Assessing the 2012 Election


Uploaded by SacStateVideo on 20.11.2012

Transcript:
>> Okay, thank you for showing up today.
This is the Project for an Informed Electorate's panel
on the election, the recap of the election.
The Project for an Informed Electorate is a new entity
on campus.
We have a website.
If you just Google Project
for an Informed Electorate, you can get there.
We have one more event this fall and that is on Thursday,
we have Mark DiCamillo of the Field Poll who will come
and talk about the differences between the election results
and what the polls projected which actually are very new,
so that's-- it's sort of a big year for election polls.
That is at 10 a.m. on Thursday
in the lobby suite just across the hall here.
Also, if you go to our website, we have streaming versions
of previous events, electoral information, exit poll data,
all sorts other things.
And then in the spring, we'll have new events coming
up so keep an eye on that.
All right, I wanted introduce our panel today,
in spite of what their name tags say, everybody does have a Ph.D,
they're all professors right here.
Not all here, but they're all professors.
So first of all, closest to me, we have Stacy Gordon Fisher.
Her main areas of research are congressional behavior
and political behavior.
Her book "Campaign Contributions and Legislative Voting:
A New Approach" covers the effect of campaign contributions
on legislative voting.
Her articles have been published in the "Journal of Politics
and State and Local Government Review."
Next to her is David Andersen.
Dr. Andersen teaches classes in US Foreign Policy,
War and Peace, and US National Security
in the Government Department at Sac State.
And his research interests include foreign policy crisis
decision making and the changing role of nonstate actors
in international politics, so he'll be talking
about the foreign policy peace today.
Next to him we have Steve Boilard,
and he has extensive experience in government and education.
During his 14 years in the Legislative Analyst's Office,
he served as the Managing Principal Analyst,
Director of Higher Education, and a Senior Analyst.
He's also been an assistant professor
at Western Kentucky University and instructor
at UC Santa Barbara, and a policy analyst
with the California Department of Housing
and Community Development,
and he got his Ph.D at UC Santa Barbara.
And then next to him is Wesley Hussey,
and Wesley Hussey is a native Californian.
He joined Sacramento State's Government Department in 2008.
He's interested in the intersection between elections,
voting, and political institutions,
and he was a finalist
for California Citizen Redistricting Commission
out of more than 30,000 who applied which was Prop 40.
We actually voted on if we like the results or not this time.
He recently wrote an article exploring the politics
of California's budget process for the French audience
and this was particularly challenging
because he doesn't speak French.
Impressive, though.
Okay. So our panel had-- will talk about various things.
First of all, we'll start out with California and we'll get
to national and then go foreign policy.
So we'll start sort of local and go farther field as we progress.
So if we could start with--
which one should we say, Steve or Wes?
>> Steve, right?
>> Yeah.
>> All right, well, thank you and I appreciate the opportunity
to talk a little bit about the elections
and really looking forward to be able to engage in more
of a conversation 'cause I don't pretend
to have the kind of definitive take.
But there's three things I really wanted to emphasize,
three themes that I see
as really important come out of the elections.
And again, I'm focusing primarily on the initiatives
and some of the statewide races.
Number one is, I think,
voter showed some measure of discernment.
There's a lot of-- with the initiatives.
There was a lot of anticipation, I think, with 11 initiatives
on the ballot that people would be overwhelmed then get
frustrated and confused and just, you know,
kind of vote them all down which is a default
when you really don't understand these things well.
And instead, the people, the electorate approved almost half
of the initiatives on the ballot, which, again,
I don't think a lot of people saw coming.
And you saw some discernment between yes on 30 but no on 38,
these kind of rival tax measures.
People kind of made choices about one versus the other.
There was-- they cracked the code on Prop 40.
There's a lot of conversation
about whether people would really understand.
Prop 40 is the referendum on the redistricting lines
and this is one where if you vote yes, you're kind of voting
against the referendum, you're voting
for the original line preserving the status quo.
And that confused a lot of folks who had a conversation
about that, and at the end of the day,
75 percent of the people voted to retain the district lines
from the Citizen's Commission.
So, again, I think, you know, people made choices,
people showed discernment but at the same time,
you have to ask really how well-grounded their
choices were.
There's a lot of exit polling I saw, a lot of surveys I saw
that showed the people really didn't understand a lot
of the nuances between Prop 30 and Prop 38, for example.
They discerned to make choices,
but how well-informed were those choices?
And one of my analogies, I think,
of a lot is you've seen those billboard ads for Kaiser
and essentially it says Thrive in it.
They've got a nice picture of some kind of bucolic setting
or something that just says Thrive.
And who's going to base their choice
of a healthcare plan based upon a one word on a-- in a picture.
But I think a lot of voters, if you look at the mail
that comes in, it's basically, you know,
a phrase or two and a picture.
And, you know, and you look at polling, it shows a lot
of people's decisions are based upon a pretty,
superficial understanding of, you know,
what the issue is about.
So, again, people are engaged, they made choices but you have
to ask how deep that understanding
for those choices was.
I think we'll talk more--
Wes will talk more about the overall turnout, et cetera but,
you know, in general, the turnout number
of registered voters was, you know, pretty high.
About 77 percent of people are eligible
to vote, registered to vote.
Only about 63 percent or so, at least the last numbers I saw,
of the people who registered actually turned out to vote.
So you put those together and you get somewhere around half
of potential eligible voters actually turned out to vote.
So once again, you have
to ask how engaged the overall citizenry is
in an election like this.
So, anyway, that's kind of my first theme about, you know,
voter engagement, voter discernment et cetera.
Second one is, and I think, you know,
this comes no news to anybody.
The voters raised taxes and really raised three taxes.
Prop 30 raised the income tax on wealthy households.
It also raised the sales tax on everybody,
and then prop 39 raised corporate taxes
on out-of-state businesses.
And put them all together and we've got them
about another 7 billion dollars a year
in revenue coming in into the state.
The direction's right there.
We've had a pretty substantial structural budget shortfall
in recent years, as you all know.
And here are some decisions that the voters have made
that are going to bring additional revenue
into the state.
There were also number of local measures that--
tax measures that passed and bond measures that passed.
So, again, I think this is some good news for those of us
who worry about the overall state
of our budget, public financing.
But I wouldn't say happy days are here again and this is,
again, the kind of other side of the story.
You know, we talk a lot about a federal fiscal cliff right now.
These tax measures, particularly Prop 30,
only go for a limited number of years,
four years on the sales tax and seven years on income tax.
At the end of that time period, that money disappears.
So, you know, once again, we have a temporary measure to try
and overcome what maybe is much longer term revenue need.
In addition to that, much of this revenue coming
in into Prop 30, particularly the income tax,
is coming from a very narrow band of upper income taxpayers,
really the top one percent of taxpayers.
