Marching Does Not Equal Voting

Author: Steven Moore
Created: 06 June, 2018
Updated: 17 October, 2022
2 min read

Votes are still being counted and analysts are still trying to spot the trends from the June 5th primary.

What we do know happened is more a story about what didn't happen: The crush of progressive activists expected to turn out to vote against Trump and swamping conservative candidates.

They never did.

Historic Low Voter Turnout

The number of voters who turned out to vote for the June primary as a percent of Californians registered to vote is at a historical low of 21.8%.  The previous historic low voter turnout is the 2014 June primary at 25.17%.

Statewide, no Republican Congressional incumbent was beaten. In fact, the only incumbent that placed second was Democrat Pete Aguilar from Redlands. Aguilar's seat was not on anyone's radar, yet he was beaten by a Republican last night.

Former LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, once mentioned as a presidential candidate, was crushed by 2 to 1 by little known Republican candidate John Cox in the race for second place for governor. A Democrat state senator in Orange County was recalled for voting in favor of the gas tax. In San Diego County, a prototype progressive with backing from George Soros lost the DA race by 26 points.

Perhaps nobody thought to organize a march to the ballot box.

Turnout was particularly dismal in the liberal stronghold of Los Angeles County. LA is the largest county in California, and the nation. It is home to about 2.5 million registered Democrats, the vast majority of which couldn’t be bothered to vote. Turnout in LA county was 18.5%, despite (or perhaps because of) Villaraigosa on the ballot.

More traditionally conservative areas like San Diego County and Orange County saw higher turnout rates, although certainly not spectacular. At the time of this article being published, San Diego and Orange Counties, the number two and number three most populous counties in California, turned out at 24.1% and 24.9% respectively.

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The San Diego Registrar of Voters predicted a 40% to 45% turnout.

The Bay area turnout was mixed. San Francisco County turned out at 32%, about 150,000 voters. Marin voted at a rate of 25.5%, while San Mateo County voted at 19.2%. Alameda County is at 19.9%.

Those numbers are expected to climb with several million votes still outstanding. Regardless, going from the worst turnout in California history to the second worst is still not a mark of a progressive blue wave.

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