Dramatically low turnout helps Republicans dominate primary results

election-results_image_1The current unofficial turnout numbers for the 2014 Primary Election in Orange County sit at 16.9 percent. In comparison turnout in 2012 was 26.5 percent, and the worst ever in Orange County was in 2006 with 21.5 percent voting. Low turnout drives the results in a primary election tilting in favor of whichever party holds a better registration lead, and turnout average. In Orange County the numbers tilt strongly in favor of Republicans.

Democratic voter turnout (preliminary numbers) hovers at 16.3 percent and Republican voter turnout sits at 21.1 percent. That nearly 5 percent margin has an effect on the final numbers. Here’s how things look for key races in Orange County this morning.

Second District County Supervisor

In the second district Supervisor contest, to replace termed out Supervisor John Moorlach, Republican candidates Michelle Steel and Alan Mansoor (both Republicans) will face each other in November’s General election. Steel currently leads with 46.6 percent of the votes to Mansoor’s 23.5 percent

Fifth District County Supervisor

In the fifth Supervisor’s district contest, to replace termed out Supervisor Pat Bates, Republicans Robert Ming currently leads with 29.4 percent to Lisa Bartlett’s 29 percent. They will face off in the November General election.

65th State Assembly

In the 65th State Assembly contest, challenger Young Kim (R) leads Sharon Quirk-Silva (D) 54.7 percent to 45.3 percent. In 2012 Quirk-Silva cam in at 41,2 percent against incumbent Chris Norby, ultimately winning the general election with 52 percent of the vote. Most analysts predicted that Quirk-Silva would lose the primary contest because of depressed voter turnout and a narrow gap between registered Democrats and Republicans in the district. Quirk-Silva should be helped in the General election by expected higher Democratic voter turnout and a 1.8 percent advantage in registered Democrats.

74th State Assembly

In the 74th State Assembly district Republicans Keith Curry and Matt Harper will face each other in the general election. Curry currently leads Harper, 27.8 percent to 24.4 percent.

In the 34th State Senate district, the contest to replace termed out Senator Lou Correa has Janet Nguyen (R) with 52.4 percent facing Jose Solorio who has 32.3 percent of the primary votes. This is relatively good news for Solorio,as increased Democratic turnout in November, and the 3.4 percent lead in registered Democrats, should help him overcome Nguyen’s numbers.

73th State Assembly

In the 74th Assembly District contest, the sole Democrat, Wendy Gabriella was the top finisher in this heavily Republican district (based on registration), primarily due to the large number of Republican candidates. Gabriella will face Republican William “Bill” Brough in the General election. It would be a significant diversion from history for Gabriella to overcome the 22.2 percent lead Republicans hold in voter registration in this district.

Yesterday’s Upsets

In the Fifth Trustee Area election for County Board of Education, 34-year incumbent Elizabeth Dorn Parker was upset by Laguna Niguel Councilwoman Linda Lindholm. The current numbers have Lindholm with 56.2 percent to Parker’s 43.8 percent. We note that Lindholm is the wife of the ultra-conservative-Republican Lincoln Club of Orange County President Wayne Lindholm. We do not doubt that support from the Lincoln Club played a major factor in this low level contest.

In Anaheim, Measure D which would have changed the term of the Mayor to a two-year term was soundly defeated 54.4 percent to 45.6 percent. It has been alleged by Tait and other opponents that the measure was put forward (orchestrated) by the current council majority. It was heavily backed by the powerful Anaheim Chamber of Commerce. The measure was opposed by a conservative PAC’s and Mayor Tom Tait. We note that the measure was unanimously placed on the ballot by the city council and mayor, and that no council members publicly advocated for the measure’s passage.

In the Irvine United School District, former appointed member Ira Glasky, who had to step down because of a petition drive to call a special election for the term that currently ends at the end of this year, came out the winner in the special election to replace former Trustee Gavin Huntley-Fenner.

Complete Results

For complete results of the Orange County balloting CLICK HERE.

  13 comments for “Dramatically low turnout helps Republicans dominate primary results

  1. Sherree
    June 4, 2014 at 9:11 am

    The U.S., should mandate voting subject to a fine as they do in Australia. It’s shameful that people don’t exercise their right to vote and then, in the next breath, complain about elected officials.

  2. Anton Marc
    June 4, 2014 at 9:20 am


    I am surprised that you overlooked the 34th Senate District race, This race is probably the epicenter of the Senate Races in the state, and a frightening reflection of the schism in the Democratic party in OC.