And this is a notoriously unstable source of revenue.
These households really are very susceptible to the stock market
and the real estate market, and they can make use tax loopholes.
So we're balancing yet more of our overall state budget
on this very volatile source of funding.
And what worries me about that is it makes it very hard
to project going forward how much money we can really expect
to get, which has really haven't gotten this problem
in the first place, you know, about 10 years ago
that there was this one-term time blip in funding
that the legislature committed for ongoing purposes
and it turned out to only be really a one-year source
of revenue.
So anyway, that's kind of the good side and the bad side
about some of these tax measures.
And then my third theme is, of course,
the Democrats have handed--
or the voters have handed the Democrats a two-thirds,
super majority in the state legislature, you know.
There's a couple races that are still a little dicey
but it looks like the Democrats have two-thirds, super majority
in both the Senate and the assembly.
And what that, of course, means is that the Democrats--
and the Democrats maintained, of course, the Governor's office.
So when it comes to the budget, the Democrats can kind
of do whatever they want.
They can pass a budget and pass tax increases
without any Republican votes.
A couple of years ago, the voters passed Prop 58
which gave the Democrats the ability to pass a budget
on a simple majority vote
but it could not increase taxes in simple majority.
They still need the Republicans to do a tax increase.
Now, you don't really need those Republicans at all.
And it calls in a question really, what is the relevance
of the Republican Party in the state legislature
if they really aren't needed in order to do--
pass almost any legislation?
The Republicans, in terms of voter registration,
had fallen beneath 30 percent of registered voters,
like 29 percent of registered voters are registered
as Republicans.
That compares to 21 percent which registered as independents
and if you add, you know, roughly four or four
and a half percent, the register with some other minor parties,
you're getting close to the Republicans as a voting block
about the same as the independents and third parties.
Another, Democrats don't have majority either , you know,
they're still around 44 percent of registered voters but, again,
I think you have to really wonder what the future is
of the Republican Party.
And I think this has larger implications besides just what's
happening on the budget.
There is really, I think a one-party state is unhealthy
for the state, a one-party government is unhealthy,
and you don't have robust competition,
you don't have a robust need for a compromise
and I think we've seen in variety of other states
and nationally what happens
when one party locks up all of the power.
So for me, those are kind of the three large themes that came
out of the election on a state level and with that, I guess,
we'll go to Wes or to--
>> Right, thanks.
So I'm going to talk about kind of more national trends
and maybe at the end talk a little bit
about what's happening again in California.
So, you know, Obama won reelection and about--
and in the two-party vote,
he got around 51.38 percent of the vote.
That's pretty much the same as George W. Bush got in 2004.
So we're looking at a pretty narrow victory on top
of a victory of around 53 percent in 2008,
but Obama is the first Democrat president since FDR
to win two elections with more
than 50 percent of the popular votes.
So in one way, you can look at it,
it's a very close election that is.
Another way, you can look at it,
this is a big victory for Democrats.
In fact FDR and Obama are the only two Democrat presidents
in the American history to get more than 50 percent in the vote
in more than, you know, in two elections or more.
So that's a very big victory for Obama and, of course,
the electoral vote was very strong, too, 332.
But one of the big winners of the election is Nate Silver,
who runs his blog, FiveThirtyEight
through the New York Times and he predicted and other websites,
too, that used kind of a complicated algorithms predicted
on the nose both the electoral vote and the vote
for the popular vote, too.
And one of the reasons that this happened in other sites weren't
as good is that Silver was very skeptical of a lot of polls
that warn including cellphones.
And so in fact, after the election, he ran his analysis
and he found out that telephone polls
that included cellphones had
around a 3.5 percent average error
and maybe a 1.9 percent bias towards Republicans.
In fact, most polls had a bias towards Republicans.
I'll get to that in a second.
But for telephone polls without cellphone users,
we had an average error 4.7 or 1.2 percents more and a bias
of three points to the Republican Party.
So a lot of people and a lot of websites,
and I'm sure you've heard a lot of pundants talked
about this big Republican victory come election day
and it didn't happen.
One of the reasons is they were looking at polls
that weren't sampling people who only have cellphones.
In fact, the population of people in America
who only have cellphones
and don't have landlines are younger, they live in cities,
they're more likely to be poor, and they're more likely
to be non-white than the average voter.
And all of those constituencies correlate very strongly
with the Democrat party.
So if you don't include cellphone users,
who in some senses are about a third now of the population,
cellphone-only people, you're not going
to get an accurate sample of the national population.
And so that's a big concern, and people like Nate Silver
and others kind of saw that and they tried to downplay polls
that didn't have, you know, cellphone users.
So I found that was pretty interesting.
For the House, the Republicans kept their majority.
They lost a few seats.
It looks like when we're still waiting for all these returns
to come in, it looks like they're going to get a net gain
of eight seats in the Democrat Party
but not clearly enough to retake the House.
And one of the reasons the Republicans did
so well despite doing poorly for President and for Senate,
but did so well for the House
and kept the House majority was redistricting.
And across the country, there were far more states
where the Republicans control the redistricting process
than states where the Democrats did.
So the Republicans were able to kind of create firewalls
or levees to protect themselves against the surge
of Democratic voters, the surge like we saw here in 2012.
Republican-controlled states drew about four times
as many districts
as Democratic-controlled states did, and so, of course,
that really helped them.
Again, the Democrats gained around eight seats nationally
against the Republicans for the House,
half of those seats came in California.
And the real comparison here is California,
I'll get to in a second, has a very different way
of redrawing sits but California was very beneficial
to the Democrats in the national level for the House
where they picked up half of their net seat gain.
In fact, the new California delegation
for the House is 38 Democrats and only 15 Republicans.
And so Steve had mentioned
that Democrats have a two-thirds majority in both legislatures
and both chambers of the California Legislature,
they have a two-thirds majority of the House delegation.
So it just kind of reiterates the point
that the Republicans are doing really bad and if you draw fair
and equal lines, they're not going to win in many parts
of California anymore.
This yet was very interesting because before the election,
for months, even years,
people would predict the Republicans were going
to pick up seats.
The Democrats had a lot more seats to defend
than the Republicans and a lot of those seats were won
in a very good year when the Democrats, 2006,
when they kind of surged victory.
So a lot of people thought the Democrats would do poorly
and even those who have supported the Democrats said,
"Well, maybe we'll lose one or two seats and that won't be
that bad, we'll still control the Senate."
And surprise, surprise, Democrats picked
up seats in the Senate.
They went from a 53-47 majority to a 55-45 majority.
And so that's still short than the 60 votes necessary
to end a filibuster but it gives them a little more clap.
And, in fact, the Democrats won three seats
from the Republicans, only losing one seat in the reverse.
