) where all the candidates from all the parties are on the ballot. The theory was that this would lead to more moderate candidates; the reality is that all major moderate candidates split the votes sufficiently to allow candidates folks don’t like to squeak through, and it is more of a mess. There are going to be a lot of posts as I work through this. Here’s the sequence as I see it (note: links to articles not yet posted will not work or may be incomplete):

California Governor

Let’s start with the Governor’s race, and the 27 candidates. Going in to this analysis, I know two things: (1) I’m not a big fan of either of the front runners, Gavin Newsom (FB) or Antonio Villaraigosa (FB), and (2) I was very impressed by both Delaine Eastin (FB) and John Chiang (FB) during the one debate I saw. So I have a feeling where this will end up. But I do try to at least consider all candidates. I’m going to divide them into tiers: the first tier are those who have any chance of winning a place in the general election due to name recognition or publicity, the second tier are those who might have a political future somewhere, and the third tier are the unqualified rest.

[Read through the analysis below, and then come back here. I’ll wait. Note that normally I’ll have a “Conclusion” at the end, but this one is so long….]

Now that I’ve gone through the candidates, my initial feelings were confirmed. I like both Delaine Eastin (FB) and John Chiang (FB). I’m giving Chiang the edge right now for three reasons. First, he uses a state highway shield as his campaign logo. Second, he has a better chance of breaking through to the top two than Eastin. Third, he’s got more of a Southern California connection.

Now, on to the detailed analysis that led to the above….

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