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Barack Obama beat Carl DeMaio

Friday, November 9, 2012
posted by Brian Brady

I said this Tuesday evening and I’ll say it again today; Barack Obama defeated Carl DeMaio and Bob Filner was along for the ride.  I’m not making excuses but it appears that the top of the ticket is going to have a lot of influence on the San Diego Mayoral general election in the future.

The North County Times explained that Interstate 8 was the dividing line in the San Diego Mayor’s Race.  In fact, DeMaio did even better than he did in June,  North of the 8, by picking up the Fletcher districts:

DeMaio did well in areas won in the June primary by Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, who did not make the fall runoff election. DeMaio picked up precincts in La Jolla, Del Mar Heights, Rancho Penasquitos and Rancho Bernardo that Fletcher won in June.

 

Would Nathan Fletcher have beaten Filner?  That’s highly unlikely.  Fletcher was Mitt Romney’s hand-picked Mayor and Romney didn’t even win the right-leaning San Diego County vote.  We don’t know the breakdown today but, when we see the Romney’s poor performance in the City of San Diego, it will seem like a near-miracle that a Republican could have won 48% of the vote in this election.  My guess is that Filner will finish with a margin of at least 5 percentage points less than President Obama did in the City of San Diego.

How did this happen?  HuffPo tells us that labor unions showed up and got the vote out:

“We did deliver those states,” said Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, the federation of labor unions. “Without organized labor, none of those would have been in the president’s column.”

The AFL-CIO’s election night polling, done by Hart Research, found that union members voted for Obama at a rate of 65 percent to Romney’s 33. The margins were even larger in the perennial battleground of Ohio, where issues like Obama’s auto industry rescue and outsourcing tied to Romney’s Bain Capital apparently had added resonance. Seventy percent of Buckeye State union voters backed Obama on Tuesday.

But unionized workers now comprise an ever-smaller slice of the voting populace, with the national unionization rate at just 12 percent. Organized labor’s larger contribution this election may have been its outreach to non-union voters, something that wasn’t possible until the legal changes brought about by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling.

In addition to flooding elections with corporate money through outside groups like super PAC’s, the ruling allowed unions and their volunteers to knock on the doors of non-members for the first time, vastly expanding organized labor’s canvassing and get-out-the-vote operations.

 

Some may argue that labor unions had no vested interest in California because the state was in the tank for President Obama but that ignores the lightning rod issue of Proposition 32.  California labor unions had a survival interest in getting the vote out in California and it worked.  Had Prop 32 not been on the ballot, the Democratic Party might not have won the super-majority in the State Senate or the Assembly.  As it turned out, the labor unions’ effort to defeat Prop 32, elect President Obama, and pass Prop 30 worked. The DeMaio loss was a clear casualty of the labor war.

Another tangential theory is that the Obama campaign went negative, as early as possible, to create a culture of disgust with the whole electoral process.  If you were at the first DeMaio/Filner debate, you see that Filner wasn’t much different.  By making outrageous claims, he may have driven thoughtful people away from this election rather than encouraging them to engage in the debate of issues DeMaio tried to advance.

DeMaio was a great candidate.  We got our asses handed to us because the unions hustled harder than we did.  When you consider the amount of money and free campaign labor they had, it’s remarkable we were able to play at the level we did.  I certainly didn’t see this electoral Frankenstorm coming.

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18 Responses to “Barack Obama beat Carl DeMaio”

  1. D. Morton says:

    Since you’re newly elected to the committee who obviously wants to do some good, I’ll warn you that you’ll be doing nothing for future Republican electoral success by falling into this party’s habit of taking credit for everything when the political pendulum swings our way, and blaming the top of the ticket for everything when it doesn’t. Certainly some trends are beyond the control of a county committee, but it is to our peril to downplay them with the false notion that there was nothing we could have done to change the outcome.

    I think its tough to argue that Fletcher would have won if endorsed. That requires a crystal ball none of us have. The right questions to ask are whether a non-endorsement would have prevented the alienation of Dumanis/Fletcher from supporters from the party and its candidates? Whether less meddling in the primary process would have better invested voters in the political process, making them more likely to support the eventual republican candidate? How much animosity was felt by Dumanis/Fletcher Republicans and Independents toward the Party due to the early Demaio endorsement? Did this animosity affect outcomes in other races (Bilbray)? Did it make independents less likely to swing to our side?