And so the Democrats did better when they picked up these seats.
And in fact, one of the reasons why the Democrats did
so well is they held on to places like Montana
and North Dakota, places-- the Republicans do very well
and in fact won the Presidency
but Democrat incumbents still held out and kept those seats.
So we see the House, the Democrats picked
up a seat not enough to take back the majority,
in the Senate, the Democrats increased their majority.
So I want to shift, again, back from the United States
to California and talk about two reasons why there are these kind
of changes going on in California in our elections.
And one of them is Top Two.
Top Two is just the term we use for a new kind of primary system
in California, where in the primary,
the Top Two candidates advance the general election regardless
of party.
It can be two Democrats, it can be two Republicans,
it can be a Green and a Democrat, and that's kind
of shaking things up in California.
For example, we have 28 races across the state in legislative
and congressional districts where we had two candidates
of the same party pitted against each other.
So it wasn't a Republican and a Democrat, in most,
cases it was usually two Democrats although we had some
cases of two Republicans.
And what this meant was, in fact,
we actually had some House Democrats loose their race
in the general election to another Democrat.
So not that Democrats didn't lose
but this certain incumbent Democrats lost.
So Top Two is going to be a really big change in California,
it's going to allow, you know, a different way of voting
in the general election.
In some cases where one party is very strong like the Democrats
and occasionally the Republicans, they're going
to see two members of the same party face off
in the general election.
Now that draws money away from other races.
They're usually very nasty races
because it's inner fighting among the party but that's going
to be a big change in California.
The other big change to happen is redistricting.
And I talked about California was a place
where the Democrats did really well in the House
and the reason is California voters passed November 2008
Proposition 11, which changed the way California does
redistricting for legislative
and then later congressional races.
It creates an Independent Redistricting Commission.
It's no longer done by the state legislature
and so it allows citizens to draw a much more impartial
and a much more fair district lines.
Now, I don't want you to take this away
that the Democrats are going to do poorly because of that
or the Republicans are going to do well.
Obviously, we saw the Democrats did really well in this election
because there's a lot of part of the state
where one party really is a dominant party.
You're not going to see a difference in the Bay Area.
We're still going to see Democrats elected.
But what you are going to see with redistricting reform
and now the Top Two primary is a very different way
for candidates to appeal to the electorate,
no longer it benefits candidates to appeal to the extremes,
to appeal to the conservative or liberal basis,
because now in the general election,
you have to appeal to all voters.
And so in a very democratic area,
there are still Republicans and a smart Democrat is going
to position himself in the center,
gather some Democratic votes, gather this increasing amount
of independent votes, but also gather some Republicans who'd
rather vote for a moderate Democrat
than a liberal Democrat.
And you can reverse that for more conservative parts
of the state and conservative Republicans.
So what we have is kind
of a changing California structural system
because of these two initiatives that voters passed
in the last two or three years, they are kind
of fundamentally changing the way California works.
One last change that happened at the voter level,
California is recently in our primary
in 2012 changed [inaudible].
And so now, a member of the assembly
or the State Senate can serve in one chamber for 12 years rather
than shorter term implements before.
Well, we have 38 new members
out of the 80-member assembly in California.
So basically, half of the assembly is brand new,
and they're going to be able to serve
in that chamber for 12 years.
So we're going to have a lot of experience in building up,
and a lot of members who won't be thinking about jumping
into the State Senate because they don't gain anything
from that, and they'll spend no possibly 12 years
in the State Assembly building up expertise, remembering things
that we've forgotten, bringing back institutional memory
to California.
And they're going to be there for awhile
and there's a lot of them.
And on top of that with the two-thirds,
I see a really big change occurring here in California
in the next few years.
>> Thank you.
Stacy?
>> Okay. Hi.
I'm going to be talking a little bit
about campaign finance reform.
So I'll be talking a little bit about the rule of Super PACs
at the national level and then a little bit
about some initiatives at the state level, and then finally,
a little bit about how the Tea Party did
in the national elections as well and what that might mean.
So the first thing that I want to talk about is the rule
of Super PACS and as probably everybody knows,
Super PACs are these new political action committees
that were sort of generated
after the Supreme Court case Citizens United.
And essentially, there are different rules
for different types and groups depending on what types
of activities they're going to participate in.
But for the most part,
if you structure your organization correctly,
as long as you don't coordinate with a particular campaign,
you can spend an unlimited amount of money for a campaign.
And this is a change for this 2012 election.
So these are the Super PACs created
by Citizens United, essentially.
So-- and the numbers I'm going
to be giving you are probably pretty low.
There-- all the numbers haven't come in yet for the election.
And also, too, some of the money, not all the money has
to be disclosed in a particular way.
So there's probably a lot
of money that's not being disclosed yet.
So the numbers I'm going to be telling you are huge
but they're actually probably not even as big
as one would expect if we knew the actual numbers.
First of all, over one billion dollars was spent
in National Federal Level campaigns in 2012.
Out of that one billion dollars, about 300 million was spent
by liberal groups and about 700 million by conservative groups.
You can compare that to 2010 and in 2008,
which was the last presidential election,
combined with liberal conservative groups spent
about 300 million in each of those two elections.
So it's more than tripled in 2012
than in those last two elections.
In terms of the first-- the top two candidates,
Romney and Obama, spent in that race,
there was about 645 million dollars spent by Super PACs
in the presidential race.
What I find interesting about this money is about 68 percent
of that money was run on ads against the other guy, okay?
So most of the money was not spent supporting the person you
supported but it was instead running
as against your opponent, which I'll talk about--
sort of an interesting empirical question we might have
about that.
And then about 70 percent of the 645 million that was spent
by Super PACs was spent by conservative PACs
and this probably has a lot to do with the fact
that the Republicans had a primary process,
had a nomination fight this year and the Democrats didn't.
But conservative group spent more
than twice what the liberal group spent.
And then also in the top three Senate races,
there was about 130 million dollars spent
in three US Senate races by Super PACs alone.
This was spent a bit more evenly about 55 percent
by conservative groups and about 45 percent by liberal groups.
But once again, and this is a huge number, I think.
About 87 percent of the Super PAC money was spent
against the other guy, so not in support of your candidate
but in negative advertising against the other candidate.
So I think the empirical question-- I'm sorry?
>> Which state races?
>> Those would have been Ohio, Wisconsin, and Virginia.
So those were the top spending Senate races.
What's interesting about this,
I think this might raise an interesting question
about the nature of negative campaigning
in an era of Super PACs.
The question that I would ask and I don't have the numbers
on regular campaigning on whether it was spent
on negative or positive ads.
But this number of 87 percent of Super PAC money being spent
on advertisements against your opponent suggests
that may have made these races significantly more negative.
