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California turnout could reach record low

By Felicia Sonmez
The California gubernatorial race is one of today's most closely-watched contests -- at least, outside of California.

According to a Field Poll estimate, only 33 percent of registered California voters are expected to turn out for today's gubernatorial primaries. If that number holds, it would be even lower than the state's previous all-time low of 34 percent in the 2006 gubernatorial primary.

Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman (R) and Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner (R) have spent more than a combined $100 million on the race, flooding the airwaves with TV ads.

But the lack of a competitive Democratic primary is likely keeping many voters at home: state Attorney General Gov. Jerry Brown (D), the former governor seeking to make a comeback, faces only nominal primary opposition. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D), who will likely face former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina (R) in the fall, does not face a big-name challenger, either.

Another contributing factor is the increase in voters who are not registered in any political party. As of May 24, 20 percent of registered California voters declined to state their affiliation, compared with 15 percent of voters in 2002. Decline-to-state voters can participate in party primaries if they specifically request to do so, but it would appear that not too many do.

The high number of undecideds in the race could also work to depress turnout. In the latest Field poll, as many as 20 percent of voters said they were undecided; historically, many of those late-deciders decide not to cast a vote at all.

By Felicia Sonmez  |  June 8, 2010; 12:31 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Election , 44 The Obama Presidency  
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No vote from Vietnamese community of 500,000 people for pro-communist gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown, who, as governor of California in 1975, strongly opposed Vietnamese refugees settling in California while supporting amnesty to illegal immigrants from Mexico. In fact, he works for the interests of unions and illegal immigrants only, not for California. Worst still, Brown sided with notorious Cuban dictator Fidel Castro demanding a lift of U.S. embargo on communist Cuba for its human rights violations during his visit to Cuba in July 2000 to formalize the relationship between Brown's city of Oakland with its sister city Santiago de Cuba.

Posted by: TIMNGUYEN1 | June 8, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Let the extremist right wingnuts get chosen by the frenzied mob of teabagging birthers and then watch the Republicans get creamed in the general election.

Orly and Sarah and Carla? The Looney Tune Party.

Posted by: thebobbob | June 8, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

jdlehi6 wrote:
I bet running a business there is a creaming nightmare.

Yes, it's horrible, please don't move here. Please stay away! Save yourself!

We've got great weather, a wealth of talent, nice beaches, mountains, deserts, countryside, cities, wonderful parkland.

What we don't need are ultra-conservatives who keep our tax rates too low which has destroyed the tax base by taking money away from education and career development. If we don't educate, then how are we to make a secure future?

Posted by: printthis | June 8, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Not hard to figure out why turn out is low, everybody is getting out of that mess. Who would want to live is a socialist state?
I bet running a business there is a creaming nightmare.

Posted by: jdiehl6 | June 8, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

What a sad state of affairs.

Posted by: dennisnickell | June 8, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

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