This analysis was written on November 4, 2020.
Yesterday marked the end of an election unlike any we have seen, with over 100 million Americans voting prior to the Nov. 3 election day. President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden campaigned until the very end to sway those remaining undecided voters. A record 22 million Californians are registered to vote this year, representing nearly 88 percent of all eligible voters.
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, many voters opted to mail their ballots rather than casting them in-person in the hopes of minimizing possible exposure to COVID-19. This year’s primaries offered a preview of this shift: 50.3 percent of votes were cast by mail, as opposed to 27.4 percent in the 2018 midterms. Governor Newsom made the unprecedented move to provide every registered California voter a mail-in ballot for the November election.
California was called for Biden immediately after polls closed in the Golden State. The Democratic stronghold has 55 electoral votes, the most of any state. As votes continue to be counted, Joe Biden set the record for the most votes in a presidential election. As of Wednesday afternoon, several key states have yet to be called, including Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Arizona. In the days ahead, we can expect recount and legal challenges.
Statewide Ballot Measures
A number of critical propositions, with both positive and negative implications for local governments, were on the ballot this year. If approved, they would have financial and policy impacts on local government revenues and operations. While the results have yet to be certified by the Secretary of State’s office, these are the latest results as of 5:30pm on Nov. 4. Further details can be found on the CA Secretary of States Website (linked HERE).
California did not have any U.S. Senate seats up this election. Nationally, Republicans narrowly will maintain control of the house.
House of Representatives
Every two years, members of the House of Representatives must run for office. As Democrats continue to build momentum in all parts of the state, there were a number of highly contested races in districts previously considered safe seats for Republicans. There were also traditionally Republican seats that Democrats were able to flip in 2018 that the GOP was looking to regain. Below are the results for those seats as of early Wednesday morning (Bold Text indicates the winner in the race).
California State Senate
As expected, Senate Republicans found themselves in trouble Tuesday night. Democrats hold nearly three-quarters of the seats in the Senate. In recent years Orange County, which was once the most conservative in the State, has seen its Republican advantage dwindle since 2016. Senate Republicans John Moorlach and Ling Ling Chang both out of Orange County, lost to their Democratic challengers. In the Inland Empire, the termed-out seat of Mike Morrell is still too close to call at this time. Democratic Assemblywoman Susan Eggman (Stockton) and Assemblywoman Monique Limón (Santa Barbara) won their Senate races, as did Josh Becker (San Mateo), John Laird (Monterey) and Dave Cortese (San Jose). (Bold Text indicates the winner in the race).
*Votes are still being counted.
California State Assembly
Similar to the U.S. House of Representatives, Members of the State Assembly must run every two years. The Assembly will see little change, as most incumbents have maintained their seats. Republican Assemblymember Tom Lackey (Palmdale) will hold onto his seat as will Jordan Cunningham (San Luis Obispo).