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> Commentary
April 6, 2006

The Election Nears

This time next week we will know who won the election, or at least who is likely to participate in a subsequent run-off election.

This week, those of us who sit on the sidelines . . . and those of us who schlepp around to the various campaign rallies and candidate forums can only prognosticate and make an educated guess as to who the voters will give their nod to.

As we suggested in last week’s commentary, there are only a few candidates who have a chance at winning.
In the Democratic camp, it is likely to be Francine Busby.

From the Republican camp we see Brian Bilbray, Bill Morrow, Howard Kaloogian, Eric Roach, Alan Uke and Richard Earnest.

That’s a total of six candidates who have a shot at their party’s nomination.

Alan Uke has picked up the endorsement of the North County Times. We can see why they would endorse him. He’s a brilliantly successful businessman, persistent, well organized. He has worked for years with governmental entities to accomplish a goal, the most visible of which is bringing the aircraft carrier, Midway, to San Diego.

The reason for all this: In a Special Primary for the U.S. House of Representatives in California's 50th Congressional District, as of 3/28/06, Democrat Francine Busby tops a crowded field of Republicans, but falls just short of the majority needed to avoid a runoff June 6th. With less than a week to the 4/11 Primary, Busby is at 45%, trailed by Republican Eric Roach at 14%, Republican Howard Kaloogian at 12%, and Republican Brian Bilbray at 10%. Busby is supported by 85% of Democrats, half of Independents, and 10% of Republicans. Kaloogian and Roach are each supported by 23% of Republicans. The district is heavily Republican and whichever Republican survives the Primary would be favored in a runoff, but the Democrats have a chance to capture the seat if Busby can top 50% in the Primary. Busby gets 53% among female voters. The larger the turnout among women, the better Busby's chances to avoid a runoff.

As of March 28th, the USA/KGTV Survey showed:

45% Busby (D)
14% Roach (R)
12% Kaloogian (R)
10% Bilbray (R)
5% Morrow (R)
5% Uke (R)
6% Other
3% Undecided

Respected North County Political Consultant, Jack Orr, says:

Despite a ton of money being spent by the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee, Busby will not get 50% plus one. As a result, the General Election in June will be one of the most expensive in history.

If Busby does not win in June, and I predict she will not, the DNC and DCCC will pack up and leave her hanging like a cheap suit. Come November, Busby will be talking about a "virtual" border fence to a virtual audience in a virtual vacuum.

REALITY CHECK: Surveys rarely influence the way a voter casts his or her vote. Only a tiny number of voters are still "undecided." At this point, most of the undecided voters (3%) will probably stay home or consult a whacked out astrologer.

At least 33% of those who are going to vote have already voted by mail. Some voters will change their minds in the last few days, but mostly because of the inevitable "hit pieces" which are already landing fast and furious. Survey results will have an infinitesimal effect on voter behavior.

Prediction? The GOP Race will be a photo finish. I see it Roach and Kaloogian, 1-2. They both will come in with about 12-13% of the vote.

We agree. Roach has spent a lot of money and appears to have taken the lead. Kaloogian and Bilbray appear to be the closest, with Morrow dropping off. Uke, we feel, is a highly qualified longshot.