Notes from June 19, 2022 meeting

Many thanks to our short-notice replacement hosts.

I started with a discussion of current prospects for Senate (pretty good) and House (major improvement needed nationwide). My remarks on California are further down the post.

Sister District has an analysis of the value of postcards and letters based on their own experiments plus others’. Let‘s say the results are scattered. The best result was a postcard campaign to sporadic Democratic voters. One campaign showed equally poor results for letters and postcards: neither improved turnout. Tony the Democrat is more upbeat and less scientific, seeing postcarding as an intermediate step between mass emails (useless) and targeted social media networks (effective). He cites this paper from Yale. And Vote Forward has surveys showing significant turnout improvement from their “hybrid” (part pre-printed, part handwritten) campaign, better than any postcard campaign. I guess you pays your money and you takes your choice.

As requested, Obama’s interview in The Atlantic. It may be paywalled.


We are resetting our Act Blue thermometer. New recipients are Carolina Federation, which is working hard for progressives across the board in North Carolina, and the campaign funds of the Michigan and Arizona State House Democrats. In a good year, we can flip those.

California primaries

Some of our incumbents looks good. Katie Porter (CA-47) got over 50% by herself. Mike Levin (CA-49) had 49% and a random Democrat had another 2%. Similarly, in CA-09, Josh Harder had only 39%, but the Dems together had 52%. In CA-27, Christy Smith’s third run against Mike Garcia starts with only 37% (Garcia had 47%), but the Dems combined had 50%.

There are other districts where we came close, but we need to run 5 points better in November. Kermit Jones (CA-03) was first with 40, but Dem total was only 46. Activate America is pumping Will Rollins (CA-41); he got 46 against MAGA incumbent Ken Calvert, but he was the only Democrat on the ballot. Rudy Salas’ run against David Valadao (CA-22) netted 45 in the primary, but he was the only Democrat. Valadao does have the weakness that he voted for impeachment and some constituents will rather leave the race blank. Conservadem Adam Gray cashed in on endorsements and placed second in CA-13 with 31. Add in Phil Arballo’s 17, makes 48. Less promising: Jay Chen (CA-45) is a great candidate by both résumé and on the issues, but he had only 43 to incumbent Michelle Steele’s 48, and the third candidate was a Republican. And expect to see fundraising by Asif Mahmood who finished first with 41 against Young Kim (CA-40), but he was the only Democrat. Kim had MAGAs running to her right.

In Los Angeles, once (almost) all the votes were in, Karen Bass was 7 ahead of Rick Caruso for Mayor of Los Angeles. This is one of several races where the Election Night punditry was confused by the continuing annoying habit of liberals to vote late—Caruso was almost even then. The recall of Chesa Boudin led to a lot of stories about crime backlash, but then all the other progressive DA candidates did really well, including Pamela Price here in Alameda County. I’m putting in a map of the Boudin recall vote. If someone can explain it to me, I would appreciate the help.

Source SF Chronicle

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