Elizabeth Betancourt Takes First in Primary: Why it Matters

by Hilary Hodge

Elizabeth Betancourt will move to the General Special Election on November 5th.

The exciting news: it was a first-place finish for the Democrat, Elizabeth Betancourt!!

Election results as of 4:51 p.m. Wednesday (100% of precincts reporting)

  1. Democrat Elizabeth Betancourt (28,223 votes or 39%)
  2. Republican Megan Dahle (26,136 votes or 36.1%)
  3. Republican Patrick Jones (12,659 votes or 17.5%)
  4. Republican Joseph Turner (4,031 votes or 5.6%)
  5. Republican Lane Rickard (1,324 votes or 1.8%)

Because California has a top-two primary system, Elizabeth Betancourt will face Megan Dahle in November.

Why is this significant?

While voter registration in Nevada County sees a Democratic majority over Republicans with 24,677 registered Democrats over 22,252 Republicans as of Feb 10th, 2019, the overall Assembly District is quite “red” with 112,932 Republicans, or 40.44% of registered voters, and 78,066 Democrats, or 27.95% of registered voters. Elizabeth’s first-place win was huge for this district.

But if you’ve looked at the math and thought about the fact that the other people in the race were Republicans, you probably wonder if those votes will most likely go to Megan Dahle in the General Election on November 5th. If so, Elizabeth Betancourt has quite the uphill battle to win in November.

Let’s get a look at the big picture.

While the election hasn’t been certified by the Secretary of State’s office yet, based on the reports from precincts reporting, only 72,373 people voted in the Assembly District 1 special election primary, just 26% of registered voters.  There are reportedly 279,278 total registered voters in Assembly district 1.

Of the 28,223 votes that Elizabeth Betancourt received in the Primary Special Election, 10,239 of those votes, or 54.1%, came from Nevada County. Remember, there are 24,677 registered Democrats in Nevada County.

In the General Special Election held on June 4th 2019, for the vacated State Senate seat for Senate District 1, 156,672 of registered voters showed up on Election Day. Senate District 1 has 594,108 registered voters and covers nearly twice the geography of Assembly District 1. The General Special Election for State Senate saw only 26% of voters turn out, a decline from the 33% who turned out in the Special Primary Election.

Again, there are 279,278 registered voters in Assembly District 1. Let’s follow the math.

72,373 people voted in the special election for Assembly District 1.  The Republicans got 61% of the vote (44,150) and the Democrat got 39% of the vote (28,223) with 26% of registered voters turning out.

If voter turnout in the General Special Election for Assembly District 1 stays at 26%, (like it did in June for the State Senate special election), and the Republican vs Democrat turnout remains the same at 61% vs 39%, then approximate voter turn out would be 72,373 voters. If nothing else changed, we would see a turn out of 44,150 Republicans and 28,223 Democrats, a difference of 15,927.

If there were no other variables, we would need to turn out more than 57% of all registered Democrats in the District for a win in November’s Special Election. If historical voter turn out is any indication, we need approximately 44,151 people to vote for Elizabeth Betancourt on November 5th.

21% of Assembly District 1 is No Party Preference.  So there are other variables. And, while we know that No Party Preference Voters lean Democratic and/or Progressive, this is still an uphill battle.

In the 2018 General Election with a Gubernatorial Race on the ballot in California, Assembly District 1 turned out 71% of the vote and 73,449 people voted for the Democrat in the Assembly District 1 Race. We know how hard we worked in 2018.

So the question is, how hard are we willing to work now?

Email nevadacountydemocrats@gmail.com to sign up for a volunteer shift.

4 Comments on “Elizabeth Betancourt Takes First in Primary: Why it Matters”

  1. By my calculations if all the Nevada County folks who voted for Audrey Denney vote for Elizabeth, AND if Elizabeth can turn out and get the votes of the Native American and Hispanic populations in AD1, she will have over 50% of the vote. Enough to win.

  2. Another way to beat Dahle is to flip 8,000 votes mainly from independents, Elizabeth will probably focus on this group by promoting her policies on local issues. That leaves the county DCC’s to get out the Democratic vote. We need to do better but Shasta County really needs help, that’s where Elizabeth did most poorly. A combination of getting out Democratic votes and flipping some votes could win it for Elizabeth. So let’s focus on getting out the vote in the most efficient way , e.g., texting and email,

  3. This is an excellent discussion. Thank you! I would love to help, but I will be in Europe for the next several months. I will send you a donation to take my place. I know a campaign needs postage and printing and rent and all kinds of costs.

    Bravo to whomever masterminded this discussion.

    I will vote. I have voted in every election since I turned voting age.

    Olivia Diaz

    1. If I read the excellent analysis by Hillary Hodge, Nevada Co. ; the Dems in Nevada Co. could be assigned as those who took Elizabeth over the top. But, that’s for now. Nevada Co. Dems will be working hard to get the remaining 14,000+ Dems to turnout on November 5th.
      Is that a realistic task ? When we ask who is the most qualified person to represent us in AD1, the answer is always Elizabeth Betancourt. For those who saw the League of Women Voters forum in Redding (still can be seen at scactv.org), you will come to the quick conclusion that Elizabeth has a well-spoken handle on the issues.
      Now, here we are in Shasta County, the opposite of Blue Nevada County. If those who voted for the remaining Republicans were to magically support Elizabeth, we’d win of course. That is a slight possibility, because many Republicans are not enchanted with the Nepotism factor, the fact that Mr & Mrs Dahle have been bought off by the very discriminating leaders of Redding’s Bethel Church and the fact that Mrs. Dahle supports home schooling and vouchers. Not to mention she blew several hundred thousand dollars in the Primary and came in second. (of course vote splitting was a factor). The other 3 Republicans have an opportunity to discuss urging their supporters to at least think about voting for Elizabeth. Again, it’s the NPPs that could determine the outcome. So, I suggest an all out mega effort by at least 3 counties: Siskiyou, Nevada & Shasta. These 3 counties comprise the most voters in AD1 that will make the difference…and quickly I’ll say that the other counties are critical as well and have apt leaders that will add to the big picture. But, the votes are in the latter 3 counties. Campaign expenditures have to be strategically placed during an uphill battle. This is how the CDP and DNC look at it, and we should as well. There’s a debate over campaign signage. This is being worked on by several Democratic leaders. Again, it’s us here in Shasta County that have to triple our efforts to get the remaining winning numbers. It ranges from the least at 10,000 votes to a comfortable 38,000. To get to either of those figures it’ll take a campaign budget of over $200,00.0.
      Over the next 70 some days, that’s about $2,000. per day needed to come into Elizabeth’s campaign. We all gave for the Primary. Sorry, but we need to double our giving. The maximum individual contribution for the General is $4700., and can be split by a couple.
      Please consider sending your best contribution to: betancourtforassembly.com or mail to: Betancourt AD1 PO Box 991794 ReddingCA 96099 Let’s Win !
      Frank Treadway-Campaign Consultant-ReddingCA. 530.241.5003

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