Phu Nguyen rocked the Tet Parade, Mansoor was alone

I learned a lot while walking the Tet Parade route yesterday.  For one thing, Chairman Janet Nguyen proved her colleague, Supervisor John Moorlach, right again when I walked by and took her picture.

“Stop being a jerk,” said Chairman Janet.  I was just taking pictures.  I think she didn’t like the fact that I was there to rain on her parade.  She was there with her whole gang.  I found it interesting that she wore a business casual suit while Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez was decked out in traditional Viet garb.  Chairman Janet’s husband looked particularly unhappy to be there.

You can see all the pictures I took at this link.

The big story, I thought, was the excitement surrounding Phu Nguyen’s campaign for the 68th Assembly District.  He was surrounded by friends and campaign volunteers.  By contrast, his Republican opponent, Costa Mesa Mayor Alan Mansoor, was all by himself. 

Allan Mansoor, all by himself at the Tet Parade

The key to winning the 68th is getting the independent vote.  Here is how the voter registration breaks down, as per the California Secretary of State’s latest records:

  • 40.78% Republican
  • 32.78% Democratic
  • 21.93% Decline to State
  • 4.5% Third Parties

While 41.61% of the voters are white, many of them are presumably Democrats.  And if Latinos and Asians vote for Phu, the Democratic candidate, that will garner him about 54% of the vote.

Phu Nguyen used green power at the Tet Parade

In 2008, the Democratic candidate, an unknown activist named Ken Arnold, garnered 45.9% of the vote.  The incumbent, Republican Van Tran, got 54.1% of the vote.  Tran vastly outspent Arnold, but almost lost.

The district currently consists of 14.88% of Orange County, including all of Costa Mesa and Fountain Valley, and 10.08% of Anaheim, 64.92% of Garden Grove, 10.17% of Newport Beach, 82.98% of Stanton, and 69.30% Westminster.

Let’s break that down further.

Costa Mesa has  108,724 voters.  The part of Garden Grove in the district has 107,239 voters.  The portion of Fountain Valley in the district has 54,978 voters.  And the Westminster area has 61,129 voters.  Do the math.  Mansoor is only known in Costa Mesa.  Nguyen will have supporters throughout Little Saigon. And Fountain Valley has a lot of Viet voters too.

Mansoor drove in a car with no fans, no friends and no campaign volunteers

Phu can win this race.  But will Dems turn out to vote in November, even as their party is losing control of the House of Representatives, and maybe even the U.S. Senate?  Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

About Art Pedroza