And this may have an impact on voter turnouts, so that's sort
of an empirical question that we don't have an answer
to right now, but I'm sure there's someone doing research
on it as we speak.
What's also interesting is that even though a majority
of the money was spent by conservative groups,
Democrats won all three of those Senate races,
and then they also won the Presidency obviously as well.
So Republican-- conservative groups spent more money
but weren't particularly successful.
Now, whether that was a failure of the money or the types of ads
that they ran, it is hard to say,
but there should be a question
as to whether this money was successful for them.
So in terms of the overall influence of Super PACs,
it's going to be hard to tell,
they may have a more negative influence on campaigning,
but certainly they've raised the bar and the amount of money
that needs to be spent.
In 2004 Presidential Year, about 1.4 billion was spent.
In 2008, it was 5.2 billion and it went up again
by almost three quarters of a billion dollars to 5.8.
So if you look at all of the national races in 2012,
almost six billion dollars was spent
by both candidates' parties and Super PACs
as well in these elections.
And that's just an enormous amount of money
to be spending on those races.
The other thing that I wanted to talk about as well were a coupe
of sort of interesting initiatives.
There were really only three campaign finance related
initiatives in various states.
One was California's Paycheck Protection
which was essentially,
ultimately what it really would have done was limited the
ability of unions to raise campaign funds and spend them.
And it was voted down by California voters,
only received 44 percent of the vote.
But in relation to Super PACs,
there are a couple of initiatives.
One was in Montana and then one was in Colorado,
and these were initiatives
that basically directed the US House delegations
within those states to introduce a constitutional amendment
to override Citizens United which created this situation
that allowed Super PACs to flourish.
And both of these passed with over 70 percent of the vote.
So there appears to be some sort of public backlash
against Citizens United.
People understand sort of what created this situation
of the Super PACs and the amount of money being spent.
The question is whether Americans will--
they did have short attention spans.
You know, the election is over,
the six billion dollars has been spent,
and we tend to sort of move on.
But there seems to be that someone wants to put this
on the agenda of attempting to overturn Citizens United or deal
with the Super PAC issue.
There might be some public support for that
if these initiatives are any example of those.
And then the final-- and then finally, the last thing I want
to talk about was how the Tea Party had done.
It's not really campaign finance but I find it interesting.
2010, the Tea Party candidates did relatively well
in House elections and Senate elections.
They did generally well in primaries
in the Republican Party this year but did relatively badly
in the general elections.
For the most parts, Senate candidates
that were generally just backed by the Tea Party lost
in the general election, and House candidates,
a lot incumbents, Republicans who were supported
by the Tea Party were voted out of office
in this election as well.
And the reason I sort of bring this up is because there were,
you know, we ended up in the national election sort
of spending six billion dollars
and then voting in the status quo.
We still have a House controlled by the Republicans,
we still have Senate and a Presidency controlled
by the Democrats, and now we have the decisions to make,
and I think both parties were really hoping
that they would get a mandate or some sort of message
from the public and I don't think
that message is particularly clear.
And the Republicans have to decide whether they're going
to stay split with a very conservative wing of the
of the party, the Tea Party,
versus the relatively more moderate wing of the party
that might be more willing to negotiate with the Democrats,
the Democratic majority and the Senate and the President.
The Tea Party is very against that,
so now I think the Republicans need to sort
of read these election outcomes with how the Tea Party did
and decide whether it's in their best interest or not
to fight the more conservative wing of their party or stick
with the more conservative of their wing.
And I think we'll probably see before the end of the year,
because we do have this fiscal cliff coming up,
we've got to make some decisions about the budget.
So we'll have to see how that goes.
>> Okay. I feel a little bit as the odd man out on this panel
as I am shifting you over to foreign policy which,
as we saw from this election, really was probably one
of the most meaningless issues for the election.
There was a Fox News exit poll
where they're asking what was the most important--
what was the important issue for each voter,
and only five percent of the electorate said
that foreign policy was the most important issue for them
and that-- that was down from previous years when we were kind
of in the middle of our wear and tear.
But what was most interesting about that five percent is
that Obama won that five percent, 56 to 33.
And it is sort of we've been kind of talking about shifts
in the electorate for each of the panelist,
and that's actually a very interesting shift that's
occurred in the realm of foreign policy is
that the Democrats have been, and President Obama
in general has been polling better
on foreign policy than the Republicans.
And I think a lot of that is the sort of vestiges
of the Bush Administration, the eight years
of the Bush Administration in which we have an electorate
that is, I think, very, very hesitant
about any foreign policy initiatives
that could once again put American troops on the ground
and what would be a Civil War type situation, I think.
You saw that, you know, I never watched the CNN debates just
because the little line that they do annoys me,
but I went back in during the Biden debate
with our Representative Ryan.
Whenever Ryan seemed to be talking
about more interventionist-type policies, for example in Syria,
and Biden kind of laughed him down, I guess,
which was his general approach in that debate,
you saw the public-- whoever that public was, I don't know
if it's connected to all our brains or something,
but as the-- whenever Biden was sort of shooting
down the more hawkish Ryan responses,
you saw whatever way it goes to say they approve
to what Biden was saying and very much disapproving
of what Ryan had said.
And I think you saw that being taken
to heart during the foreign policy debate
in which they seemed to only talk
about the Middle East and then education.
And where Romney's sort of strategy
in the whole debate seemed to be, "Yeah, what he said,"
and then he really messed up in Benghazi.
And so that sort of seemed to be the whole narrative
of the Republican Party
on foreign policy during the election and it was--
it was a shift from how we have typically seen the Republican
Party during elections in which they typically have more trust
in foreign policy issues over the Democrats in the past
and that doesn't seem to be the case anymore.
And so I think the next four years in which, you know,
the final four years
of the Obama Administration will be interesting
to see how the Republican Party adjusts to that.
It doesn't seem like they can tryout
for the neoconservative wing anymore, but many of those
who kind of represented the more traditional realist wing
of Republican foreign policy decision makers are long retired
or have just shifted over to the Democratic Party
because they get jobs over there.
And so it's a real question of how they lure kind
of this other group back.
Now, part of what I wanted to kind of talk about a little bit
since the election wasn't really that interesting with regards
to foreign policy issues, but sort of think a little bit
about Obama's second term.
One of the reasons why I think President Obama is very
successful in not making foreign policy an issue and really,
you know, kind of keeping that area out of the--
out of the debate was-- last year when Alex Smith,
the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers,
was seemingly doing improbable things, one of the ways
that they would talk about in was
that he was a good game manager which is, I guess,
in football kind of a down-- a put down.
And I kind of though see, you know, the foreign policy team
for Obama has been very much like that,
kind of good game managers.
They're not great but they don't get themselves in trouble.