    The 34th has been held by the democrats since 1998 when it was wrested from the hands of then-Senate Leader by Joe Dunn. The seat has been in the hands of Democrats ever since then, won in back to back elections by Joe Dunn and then Lou Correa. It looks as good as lost, with Solorio being unable to garner even a third of the vote in the primary, and with Janet Nguyen exceeding 50% of the primary vote. Unfortunately, this has been predicted for over a year.

    Solorio is a divisive figure in the OC Democratic party, His manipulations and underhanded politics in the name of corporate interests have been well known by those in Sacramento and those who closely follow his actions in Sacramento. He is well known in the halls for undermining democratic bills for the ends of heavy campaign donors such as the insurance industry and the pharmaceutical industry. Much of his underhanded work took place in committees he chaired. His actions in the district and in Sacramento led him to be declared “dead to me” by the then-Executive Director of the OC Labor Fed (and now Vice President of the AFL-CIO) and declared as anti-union, despite his union pretenses. He has exacerbated splits within the Labor base, which in turn have caused digressive and harmful distractions in the OC Democratic party (egged on by angry, ignorant bloggers such as your partner, Dan C.).

    Unfortunately, this loss will also be a sad reflection on Henry Vandermeir’s sad inability to recognize and heal the schisms within the OC Democratic Party. His first (and hopefully last) term as Chair of the OC Party will be marked by the loss of its only Democratic-held Senate seat after 16 years and seeming ownership of the seat.

    • June 4, 2014 at 9:43 am

      I think you might want to re-read Chris’s post again. Solorio (and Quirk-Silva) are focused on November, not June. Both are actually in great shape. As far as Henry’s inability to heal rifts, there are those who didn’t win when Henry was elected chair who need to be better team players. Your comment about Henry is unfair and inaccurate. Again, make up your mind on the handle you wish to use.

      • June 4, 2014 at 8:48 pm


        I do have to take issue with your admonishment of Anton Marc. If he or she wants to have multiple personalities, who are we to criticize? Half the time I think we have multiple personalities and we write under our own names. People are still guessing which of us is the Republican Plant.

        Republican Plant

        As long as these folks with multiple personalities don’t start debating themselves like Matt Cunningham and his alter-ego Jubal did years ago, let em have their say.

    • June 4, 2014 at 7:15 pm


      While it is true that Vandermeir has his detractors, most leaders do, it is disingenuous to lay the failings of a candidate at the feet of the party leadership.

      Solorio has also managed to piss off more than a few people during his time in the Assembly, as you have effectively outlined. The reality is that we go into battle with the candidates we have. Like it or not, Solorio is that candidate. Lou Correa has had some of the same difficulties with his base Democratic supporters.

      But none of the issues you have outlined adequately explain Solorio’s standing in this primary contest. It appears that his position is the result of a strategic decision, made by Solorio and his consultant, to hold back on spending in the primary, holding those funds for the general election. Time will tell if that was wise. To my knowledge, Solorio sent no mail during the primary. While that saves money, it will require him to spend a great deal of effort juggling between defining himself, and defining his opponent.

      In the case of Supervisor Nguyen, she sent out at least three mailers during the primary defining herself, and providing a little inoculation for the inevitable character attacks in the summer and fall.

      So Solorio’s standing in the primary, is at least in part, due to his withholding fire during the primary. If you have a week primary campaign, your numbers will suffer. This is not to say that Solorio, and his supporters in Labor did not campaign at all. The campaign did have active precinct walking and phone banking efforts.

      Ultimately I stand by my position that turnout was the most significant factor in Solorio’s performance in the Primary. He’s got a hard row to hoe, but he can still prevail in November. This will definitely be a hard fought campaign, and the General election will have completely different dynamics than the Primary.

  3. HEY!
    June 4, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    What happened to Cecilia Iglesias? I thought she was supposed to trounce the incumbent? I thought she had a wave of support in Santa Ana? I thought Maribel Marroquin had mobilized the community to support her? What went wrong?

  4. Anton Marc
    June 4, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    Numbers don’t lie.

    Jose could not pull 33% of the vote with a 38% DEM registration and 23% decline to state registration in the primary. Two republicans got more than TWO-THIRDS the vote, with one, Janet Nguyen, getting over 50 % of the vote. That is not just poor Democratic turnout, it is democratic apathy toward Jose and no DTS support for him whatsoever.

