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  • Writer's pictureNewsmakers with JR

Campaign Notebook: CAUSE Cries "Foul"

Community hero Frank Rodriguez, speaking for Latino advocacy group CAUSE, emails to ask we set the record precisely straight on the nature of the controversial video that stirred up the school board race, featured in a Wednesday Newsmakers post..

Rodriguez, a high-profile champion of renters and tenant rights, says that our characterization of the 90-second video, which we alternately called a “social media ad,” a “spot” and an “ad,” is off the mark, because it suggested that the CAUSE Action Fund (Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy) paid to distribute the campaign video, which endorses Ismael Ulloa and Rose Munoz, although it was only posted on the group’s Facebook Page.

He writes:

We wanted to ask for a correction to the article that it is a campaign video, but it is not a media ad. We didn't pay to promote or advertise the campaign video.

Fair enough.

As we go to press, or actually to pixels, the video had been viewed 1,600 times on CAUSE’s Facebook page. For a rough comparison that represents about six percent of the mail-in votes that have been delivered to the registrar to date.

New numbers. There’s been a surge of ballots received in the past two days, since our last report on the demographics of the universe of voters, with Democrats getting a small but significant boost, the percentage of senior and white voters still running way ahead of their portion of registration and the gender gap widening:

-- 26,197 ballots had been returned since close of business Thursday, out of 106,985 voters registered in the district. If not a single new ballot is delivered between now and Nov. 6 – there may be one or two to come – this would represent a 25 percent turnout. Put another way, the school district election is halfway to a 50 percent turnout, which Newsmakers would consider robust for such a race.

-- 13,103 of the ballots – exactly half – have come from Democrats, and this is the probably the biggest news of the latest batch, given that Dems represent 48 percent of total registration. Republicans are still voting in numbers that exceed registration, with 6,471 GOP ballots received – 25 percent of the total compared to 19 percent of the total electorate. No Party Preference voters – who tend to be younger and favor Democrats – are either breaking late or not interested in the race; 5,386 NPP ballots have been sent in – 19 percent of those filed to date, a significant drop-off from their 25 percent registration number.

-- 18,879 of the returned ballots come from voters 51 and over; this is 72 percent of delivered ballots, far higher than the gray and graying cohort’s 48 percent slice of total registration. The 18-34 crowd is way below registration – 15 percent of those received vs. 34 percent of registration – with 3,969 ballots cast so far. Those 35-50 are 13 percent of ballots received, and 18 percent of registration.

-- 20,199 – 77 percent -- have come from those believed to be white voters, a significant notch above the 69 percent they represent in total registration. Just 2,853 have come from those with Latino surnames or voters who requested a Spanish language ballot – only 11 percent of ballots received, compared to the 18 percent at which this group is counted in the entire universe of registered voters.

What does it all mean? The increase in Dem ballots might represent a boost for Ulloa and Munoz, an organizational benefit of their party endorsements. Or maybe the large number of white and older voters helps the Mark Alvarado-Kate Ford slate endorsed by Save Our Schools, higher-income adults steeped in the Ed Behrens-chat room controversy at San Marcos High. Or could it be that the above-registration GOP vote offers hope to Republican-endorsed Jill Rivera and Bonnie, a small but substantial base that conceivably might be important amid a wide-open eight-candidate field?

With no independent polling, the bottom line is this: nobody knows nothiin

Demographic information: Political Data Inc., a subscription service widely used by political strategists of both parties throughout California.

Mayoral maneuvers. Mayor Cathy Murillo is widely credited with pulling Dem-endorsed candidate Oscar Gutierrez across the line in last spring’s hotly-contested city council race in the 3rd District, and now she’s trying to duplicate the feat on behalf of good friend and ally Munoz.

Cathy's pitched in big bucks, showed up with Rose at virtually every campaign forum and has begun peddling house and yard signs for her protégé on her Facebook page:

Support Rose Munoz for School Board by posting a yard sign. I can drop off tonight. My home office is 805-569-3179. Thank you!

Plenty of free parking.

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