When crisis emerged,
they typically managed it fairly well.
They don't dig themselves any deeper.
The successes that they do have, they, you know,
they highlight those and kind of play down areas
that they haven't been--
that they haven't been performing as well on.
So when we think about the second term,
my guess is that we're going to be seeing more of that,
just kind of a very deliberate managerial style
to foreign policy decision making.
We've already seen in the first week.
Now, I was away this weekend, took a little vacation Menisino,
so I haven't really been paying much attention to the news
so I'm assuming that no major news story has broken
in the last few days.
[Laughter] So if something has happened, it's not on my notes.
The-- for those of you on your phones, you can look
that up quickly, I guess.
The-- but what we have already seen
in the first week is more multilateral,
like more movements towards multilateral engagement
which is something that the Obama Administration was
interested in its first term but I think it was trying
to avoid a lot of criticism
from especially the neoconservative approach
which looks down on multilateral agreement.
But in the first week ,
e've already seen the Obama Administration indicated
that it's willing to reopen talks with the Arms Trade Treaty
at the United Nations, so that's a major step forward.
And we've also seen the Obama Administration lobbied very hard
to get re-elected again
to the United Nations Human Rights Council and won.
So their region was the only region that had contested seats
and United States was selected over, I think,
Sweden and Greece, which is actually kind of a big deal
because the United States did not participate
in the United Nations Human Rights Councils for a number
of years saying that a number of countries
with bad human rights records were being voted on,
they often would pass resolutions against Israel
and so the United States would not participate.
And the Obama Administration's response to that, since they--
when they first came into office, lobbied hard
to get elected onto the Human Rights Council,
was that it's better that the United States is
on this multilateral council so that they can pressure it
to actually pass resolutions that are meaningful
and that can advance the United States' Human Rights Agenda.
And they have, they we're able to pass an LGBT resolution
in the last administration
and that the member states voted the United States back on,
shows that they respected the leadership role
that the Obama Administration took
on that council during its first term.
And so that was something that was fairly important
if we're thinking about the United States and its role
within multilateral institutions.
Now, things that we're going to also be able
to expect during the next four years and, you know,
I don't like to make predictions
because we see how often I'm wrong.
The-- but also, you know, sort of the best way
to predict future behavior is to look at past behavior.
So we should expect to see more of the same.
This would be a much more interesting talk
if Romney had won, by the way.
[Laughter] All right, the--
but we're going to see the United States remove itself
from Afghanistan.
Well, so going to see, Syria is going to be one
of the biggest challenges in terms of how do you contain
that civil war and bring resolution to the civil war
without a bleeding into Turkey, without a bleeding into Israel,
the-- and also sort of the problem with arming, say,
a united opposition group which has been sort
of a major foreign policy initiative in the last week
without those arms kind of going [inaudible] style
to extremist groups that then get turned around and used
against US allies, particularly Israel and other people
in the region who we want to support.
This will have to be accompanied with a reset,
with our relationship with Russia
and also working closely with Turkey.
Obviously, Iran's going to continue to be an issue
and also, Iran-Israeli relations.
I mean, a lot of the issues that we've seen around Israel
and also around Iran has-- or around Iran has been related
to also Israel's sense of insecurity vis-a-vis Iran
and vice versa with Iran.
And so I don't think you can really link those--
you can't really talk about those
without linking those two states' sense
of insecurity together.
The, you know, one interesting thing to look out for
in the next few months is the election in Israel.
Netanyahu kind of threw his eggs in the Romney basket and a lot
of the opposition groups in Israel are kind of annoyed
that now they are-- that-- with President Obama continuing
to be president, so essentially the Prime Minister vote,
you know, openly was opposed to him,
and Israel sees United States obviously
as his most important ally and friend
and they don't necessarily want to be linked
with a Prime Minister perhaps who had done that.
And so there is a-- you know,
if Netanyahu is no longer the Prime Minister,
that might also change course
for Israel-Palestine peace processes
and other types of things.
So that's something to look out for.
Arab Spring issues sort of the transition
from these new Arab Spring governments from autocratic rule
over to democratic rule, the most insecure time
for a state is during that transition.
So you have a number of states that's going through this period
and that will be interesting.
Also, the Russian Reset, the China Pivot,
and what was never talked about during the campaign,
the EU debt crisis which is going to be huge,
and issues related to the larger global economy.
If we want our economy to be strong, it's only going
to be strong if the rest
of the global economy is actually functioning
as well 'cause we like to sell things
to other people and buy their things.
So I think that's all I have to say for nowm so its--
>> Okay. All right, there's a lot to digest there.
We have time to open it up for questions and answers.
I understand that some of you are journalism students
so I'm hoping that you have some excellent questions
for us today.
So who has a question?
>> Yes.
[ Inaudible Remark ]
>> I think just the fact that you mentioned Prop 13,
some people will come to your house later tonight.
[Laughter] I don't think Prop 13--
I don't think there's any real movement that's going to reduce
or reform or change Prop 13.
But the one thing that might come
about is the Democrats are very reluctant to say, "Hey,
we have a slim two-thirds majority, let's try taxing
and doing the things we like to do as Democrats."
But there is some talk about kind of reforming the tax code,
and, you know, I mean, we passed Prop 13, as he says,
we're very-- we'll have a very volatile income tax.
And taxing really rich people produces income
but it also is very volatile.
So we do need a broader tax.
There's talk about maybe lowering the parcel tax
for school districts from two-thirds down to 60
or 55 percent and that would make it easier
for local government to kind of augment their property tax.
But like-- I don't see any chance of a split role happening
in the near future or a big change for Prop 13.
Obviously, you're not going to see a change
in the two-thirds requirement 'cause it doesn't really matter
in some sense.
So I think there might be more money
and maybe the state would be willing to give some of that
to the local government to help them and help schools,
but I don't see kind of structural changes
of Prop 13 in the near future.
>> And I guess something about that is, I think you're right,
there have been some surprising changes in, you know,
redistricting is out of the hands of the legislature,
and it's down with Citizens Commission which is imperfect
but that's pretty big change.
Majority vote for the legislature
to pass the budget, pretty big change.
The [inaudible] change that Wes was talking about.
I mean, the Top Two primary, these are big changes.
I wouldn't say this really fixes everything.
But it-- I think it does illustrate that a lot
of things look like they were set
for saying maybe could change that, I think,
leads to your question about Prop 13.
Prop 13 for whatever reason, I don't really understand why,
it's almost a religious tenet.
You know, it's really-- I agree with Wes
that it's highly unlikely that it would ever, you know,
be challenged-- successfully challenged ahead on.
That said, I think we-- and then we can also--
I think it's a good illustration of a structural impediment
to the state being able to develop budgets and come
up with revenue and fund programs in a way
that makes a lot of sense.
