California still true blue

 

The pundits  may have waited until the last possible second on election night to call California, along with Oregon and Washington, and pronounce Democrat Barack Obama the 44th president of the United States, but there was never really any doubt that the electoral-vote-heavy-weight Golden State would embrace the Illinois Senator by a wide margin.  With 96.4 percent of districts reporting, Obama snagged 61.2 percent of the vote to Republican John McCain's 37 percent.

Democrats had hoped to ride Obama's coattails to victory and take over six Republican-held seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, bringing their majority to 40 of California's 53 House seats. But by election time it was clear that only two seats in the state were truly competitive, thanks to redistricting that favors incumbents.

One of those tight races turned out to be something of a landslide for Dems. Democrat Jerry McNerney, who unseated notoriously anti-conservation Republican Richard Pombo in the 11th District east of the Bay Area in 2006, beat out Republican challenger Dean Andal 54 to 45 percent. Dems and conservationists, who back McNerney in part for his strong advocacy for clean energy, considered the district rented territory and poured resources into McNerney's campaign this year. It also helped that the  district's political leanings have shifted, with registered Democrats trailing Republicans by only 1 percent, compared to 6 percent back in 2006.

The other tight race -- to replace scandal-plagued Republican Rep. John Doolittle in northeastern California's 4th District -- remains a complete dead heat, with absentee and provisional ballots left to count. Republican candidate Tom McClintock, a conservative state legislator and former gubernatorial candidate, has a mere 451-vote lead over the Democratic candidate, centrist retired Air Force Lt. Col. Charlie Brown.

Dems also hoped to make serious gains in the state legislature, where they currently hold substantial majorities in both the Senate and the Assembly. So far it appears they may indeed gain a few seats -- though not as many as they hoped for -- with two in the Assembly and one in the Senate. The latter would leave them one seat short of holding a supermajority that would allow them to bypass the GOP and override vetoes.

 

 

High Country News Classifieds
  • OWN YOUR OWN CANYON - 1400 SF STRAW-BALE ECO-HOME ON 80 ACRES - 3 HOURS FROM L.A.
    1400 sf of habitable space in a custom-designed eco-home created and completed by a published L.A. architect in 1997-99. Nestled within its own 80-acre mountain...
  • WYOMING CONSERVATION ASSOCIATE
    We are hiring a Wyoming Conservation Associate Full time, competitive pay and benefits. Location: Cody, WY (preferred), Jackson, WY, or Lander, WY Visit www.greateryellowstone.org/careers for...
  • SOUTHWEST REGIONAL DIRECTOR
    The National Parks Conservation Association, the nations leading national park advocacy organization, seeks a Regional Director to lead and manage staff for the Southwest Regional...
  • DIRECTOR OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
    This newly created position with The Nature Conservancy's Colorado River Program will play a key role in the development and implementation of strategies to achieve...
  • PROGRAM OFFICER, INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES, NOVO FOUNDATION
    The Foundation NoVo Foundation acts from the original meaning of philanthropy: the love of humanity. The Foundation is dedicated to catalyzing a global social transformation...
  • ARMY OF THE DOG
    A new generation of monkey wrenchers hits the Front Range?
  • ANNIE CLARK TANNER FELLOWSHIP IN ENVIRONMENTAL HUMANITIES
    The Tanner Humanities Center and the Environmental Humanities Program of the University of Utah seek an environmental writer to offer classes in Utahs Environmental Humanities...
  • ALASKA STATE DIRECTOR
    The Wilderness Society works to protect Wildlands and inspire Americans to care for our public lands. We seek to hire a strategic, experienced leader who...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Idaho Conservation League (ICL) seeks an individual to lead this 45-year-old organization as executive director, to carry on ICLs work as Idahos leading voice...
  • IDAHO RIVERFRONT:
    2+ acres, 400+ feet on Snake River, 2800 sf residence, NWF-certified wildlife habitat, excellent hunting, fishing, birdwatching, stargazing, sunsets & panoramic views. In the heart...
  • WILDEARTH GUARDIANS IS EXPANDING - THREE JOB OPENINGS
    Guardians is expanding and looking for a few great people to join us in protecting and restoring the wildlife, wild places, wild rivers, and health...
  • SUNNYSIDE MARKET SEEKS NEW PROPRIETOR
    Organic grocery/cafe at Glacier Bay needs a vibrant leader. Love good food, community, and Alaska? Join us!
  • NO INDIVIDUAL HEROES: OURAY MOUNTAIN RESCUE TEAM
    Ouray County, Colorado, a popular tourist destination, has dramatic mountains and amazing winter ice climbing. Challenging terrain and high altitude can push visitors to their...
  • CALIFORNIA PROGRAM ASSOCIATE - TAHOE AREA
    National conservation organization seeks a regular, full-time California Program Associate-Tahoe Area. Position works closely with California-based program staff and National Forest Foundation staff to provide...
  • CALIFORNIA PROGRAM COORDINATOR - TAHOE AREA
    National conservation organization seeks a regular, full-time California Program Coordinator-Tahoe Area. Position works closely with California-based program staff and National Forest Foundation staff to provide...
  • CALIFORNIA PROGRAM MANAGER - TAHOE AREA
    National conservation organization seeks a regular, full-time California Program Manager-Tahoe Area. Position works closely with California-based program staff and National Forest Foundation staff to provide...
  • CALIFORNIA PROGRAM ASSOCIATE, SOUTHERN CA
    National conservation organization seeks a regular, full-time California Program Associate-Southern CA. Position works closely with California-based program staff and National Forest Foundation staff to provide...
  • THE BOOK OF BARLEY -
    Collector's Item! The story of barley, the field crop. 50 years of non-fiction research. www.barleybook.com
  • TEMPORARY ASSISTANT EDITOR
    Are you a climber and a writer who is passionate about mountain literature? Do you love searching through old alpine journals for stories of esoteric...
  • RIVER TRIP LEADER & EDUCATOR
    Colorado Canyons Association (CCA) is a growing nonprofit organization fostering community stewardship of our National Conservation Lands with a focus on Dominguez-Escalante, Gunnison Gorge and...