No Resounding Victory for Miguel Pulido

Mayor Miguel Pulido

In any election a win is a win. To that end, Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido won his race for reelection this year with 49.5% of the vote. His nearest challenger, and best funded opponent since he was first elected, Alfredo Amezcua only pulled in 26.8% of the vote. With all the votes tallied, Pulido was carried to victory by 21,588 votes to Amezcua’s 11,689, a margin of 9,899. A resounding margin of victory over his nearest challenger by any measure for sure.

Since election night Miguel Pulido’s victory has been called a vindication of his tenure, and validation of vision for Santa Ana. Some of his council colleagues have resorted to calling the victory a mandate.

Since when is getting 49.5% of the vote for a seat you have held for 16 years a mandate?

This was the only contest for elected mayor in Orange County where the victor received less than 50% of the vote. The lowest majority vote was achieved by Tom Tait in Anaheim at 54.4%. Looking back over Mayor Pulido’s three previous elections Pulido has garnered a decreasing percentage of the vote. In 2004 Pulido was reelected with 80.6%, in 2006 68.8%, and 2008 55%.

What I think this election should show the Mayor and Council of Santa Ana, is that in spite of the reelection of all incumbents the public is not entirely satisfied with the performance of their elected officials. They don’t like the lack of transparency, the silencing of unpopular points of view on commissions and at Council meetings. They are not happy with the entitlement attitude of the members of the city council, and their apparent disdain for input from the public. They don’t like the appearance of corruption and back room deals, they aren’t too pleased that their city is the violent crime, and pothole, capitol of Orange County. They want their schools to perform and kids kept out of gangs. They want peace and peace of mind, along with a few more well maintained parks where their kids can play safely.

The Santa Ana City Council needs to move forward on proposals for more transparency, accountability regarding their failure to comply with city ordinances regarding campaign finances and votes, and rules that force better compliance with the open meeting regulations of the Brown Act, including stopping their habit of hiding behind technicalities to escape responsibility for complaince failures.

Simply put, the residents of Santa Ana want ethical government that is transparent, responsive, and accountable. Now that’s a mandate that should be easy to follow.

  6 comments for “No Resounding Victory for Miguel Pulido

  1. December 6, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Chris… he almost got more votes than his 4 opponents combined. I think any reputable analyst would tell you that his margin of victory is indeed impressive. Especially considering his main opponent was a local elected and a highly respected attorney.

    • December 6, 2010 at 8:00 pm

      I think I made that point when I said he only got 49.5% of the vote. While his margin of victory over Amezcua was impressive, Pulido’s popularity has consistantly dropped from election to election. More than 50% of the voters wanted someone else, the only issue was they could not be unified on who to support as an alternative.

  2. Steve Perez
    December 6, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    No offense Chris, but when you say “More than 50% of the voters wanted someone else” your talking about something that you have no data on. Voter motivation. A vote for a candidate other than Pulido was not a vote against Pulido, which is what your suggesting. It’s simply a vote for another candidate. There’s a subtle difference there.

    • December 6, 2010 at 9:04 pm


      A vote for someone other than Pulido, is a vote for someone other than Pulido. It can accurately be deduced from the data, election results, that more than 50% chose someone other than him therefore theey voted against him. If we had instant runoff voting, we would be able to deduce the answer to the question of whether he was their second choice, but unlike Oakland, we don’t have that in Santa Ana.

  3. Steve Perez
    December 6, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    Tell me, did your ballot have the option of voting “against someone”? Or did it, like mine, merely give you the names of candidates for which you could vote for, and thus support?
    Your adding your own assumption to the vote result, to try to cast Pulido as having significantly worse returns, when in reality he continues to win by large margins.
    He actually appears to have performed better in this re-election campaign than in the last one. He had a credible challenger, and twice as many opponents than in 2010 than he did in 2006, yet he came away with only 1582 less votes.
    It was a great showing for Pulido, and an improvement from 2006.

  4. December 6, 2010 at 9:33 pm


    I am simply pointing out that after 16 years Miguel Pulido has enjoyed a steadily decreasing amount of voter support. That support now rests at less than 50%. That is significant. The gap between Pulido and his closest challenger is merely a measure of the difference between the support for individual candidates. The gap is impressive, particularly given the amount of money spent by Amezcua.

    Again, there can be no dispute that based upon the results of this and the previous 3 elections, Pulido’s luster is less than it once was.

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