Notes on the primary election in Merced County, June 7, 2016

Submitted: Jun 08, 2016
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Merced primary 2016 notes, all 266 precincts reporting, June 8, 2016

Voter turnout: of the 92,660 eligible voters, 23,974 voted -- 25.87 percent.

For this June primary, there were 13,101 registered Democrats, 8,996 registered Republicans, and the next largest number, 1,090, identify themselves as No Party Preference voters.

In the Democratic Party presidential primary, 7,169 (56.53 percent) voted for Hillary Clinton; 5,190 (40.92 percent) voted for Bernie Sanders. The state tally was 55.8 percent for Clinton; 43.2 percent for Sanders.

Donald Trump got 6,712 votes for the Republican nomination, 77.96 percent despite having been anointed the "presumption" nominee by the media for weeks.

Did the AP anointment of Clinton as the "presumptive" nominee on June 6, the night before the California primary and others, make a difference in voter turnout that might have hurt the Sanders effort?

Forty-one percent of the vote in a Democratic primary for an Independent Socialist is extremely impressive and should be considered a great victory and no love tap for local Democratic Party incumbents and their staffs.

In the race for US Senate, which included 34 candidates plus write-ins, California Attorney General Kamala Harris received 6.621 votes, 30.29 percent. Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez received 3,683 votes, 16.85 percent.

Statewide, Harris received 40.3 percent of the vote, Sanchez 18.6 percent. The two Democrats will be running against each other in the general election in November.

Likewise, Rep. Jim Costa, the incumbent Democrat, and challenger Johnny Tacherra, Republican, will be running against each other in the general election. Costa received 11,729 votes, 50.40 percent; Tacherra received 8,771, 37.69 percent.

State Assemblyman Adam Gray, D-Merced, won a lopsided victory over Republican challenger, Greg Opinski. Gray received 14,460 votes (64.43 percent); Opinski received 7,897 votes (35.19 percent). The peculiarity of the race was that Opinski announced he was dropping out of the race in mid-May (Merced Sun-Star, May 16).

The real action in this Merced County primary was in the county Board of Supervisors. Supervisor Deidre Kelsey is retiring. The River People have decided on one of their own, Lloyd Pareira, who received  1,735 votes, 42.11 percent. Running second was Rich Ford from Gustine, 948 votes, 23.25 percent.

Incumbent supervisors John Pedrozo, District 1, and Hub Walsh, District 2, have serious challengers.

In District 1, Rodrigo Espinoza, mayor of Livingston, leads the incumbent with 1,542 votes (54.97 percent), to Pedrozo's 1,253 votes (44.67 percent).

In District 2, the City of Merced seat, former Merced Mayor and incumbent Supervisor Walsh received 2,491 votes (39.27 percent). Challenger Lee Lor received 2,462 votes (38.81 percent).

It is hard to know how any of these elections, particularly below the presidential nominees on the ballot, would have done with a larger turnout. Beyond that there is the issue of how many of those eligible to vote are actually registered. The state calculates that there are 154,443 eligible voters in the county. The County reports 92,660 people are registered to vote -- 60 percent of those eligible to vote are registered. The figure rarely reported is the percentage of those eligible to vote who did vote. In this primary in Merced County, 15.52 percent of those eligible to vote actually voted.

Use it or Lose it, Folks.

blj

 

 

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