But Prop 13 is not the only piece.
Prop 98 on schools is highly [inaudible] and the results
in this tremendous contortions to the state goes through.
The volatility that we talked about,
I think that it's not Prop 13, that has to do
with just the overall tax structure on income tax
and shrinking the amount of funding that comes
from sales tax, for example.
So I would have offer a number of other candidates
as an addition to Prop 13 but, yes, I agree with Wes
that particular one is just unlikely be
challenged successfully.
>> Yes.
>> California led, speaking of Proposition 13,
California was the lead--
[ Inaudible Remark ]
Can you guys speak to the issue about that change
in demographic shifts in the United States?
[Inaudible Remark]
>> Well, that's a great question.
We've seen, you know, increasing talk about that
and I think there's a good reason for that and California,
for example, more than half of the young voters
in the state are Hispanic.
18 to 39 are Hispanic, 35 percent are Asian.
We have a huge number of, you know, a growing minority number
and there has been this talk for a long time
of the white electorate and the non-white population.
And I think we're finally just trying to see--
there's still going to be a huge difference for a while
but the kind of non-white population leading
into the electorate and affecting results.
I mean, there are big stories nationally
about the white vote very strongly going out for Romney
and it didn't let him win.
And, you know, the Democrat share
of the white vote has shrunk but with their coalition
of non-white-- the growing non-white population,
they're still able to win the Presidency.
And so, I mean, obviously, the Republican Party nationally has
to think about what's happened
to the Republican Party in California.
I mean, I want to add one additional fact
that just blows me away.
Since 1988, California has added 10 million people
but there are now fewer registered Republicans
than there were 24 years ago, fewer number.
So the National Republican Party needs to look
to the California Republican Party and say, "Oh,
we don't want that to happen to us.
We don't want to be a tiny fraction of the state
that has no influence," 'cause remember, nationally,
there aren't these two-thirds rules built
in like there are for California.
And so a change in the national electorate could very quickly
make the Republicans a minority and the House and Senate
and the Presidency and then not have any influence.
So it's something to think about and, I mean, just another thing
to think about, three out four kids in Los Angeles County
in school are Hispanic.
So-- and those are mainly citizens.
So it's going to take 15, 20 years and then they start voting
and we know low SES levels mean they won't vote as much
as wealthy or middle class people but pretty soon,
the electorate of California is not going to be 23, 25,
28 percent Latino, it's going to be 30 and 40 percent
and they're going to have a big influence on today politics
as they already do kind of--
some kind of inside politics in California.
>> Stacy?
>> Yeah, I guess the only thing that I would say is
that I think the Republicans were hoping.
There's clearly been a tipping point of the percentage
of minority voters and sort of the distribution of voting
within the white community
versus the minority, people of color.
And I think they were really hoping
that that tipping point was a couple of election cycles off
and I think that this election illustrated to them
that it came sooner than they expected it to.
I do think we're going to see the Republican Party have
to have some sort of discussion about where they want to go next
because if they continue, particularly,
is it deals with the Hispanic community and the direction
that they are going and I would argue that a lot
of the Republicans' problems
with their Hispanic community are their own doing from,
you know, initiatives in the mid to early 1990s, for instance.
They've got to make a decision.
And I think it will have a huge impact
on public policy particularly if Republicans start to look
at what it is-- what is important
to the Latino community in particular in trying
to pick them up as a natural base of support
within the general population.
>> Yes?
[ Inaudible Remark ]
>> I'd offer just a couple of thoughts in--
I don't think [inaudible] is especially profound.
I mean, one is, it's kind of implicit in your question
that younger voters look to a range of sources of information
that you're not what, you know, my generation will look to,
you know, the idea of a hard copy newspaper and looking
for endorsements et cetera is just, you know,
if you look at the numbers, you're just starting to have--
newspapers are coming extinct.
And so I think candidates need to move
to these different platforms.
And I think, you know, the successful ones are,
whether it's, you know, Twitter, Facebook, and other kinds
of image in MTV which feels like it's becoming kind
of long in the truth itself.
But, you know, I'd make one other point
which I think is really important.
And that is-- I-- there is one thing to look at the medium,
right, of, you know,
which particular platforms should candidates be going to.
But there's-- my concern lies and I kind of suggested this
at the beginning, is what kind
of information are people receiving,
not through what source, but what is the kind of information?
And if it's just, you know, 140 characters saying that,
you know, candidate X, you know, is the bomb,
I'm not sure that's going to really be that enlightening.
And it doesn't mean you have to go to the voter pamp--
I used to work for legislative analyst office and, you know,
there is this thing called the voter's pamphlet
which is sent everybody's, every house of voting household.
And in this voters pamphlet,
there was a nonpartisan analysis what each initiative would do.
And, you know, it's very dry and it's-- but extremely reliable,
I think, you know, I'm speaking
to somebody to help work on this.
I think it's a pretty authoritative source.
But not a lot of many people read this.
And what I'm thinking is, you know,
how can we engage people not just to--
not just how can we respond to what voters want
and just give them information
to the platform they're looking for, it's how do we get people
to actually engage and ask that kind of depth questions
about what is at stake, and what things mean?
And that's kind of a change in the whole approach
to citizenship, irrespective of the platform.
I think we're talking about a cultural element.
>> I think it's great.
I mean, I love Twitter, and Facebook is not so bad either.
But it creates a whole new way to get information.
I mean, you know, within one minute on my Twitter feed,
I'll get 10 to 15 links to state department reports,
news accounts, people saying filthy things
about the state department report.
You know, my link is-- my Twitter feed is a little nerdy.
But, yeah, but I think when we look at the results
in the last two elections, young people came out in droves,
and I think their connection to information coming at them from,
you know, friends that they trust and, you know,
communities that they trust and they join groups
and they learn more about that,
only improves young people's engagement.
So what I hope is that the political parties see that
and figure out-- well, actually, I don't even hope
that the political parties do that.
I just hope the young people will continue
to stay engaged politically because I think in many ways
in this election, what you saw were, you know,
young people looking at what the different candidates were
presenting and saying, "This candidate seems
to be supporting issues that are important to me.
This candidate doesn't seem to be supporting issues
that are important to me."
And they voted in the way that, you know,
that reflected that, you know?
So I think it's great.
Keep tweeting or tweeting or whatever you do, yeah.
[Laughter]
>> I guess I have one concern about that,
and that is that people, because there are so many sources
of information, that people tend
to gravitate toward those sources
that already agree with how they feel.
And if this means that people are--
if there is no longer any unbiased source of information
and people are continually just going
to read The Huffington Post because they
like what The Huffington Post says
and they're not really getting a good distribution.
Then people aren't making decisions based on a comparison
of candidates but simply digging their own hole deeper and deeper
to the point where we're not connected with anyone
who doesn't agree with exactly how we feel
about political issues.
