Tuesday’s election reminded us once again about the importance of becoming involved, and that elections are about the candidates.
We can shout about what we want, and when we want it, but each individual candidate should be considered for each race. Voting blindly along party lines is foolish regardless of what party you’re with or what outcome you’re seeking.
If you’re not looking at what the candidate is saying, and what he or she has actually done, then you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.
Since the election of President Trump, for example, there’s been talk of a blue wave across the country – California has been held up as the ground zero for an effort by the minority party to take back the House. But we certainly didn’t see that manifest in voter turnout Tuesday, locally or statewide.
In fact, some of Tuesday’s top stories included Democratic state Sen. Josh Newman being recalled over his support of the Gas Tax, and Congressman Steve Knight garnering more votes than all four challengers from the Democratic Party.
You can’t chalk that margin up to candidates’ “vote-splitting.” When you look at the registration numbers – there are 382,168 registered voters, and the Democratic Party leads registration, 143,548-129,380 in the 25th District – there has to be something else.
Facebook posts and fake news might be untrue, but the numbers don’t lie.
In 2016, in Los Angeles County, there were 4,909,904 registered voters, and in the June 2016 Primary, that participation number was 41.2 percent.
In 2018, there are 5,149,461 registered voters in Los Angeles County, and less than 20 percent of voters turned out to vote Tuesday, about 952,000 based on the early numbers, which will probably climb a little in the coming days.
So where was the turnout?
And why have we failed to see the controversy from Pennsylvania Avenue manifest into voter turnout as the pundits predicted?
Well, it’s not the first time they missed the mark, and it won’t be the last.
People can debate forever what the numbers mean, it’s one of the fun aspects of politics, if and when things can remain civil.
But know that the undefinable, inherent qualities, the answers to questions like “How long has this person been a part of my community?” “Can this person handle the job” and “What has this person done thus far?” remain and always should be more important to voters than the contents of their stump speech, or what the numbers indicate should happen.