  2. Great commentary, Brian. I agree that Filner benefited from a perfect storm of Obamamania and union survivalism. Hopefully that storm won’t cause all the lights to go out.

  3. This is why Carl most likely lost.

    Do you recall late on election night Carl was up over a couple of thousands votes over Filner? I do.

    But what geographical area of votes were largely missing in the vote counts being released for mayor? The South Bay where Filner has two decades worth of name recognition. And what is that population comprised of? Largely Spanish speaking communities. And what to the large extent are their social values? Pro-life, pro-tradidional family, and pro-marriage as defined as one man and one woman.

    See any problem there for Carl DeMaio? It’s as simple as that. Name recognition and social values had the edge.

  4. Brian Brady Brian Brady says:

    “See any problem there for Carl DeMaio? It’s as simple as that. Name recognition and social values had the edge.”

    The Hispanic panic in the GOP may be overstated. We all think they’re “natural Republicans” because of social issues but it seems more likely that they are following the Dem/welfare model than not:

    http://www.creators.com/conservative/pat-buchanan/is-the-gop-headed-for-the-boneyard.html

    This is admittedly Buchanan but just because he’s hated by the Left doesn’t make his analysis any less cogent. I’m not saying Hispanic outreach isn’t important but social values may only be an introduction. If Hispanics don’t buy into the freedom argument, we’re not going to win that vote.

    “I’ll warn you that you’ll be doing nothing for future Republican electoral success by falling into this party’s habit of taking credit for everything when the political pendulum swings our way, and blaming the top of the ticket for everything when it doesn’t.”

    Not in the least bit; I stated so in my first paragraph and closing sentence. We got our asses whupped by a better organized ground game. Now, if an argument could be made that Fletcher had a better ground game than DeMaio, I’d be open but I didn’t see that. DeMaio brought Prop D and CPR volunteers to the coalition so he had a great head start on Fletcher.

    My opposition to Fletcher was ideological; he’s a big government guy. But if he helped the SDGOP as much as DeMaio did I’d have my eyes and mind wide open. This is a coalition which needs broadening and, in my opinion, DeMaio did just that.

    I didn’t see any of Dumanis’ volunteers helping on other issues or candidates so her contribution may have escaped me.

    I”m new but I”m not green D. Morton. This is my first San Diego rodeo but I’ve ridden the bull before. I’ve been thrown off that bull too so feel free to point out what I’m missing.

  5. Mole says:

    In the end it got down to who turned out their voters.

    For instance Prop.32 was not viewed by rank and file union membership as an attack on “dictatorial union bosses and their goons” but as an attack on rank and file membership banding together to leverage their contributions in lobbying competitively with corporate interests. Prop. 32 was an attack on their !st Amend. rights. That attack was a great motivator.

    At the end the young Libertarian Carl Demaio had lost his advantage of driving the issues. Instead the old Socialist pol Bob Filner drew Demaio into the quagmire of character attacks. Filner began to drive the issues.

    The Republicans need to educate the voters they want to add to their side about what Republicans stand for and why those voters should vote Republican. But, first the Republicans need to figure out what it is they stand for! You cannot beat something with nothing.

  6. Will Rodriguez-Kennedy says:

    Just as a question does anyone see how it might seem racist to on onlooker to see individuals not of the Latino/Hispanic community talking about what “their” values are and what model “they” follow?

  7. Gosh Will, do Hispanics ever discuss what white values are and what model whites follow??? Or, for that matter, what black (or Asian) values and models are?

    YOU ever do that, Will???

    If so, then based on your OWN criteria, I guess you are conceding that you (and other “guilty” Hispanics) are racist, right?

  8. Mole says:

    Richard to Will, “Bingo!” When Latinos and Blacks share Conservative/Libertarian ideas they are called Joe Tacos and Uncle Toms. Is that how you refer to them Will?

  9. Will Rodriguez-Kennedy says:

    I have never in my entire life said “Gee white people value this” or “they” follow x,y or z model.