So I think that's probably my one concern about that is
that people aren't getting a good cross-section
of information.
>> Yes?
>> Haven't you analyzed the voter identification laws
for a candidate and how that relates
to our current demographic profile
and what the next election might be like, who people rely
on that, on voter identification laws to [inaudible]
in the election or will just give it up
and change the party philosophy?
Talk about that, about, you know,
parties-- [Inaudible Remark]
>> Well, Republicans were really a big fan of voter ID
and it seemed like as time went on, it became more
and more clear, there was just such little evidence
of corruption of actually people voting who weren't supposed
to be, that it became more and more clear
that people thought the Republicans were using this
as a way to decrease turnout or kind of make it more difficult
to turn out and I think that's--
I think they're going to be abandon that.
I think that's not a good strategy as they saw.
Clearly, here's a good strategy, is online registration
and California just implemented that
and it had massive support and it was great.
People didn't have to figure out where the card was and turn it
in and go to their library or whatever.
They could go online and register and then they just have
to turn up and vote or do it by mail voting
but we saw a massive increase of online registration and a lot
of that was told to the Democratic Party
and the Democratic Party benefited from that.
And so, I think other states are going to adopt that
and it's a great idea.
There's nothing wrong with that, you don't have
to be a Republican or a Democrat to say that.
But voter ID, I think, is a lose issue for Republicans
and it sure didn't work for them.
And what happens is the longer they talk about and the less
and less evidence there is that it actually is a big problem,
the more Democrats are going to take it as like,
"This is an attack on us."
Before, the Democrats weren't ready, they're like, "Well,
maybe this is a good idea."
And they're like, "Oh, well, it turns out, you know,
that really isn't much of a situation."
But you might get some kind of compromise where, you know,
you might have some kind of picture ID, right?
And really easy ways for people
who don't have picture ID just don't register and vote.
And that wouldn't be a horrible thing.
I mean, we have to show a picture ID
in all sorts of places.
Most people just think if they show up to vote,
they probably should have their picture ID with them anyway.
I mean, they drove there probably
and that might be pretty minor ways of making everyone happy
and then the Republicans have been in the more kind
of harsh measures that didn't go anywhere.
>> Regarding the demographics of those who did not vote
and the demographics of those who are eligible
but do not register to vote, is there a trend?
>> That's a great question 'cause those are
different groups.
You know, there's a lot of people in this country
who aren't citizens and it's not just all Latinos from Mexico,
it's people from all sorts of places across the world
who come here who aren't citizens.
Sometimes, they're illegal residents,
no permanent residents.
My grandmother was Canadian and never decided
to become an American citizen for really weird reasons
and so she never could vote, right?
And as the-- as there's this growing population of people
who aren't citizens, we've done a very bad job of removing them
from the kind of coordination
of how many people are there to vote.
So it looks like there's less and less people voting
as to percent of our population
but we're not doing a good job weeding them
out from our numbers and once you do that,
you see that turnout is not dropping.
That turnout, in fact, is increasing.
But there is going to be a difference between those
who could register and don't register and those who register
and don't vote and that fits very classically
with social economic status.
You know, the poor are less likely to vote.
Obviously, the poor are more likely the non-white in America,
younger, urban, all of those things and so, I mean,
the Democrats should do more to get them
to register and then vote.
But I see a lot of like registration efforts
and oftentimes, it doesn't lead
to more votes, and this time it did.
This time, that was so--
and there's all this talk about Obama's fancy "Get
Out To Vote" effort and I think if the Democrats can take
that apparatus and use it next time, they'll be in good shape.
The Republicans have this fancy thing called Orca
and it failed miserably.
It just, I mean, and they couldn't even get the data
into their headquarters on election night.
So, you know, both parties should be spending more research
on figuring out who doesn't vote and how to get them to vote.
And the Democrats were definitely ahead of the curve
on the Republicans on that one.
>> And I guess I'll just add one thing on that that, you know,
there's a lot of things you could do to try
and increase voter turnout, voter registration,
voter turnout, and most of those things are to make it easier.
So you have same day registration,
you have online registration, you have mail and ballots
so there's lots of ways to make the job easier.
But my concern is-- and again, this is a theme I think
that I keep bringing up, is it's one thing to enable somebody
to cast a vote or encourage somebody to cast a vote,
it's another thing to encourage somebody to become involved
and cast an informed vote.
And I really see a tension between those two.
The easier you make it to register on the same day
for example that, you know, I've been ignoring everything
but on the day of the election, I get this phone call,
and somebody says, "Look, I'm going to help you register
and you can go cast a vote," I said, "Okay."
I think that that increases the turnout without increasing
and perhaps while reducing kind of the level of civic engagement
and understanding of issues.
So I see those are parallel issues
that both need to be addressed.
>> Yeah.
[ Inaudible Remark ]
>> I probably didn't make my point clearly enough
and I appreciate the opportunity to kind of clarify a little bit.
I'm speaking to somebody who actually has Kaiser as my help
but I'd made that decision.
So I didn't mean at all to suggest
that that people foolishly would decide to go to Kaiser
because they're not as good as other options.
All I was trying to say is
when you make a decision based upon kind of an empty message,
Thrive, you know, that's the advertising campaign.
And to think, you know, that that should, you know,
sway somebody's decision is the analogy of trying to draw
to somebody getting, you know,
a one-sentence line about a candidate.
So, again, pick whatever other advertising campaign you like.
I was just trying to set up the analogy
of low information voters.
>> And I certainly agree with you on that.
>> Okay.
>> At what age does an individual can decide
to become a Republican or Democrat, or independent
and what influences that decision?
[ Inaudible Remark & Laughter ]
>> Overwhelmingly, your parents, overwhelmingly.
We like to think that we're our own unique individuals, but--
and we are, just so we're clear, we are.
[Laughter] But our, you know, we look at voter ID and we look
at party ID, I mean, and it's overwhelmingly influenced
by our parents and then following it by SES.
And of course, a lot of our SES comes
from our parents, socioeconomic status.
So it's, you know, our parents drive our voting overwhelmingly.
And, you know, the second biggest thing is education
and obviously, the easiest way that this--
that kind of dislink people
from their parent's voter ID is education.
And so, people who have degrees are the most likely
to have opposite party ID from their parents.
But it is, you know, it comes from the very beginning.
>> And there is some research that says it's genetic, too.
[Laughter] I mean, like seriously,
we're moving that way.
Yeah?
>> Could you guys comment on the future
of the two-party system involved in California, the rising power
of the independents and the third-party systems
and the divide of the Republican Party?
That's completely poor in my opinion but could you comment
on California and then nationally,
what their future is?
>> I think our only two choices are one party or two parties.
