Looks Like Poizner May Fall Short of Historic Independent Win in California — Vote Count Not Complete

SAN DIEGO, CALIF. – Independent candidate Steve Poizner brought in the most votes of any independent in a statewide race in California history, but it may not have been enough to compete with the blue wave that swept the state Tuesday.

Poizner, running for California Insurance Commissioner — a closely watched race by politicos not just in California, but nationwide — is currently trailing Democrat Ricardo Lara by 1.6 points with 97% of precincts reporting.

It’s possible that the late absentee returns in Riverside, San Diego County, and other places could close the gap between the two candidates. But the Democratic GOTV push Tuesday night was strong, and swept the entire state.

Poizner’s campaign would make history if he wins as he would be the first independent candidate to win a statewide election in California. It would have likely had the entire political world talking, not only in California, but across the nation.

In this big-budget proxy fight, Steve Poizner advanced to the general election through California’s nonpartisan open primary, which voters passed in 2010. Instead of having to take on the political machines of two major party candidates, and being cast aside as a spoiler, Poizner only had one major party opponent.

The spoiler claim that plagued many independent and third party candidates nationwide didn’t apply under the top-two system.

California’s Insurance Commissioner oversees and enforces regulatory compliance with the California Insurance Code for the Golden State’s massive $332 billion insurance industry (the fourth largest insurance market in the world).