High turnout seen for special election

Steve Geissinger, (916) 447-9302 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SACRAMENTO – About 42 percent of California’s 15.8 million registered voters are expected to turn out for Tuesday’s special election, a relatively high turnout that political experts said could hurt the chances for the governor’s reform measures. Secretary of State Bruce McPherson on Friday said his prediction was based on absentee ballots, experience with similar elections, voter registration, record campaign spending, interest in local measures and “even the anticipated weather.” Experts said the relatively high turnout in Democrat-leaning California makes it more likely at the polls that Democrats and independents will outnumber Republicans, who are traditionally dependable voters but are in the minority. Coupled with recent polls showing Californians’ support for the ballot measures is flagging, officials said the outlook is dim. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “At this point, it now looks like all four of the governor’s measures will be defeated,” said Tim Hodson, director of the nonpartisan Center for California Studies in Sacramento and a political science professor at California State University, Sacramento. Both Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and opponents’ campaigns embraced the turnout forecast as a positive development and said their sides were the ones winning the efforts to turn out core voters. While the projected voter turnout is higher than the last state special election – 36 percent in 1993 – it is far short of the 76 percent in last year’s presidential election or the 61 percent who showed up for the 2003 recall which put Schwarzenegger in office. “At 30 percent to 33 percent turnout, the governor could have expected something to be close,” said California State University, Sonoma political science professor David McCuan. Experts said wild cards remain, including whether Proposition 73 – requiring parental notification of a minor’s abortion – draws more conservatives to the polls. read more