I mean, the system is set
up to bias us towards a two party system.
If you are third-party candidate or you are someone who registers
as a third-- to support third-party, the system is set
up and it's biased against you
because of single member districts.
In order to win any representation and, you know,
the California legislature or the Federal legislature,
Federal congress, you have to win a plurality or close
to a majority of a single district
and that's mostly likely going to happen if you're a member
of one of the two major parties.
I mean, the Greens could be 20 percent of every district
in the entire country.
And it could get 20 percent of the vote in every district
in the entire country.
And how much representation are they going to get?
None, right?
So we're stuck in a two-party system.
Now, California is going to be more and more one party which,
you know, that can happened depending on public opinion.
But, you know, we would really have to make substantial changes
to the electoral system if we were planning
on creating a system where we could have the representation
of more political parties.
>> And I guess I'd say I agree with you.
I think that structurally, we have--
we will have and continue to have a two-party system.
What I do think is possible and probably not likely
in the immediate term but what is certainly possible is the
Republican Party as a party could fade away.
And what you would end up with under, you know,
the way our voting rules are set up,
logically is the Democratic Party would kind of break
into separate parties.
So, you know, we just have the Whig's, or the know nothings.
There have been other major parties before
that eventually kind of die off and there's a split
in one of the other parties.
So it's-- eventually, our preferences will be expressed
as two, I think, it's inevitable.
>> Anybody have a foreign policy question?
Go ahead.
>> I would think.
If you look at other countries
that have one dominant political party, it has tons of actions.
And so, you know, for Democrats in California, not nationally
but California, continue
to be this dominant party with Top Two.
And in exchange, they're going to have these kind of actions
within the Democrat Party that will matter far more
than the trivially small Republican Party
where they're kind of perky and growing
but still tiny Green Party in the Bay Area.
>> And actually, if you to talk to people
in California legislature, a lot of them talk about the Democrats
and then the moderate caucus within the Democratic Party,
that those are really the two groups within the legislature
that are most important, not the Republicans
and so you see that-- exactly that happening, I think.
>> In the back?
>> Yeah. My question is on foreign policy.
I just want us to know what does the five percent
of voter is placing importance on foreign policy say
about the Americans' perspective and how would speak to them?
>> The five percent you say is the most important?
>> Yeah, but--
>> I don't-- that's an exit poll, that doesn't--
didn't ask question as that detailed.
I mean, they were certainly putting-- of that five percent,
they were strongly in favor of Obama over Romney.
But when we look at public opinion polling in general
of the US population on foreign policy issues,
there's a much stronger sort of anti-interventionist.
>> So do you think Americans are well-informed
about things going on?
>> Well, I mean, the thing with the Americans is
that they don't-- if you ask them sort
of jeopardy type trivia questions about the world,
they're very ill-informed.
But if you ask them sort of a general basic question
about US interests and what US interests should be,
there actually-- there was kind of a famous article
on that called "The Pretty Prudent Public."
The US citizens typically have a very generally well-defined
understanding of the processes of international behavior
and are able to support or not support policies that fit
within that belief structure that they have.
And so it's kind of this interesting finding
when we think about foreign policy, is that Americans,
they might not know much about the world
but they certainly have a fairly coherent understanding
of what the US's place should within that world.
And so if you ask us--
if you ask someone about their foreign policy preferences,
they might be more internationalist but more,
you know, with kind
of a preference towards multilateral institutions.
And then when you ask them, "Do you agree with this policy
or do you agree with that policy?"
their agreement or disagreement aligns
with that believe structure
that they have even though they couldn't name
who the five permanent members
of the security counsel are, right?
And so it's kind of a--
it's when we then look
at how foreign policy decisions are made and how the executive
and congress kind of craft their foreign policy,
that's why you can see
within public opinion polling fairly coherent support
or nonsupport of different issues.
So it's kind of interesting, did that answer your question?
>> Yeah.
>> Okay.
>> In the back.
>> We talked about how the Democrats have been getting more
control in the state over the [inaudible] but it seems
like Colorado for example and maybe like Maine had taken more
of a progressive liberal stands
as California falling behind the curve.
And they had much lower support of Obama
than most of the other states.
[Inaudible] states like Virginia getting close
to 60 percent support whereas we're much closer to 50.
>> We were 60.
>> California voted 60 percent for Barack Obama for president.
>> Okay, I must read an early number.
>> Yeah.
>> I thought you're going to talk about marijuana?
[Laughter]
>> Beating around the bush, yeah, I mean there is--
we have this stamp as like
that we were a liberal state but is that fading?
>> You know, Colorado is more white than California
and among-- and it does have this kind
of progressive crunchy granola image
that California used to have.
I think California is,
as it becomes a more heterogenous population,
it's going to lose that kind of,
I would say environmental kind of, you know, middle class,
upper middle class, white-green focus and be more
of a labor infused Democratic Party type like in New York
or kind of like-- not a machine but kind
of like a more traditional Democratic Party.
And that-- it had to change but it wouldn't surprise me
in the few years if California votes on marijuana
and it, you know, it passes.
You know, it failed last time,
it was a horribly written initiative and, you know,
they could probably copy the Colorado
or Washington initiative word for word
which are much better written and it probably would pass
in a year or next election cycle.
>> That was also in the midterm election, too.
>> That's correct.
>> Yeah.
>> Yeah.
>> Okay. One more, yes?
[ Inaudible Remarks ]
>> No, it's just-- I think it's, you know,
Netanyahu has no real interest
in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian issue
and he's made that perfectly clear.
It would extend, you know-- so--
but the US coordinated with Israel,
I don't think that's really even on the table as, you know.
Obama is probably annoyed that Netanyahu came out and sort
of so obviously in favor of Romney, but I think it's going
to jeopardize any part of that relationship.
It's just it's going to put on hold the Palestinian issue
and then the Iran-Israel issue that's been sort of, you know,
at a slow simmer in the last four years would just continue
to be at that level.
I think, a change in party in Israel
which happens quite regularly would probably allow
for maybe some more accommodation in Palestine
and perhaps give the Obama Administration a little bit more
leeway in terms of its Iranian negotiations
and what happens there.
But I mean, it's going to continue
to be a tense situation and, you know, the other side
of it is kind of Syria and just everything that's happening
there, that's turning more and more into a mess
and no one wants to put troops in there.
And it's not even clear that if one did put troops in there
that it would-- that that would end well.
So, yeah, I'm glad I don't run the Middle East desk
in the State Department.
[Laughter]
>> All right, thank you so much to our panel and thank you
for showing up and see you Thursday.
[ Applause ]
So, Thursday at 10 in the lobby suite,
Mark DiCamillo talking about the polls.
See you there hopefully.
[ Inaudible Discussion ]