    Sharon is a totally different story. Her performance mirrors her primary two years ago against Norby, a roughly ten point difference. That was a presidential election year. She is doing the same in an off year election this time. That is just low primary turnout by dems, and her having a broader base with the DTS voters.

    With Jose’s pathetic performance, there is not going to be a strongcase to be made for the party sending air of money his way for the general. Business money will tend to support the stronger GOP candidate.

    The writing is on the wall. Don’t shoot the messenger.

  5. anton marc
    June 5, 2014 at 12:02 am


    Well said. I am aware of the strategy, but find it unrealistic. Jose is pretty well known in large swaths of the 34th, and to the extent he is not, holding off until the last few months of the campaign is poorly conceived.

    He will require a tremendous GOTV, which requires huge money and a truly motivated grassroots effort. He can’t get the unified support he would need, as he has burned far too many bridges with the traditional bases of the democratic support system.

    As for Henry, I am not being disingenuous. The first and greatest challenge of Frank Barbaro’s successor was to heal the open wounds within the party. Henry has not done that, and he has not really tried to. In fairness, it is a difficult task, and he is not responsible for what he inherited. However, he ran to take on the problem, and he appears, at least in my opinion, to have exacerbated the underlying problems and the schism s within the party. He may not be able to choose the candidate, but he nears responsibility for unifying and managing the various components of the democratic structure and it’s traditional allies. Again, it appears to me he has alienated and has been unable to earn the respect and trust of many powerful and important players within the party and it’s allies. Like Dan, often he acts without thought, and engages in petty, personal, and vindictive retaliation against people who simply have a different opinion than he does. While Dan can act like a little dictator on his blog, Henry cannot lead the local party that way, nor can he get problematic candidates like Jose elected without all these folks.

    The common thread between Jose and Henry is, perhaps, that both think they can be underhanded with people and still expect their support just because they are democrats. It doesn’t work that way and that is not the mark of leadership.

  6. Sherree
    June 5, 2014 at 9:00 am

    I’ve heard Jose Solario is putting all his eggs (resources) towards the November election. I’m incredulous to think that left-leaning 69th district would elect a Republican, especially Janet Nguyen.

    • June 5, 2014 at 11:33 am


      Jose is running in the not so left 34th Senate district. Other than Santa Ana, it is a new area for Solorio, a little less so for Nguyen. This makes the race a toss-up at this point.

  7. Sherree
    June 5, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    Thanks for the correction, Chris.

  8. Dan Chmielewski
    June 6, 2014 at 6:42 am

    hey, if the guy wants to insult me, I just wish he’d stick to one name to do it. Logging in under multiple names to talk smack when its the same person is weak sauce.

  9. Cynthia mae Curran
    June 18, 2014 at 12:10 am

    In Anaheim, Measure D which would have changed the term of the Mayor to a two-year term was soundly defeated 54.4 percent to 45.6 percent. It has been alleged by Tait and other opponents that the measure was put forward (orchestrated) by the current council majority. It was heavily backed by the powerful Anaheim Chamber of Commerce. The measure was opposed by a conservative PAC’s and Mayor Tom Tait. We note that the measure was unanimously placed on the ballot by the city council and mayor, and that no council members publicly advocated for the measure’s passage

    Actually, I liked Pringle better than Tait it was more of a crook in some ways but he wanted some gentrification for Anaheim even if it was over ambitious. To defeat the Republicans you need to somehow find flaws with their model of Texas and just not usual liberal stuff like the environment and so forth. Bad stats also on poverty high food insecurity in Texas and so forth. Find a liberal model state to ram against the Republicans. In about 10 to 15 years a lot of the Republicans in Orange County will be died since most of the Republican strength is in people 50 and over. Democrats need their strength in West Anaheim, Santa Ana, Irvine and some of the northern towns. Tait as mention is kind of a jerk and it wasn’t for Pringle another Republican that wanted to changed Anaheim a means to bring in more liberal non-hispanics that can vote would not be possible. The Aractic transportation center could make Anaheim like Santa Ana and Costa Mesa more popular with hipsters in the west side. To defeat the Republicans ram bad stats about Texas their model state. Texas has higher poverty than Colorado, Utah, Washington, Id, Wy, and so forth in the west. Its is not a white suburban state but like California is also Hispanic. Lots of Orange County Republicans did not know that. Deal with the Toyota moving that Texas like California doesn’t spend more time on educating Hispanics both states could go down economically. I have knocked several conservative republicans particularly Paul Anderson that lives in Texas on the bad stats of Texas.

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