    Particularly considering the diversity of cultures that make up what we call “white”

  10. SUURRREEEE Will, I believe you. You never make generalized assertions about whites. Or blacks. Or Asians.

    SUUURRRRRREEEEEEEEE.

  11. Brian Brady Brian Brady says:

    “Just as a question does anyone see how it might seem racist to on onlooker to see individuals not of the Latino/Hispanic community talking about what “their” values are and what model “they” follow?”

    Ugh. You do and I value you enough to correct that perception. Will, if that statement offended you personally, I apologize; I may have written it indelicately. I should have said this:

    “Republicans believe that self-defined Latino social values make Latinos natural Republicans because Latinos’ self-described social values match up almost identically to the GOP platform. However, government provided social services statistics and voting behavior suggest that Latinos value the the economic assistance model, offered by the Democratic Party, more than they value their self-stated social values”

    I hope you’ll review the preponderance of my articles and remarks rather than this isolated and parsed comment when judging me.

  12. bill @ the county says:

    “But what geographical area of votes were largely missing in the vote counts being released for mayor? The South Bay where Filner has two decades worth of name recognition…..”

    You mean the same South Bay that has voted for Greg Cox year after year?? You do know that most of South Bay isn’t even in the city and couldn’t vote for Filner anyway?

  13. Steve Rider Steve Rider says:

    I think prop 32 was of no effect to DeMaio’s race. Anyone who was inspired to vote against prop 32 would have been equally enthusiastic to showup at the ballot box to vote against DeMaio.

    Brian is correct that the youth vote which turned out in force to support Obama, as well as jump at the opportunity to tax wealthy while theoretically protecting their tuition fees, was almost certainly to blame for DeMaio’s defeat. Tragic.

  14. Will Rodriguez-Kennedy says:

    @Brian Brady actually that is exactly what I meant and that sort of goes to the point of my question. Even in a simple post on Rostra one can get the misperception of racism by the language used. I mean when we are talking about elections and in particular communications and messaging do you not think Republican candidates and operatives would benefit not only from a retool of the messaging that would get through to the Latino community but perhaps also the basic language you use in delivering that message.

    That rewording of your statement may seem petty to some or even minuscule but it’s change of language and the respectful manner in which it was given was certainly less offensive after the fact even to this Former Republican turned Democrat Latino voter.

    As long as the Republican Party and it’s operatives employ the “us” and “them” mentality you will never receive the Latino vote and sometimes even a simple reword would go farther then an sarcastic retort (I’m looking at you Richard).

    And Republicans who aren’t racist, shouldn’t fear the word and get angry or retort in a negative manner that only makes it worse.

  15. Will Rodriguez-Kennedy says:

    P.S. I wasn’t offended I just posed the question and wanted to see your response.

  16. Brian Brady Brian Brady says:

    “I wasn’t offended I just posed the question and wanted to see your response.”

    Fair enough. Will, in my opinion, there is one thing worse than racism and that is an accusation of racism. I appreciate the approach you took to insure that my language didn’t open me to the liability of that claim. I took it as such. Might I direct your attention to the last link in my article?

    Filner employed a very divisive strategy (as did Obama) by accusing their opponents of racism and sexism. To wit (from the linked article):

    “Carl, you can not disown your party. They have enveloped you, they have taken you over, you have worked them over every inch,” he said. “They are a party that does not believe that the people of color in this nation deserve an equal chance, they do not believe that Mexico is worthy of respect as a nation.”

    I accept that my indelicate wording might have been interpreted as racist but Filner’s accusation is abominable. I wish you luck with your new party affiliation and implore you to police your colleagues there with the same fair-minded approach you took with me.

  17. Will Rodriguez-Kennedy says:

    @Brian as you likely know, Filner was my second choice that I voted for grudgingly.

    I will consider that and endeavor to use the same approach on my party. That is perfectly fair.

  18. Brian Brady Brian Brady says:

    “I will consider that and endeavor to use the same approach on my party. That is perfectly fair.

    You’re a fair guy, Will. Don’t forget that you can always come home. We’ll leave the light on for you.

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