That ‘No Dem on the Ballot’ Problem: Democrats Seem Somewhat Less Than Enthused in SD-37

SD-37 Minuteman

When the districting was done in 2011, I dubbed SD-37 — the only State Senate District entirely in Orange County — “the Minuteman.”  (I could probably better find a better photo to show the resemblance, but maybe we’ll make that a reader contest.  Prize to be determined.)  That also works to describe the district’s conservatism.

While there is a Democrat, Louise Stewardson, in the race, she is not on the ballot.  And if I’m reading the numbers correctly, either word hasn’t gotten out or Democratic voters somehow just aren’t enthused about writing in a Democratic candidates name against two powerful Republicans –not even just to flip them the bird.

Here’s why I say that, based on what the most recent figures look like right now:

The 37th State Senate District has 491,824 voters.

Of them, 207,299 (42.1%) are registered Republicans, 140,506 (28.6%) are registered Democrats, 120,242 (24.4%) are No Party Preference (NPP), and the other 4.8% are in third parties.

Here’s how the vote-by-mail turned in so far break down (obviously, in terms of where they’re from, not results):

Of the 257,610 ballots that were mailed out, 117,330 (45.5%) went to Republicans, 72,595 (28.2%) went to Democrats, and about 70,405 (27.3%) went to NPPs and third parties.  (You may notice that this doesn’t sum correctly; my guess is that the last figure is an overestimate.)

Now here’s how many have been turned in by party:

Of the 55,572 vote-by-mail ballots that have been turned in, 34,295 (61,7%) come from Republicans, 11,766 (21.2%) and 9511 (17.1%) come from NPPs and third parties.

That’s not the original 13.5% gap between the turnout figures of the two major parties so far; it’s 40.5%!

Let’s break it down by territory:

Of the 3,896 votes in from Anaheim Hills, Republicans have 2,511 and Democrats have 792.
Of the 4,625 votes in from Costa Mesa, Republicans have 2,717 and Democrats have 1,076.
Of the 6,857 votes in from SE Huntington Beach, Republicans have 4,217 and Democrats have 1,509.
Of the 9,730 votes in from Irvine, Republicans have 5,326 and Democrats have 1,837.
Of the 1,824 votes in from Laguna Beach, Republicans have 951 and Democrats have 541.
Of the 3,175 votes in from Laguna Woods, Republicans have 1,657 and Democrats have 921.
Of the 4,015 votes in from Lake Forest, Republicans have 2,520 and Democrats have 829.
Of the 8,137 votes in from Newport Beach, Republicans have 5,839 and Democrats have 1,129.
Of the 6,737 votes in from Orange, Republicans have 4,242 and Democrats have 1,457.
Of the 2,930 votes in from Tustin, Republicans have 1,658 and Democrats have 685.
Of the 698 votes in from Villa Park, Republicans have 562 and Democrats have 69.
Of the 2,948 votes in from Unincorporatistan, Republicans have 2,095 and Democrats have 472.

It’s true, of course, that Dems do come out disproportionately better on Election Day as compared to vote-by-mail.  Well, if we want to avoid an incredible shellacking this week, we had better.  At least when the first numbers come out, I believe that they won’t include Louise’s numbers at all, not until the final tally, so we won’t have to feel bad — past practice is that write-in votes get added in only at the end.

I hope that at least that message is getting out!


About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Corrupt party hacks hate him. He's OK with that too. He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)