Election Day 2016 updates: Trump defeats Clinton to become next president of U.S.
The U.S. elected its 45th president on Nov. 8.
Anti-Trump protesters hit the streets across the U.S.
Activists are not taking the idea of a Donald Trump presidency quietly. Hundreds of demonstrators across the U.S. hit the pavement during the day and evening Wednesday to protest the Republican’s electoral victory.
In New York:
In Austin, Texas:
In Berkeley, Calif.:
In Des Moines, Iowa:
And in Los Angeles. You can read more about the California protests here.
Measure to speed up the death penalty leads, while bid to end it fails
California voters on Tuesday defeated a ballot measure to repeal the state’s death penalty, and instead a proposition that aims to amend and expedite it narrowly leads.
The outcome concluded a closely watched ballot race to address what people on both sides of the debate have agreed is a broken system.
Proposition 62, which would have replaced capital punishment for murder with life in prison without parole, garnered 46.1% of the vote.
Proposition 66 intended to speed up executions by designating trial courts to hear petitions challenging death row convictions, limiting successive petitions and expanding the pool of lawyers who could take on death penalty appeals.
With all precincts reporting, it currently has the approval of 50.9% of voters, but provisional and other ballots remain to be counted.
The outcome reflects similar findings by a USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll, which found California residents, like the nation, remain very much divided on capital punishment, even as public opinion has shifted against the practice over the past 40 years.
This year, proponents of the measure to “amend not end” the death penalty system centered their campaigning efforts on emotional appeals from law enforcement and crime victims, who urged voters not do away with what they called the “last defense” against the “worst of the worst in society.”
But death penalty opponents, a diverse group of crime victims, celebrities and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, argued the system could not be fixed. They pointed to a costly appeals process, the arbitrary application of the punishment and its impact on poor and minority communities.
Times staff writer Liam Dillon contributed to this story.
FOR THE RECORD: 11:11 a.m. This story and headline has been corrected to reflect that the Associated Press has not called the race for Proposition 66.
This story was originally posted at 6:31 a.m.
Republican Cunningham wins tight state Assembly race to hold a GOP seat
Republicans have held on to the 35th Assembly District on the central coast, with GOP candidate Jordan Cunningham defeating Democrat Dawn Ortiz-Legg, according to the Associated Press.
Cunningham led Ortiz-Legg 54.6% to 45.4% with all precincts reporting.
The two were running to replace termed-out Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian (R-San Luis Obispo), who ran for Congress but was knocked out in the June primary.
The Republicans’ 5% voter registration advantage four years ago is now at just 1.5%, with a significant number of Latino and Asian registered voters.
Times staff writer Liam Dillon contributed reporting.
Proposition 51, the $9-billion school bond, wins
California voters have approved Proposition 51, a $9-billion bond for school construction projects across the state.
The measure was leading 53.9% to 46.1%, according to election returns at 5 a.m. Wednesday, and the Associated Press has called the victory.
State funding to help finance repairs and new school facilities across California had run dry, and Proposition 51 will refill the pot. School construction needs billions of dollars every year, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office. With the new cash infusion, the state will once again match local district funding for construction projects.
Proposition 51 had a more difficult campaign than many might have expected. Critics of the measure, notably Gov. Jerry Brown, had argued that Proposition 51 unfairly prioritized larger more, affluent areas because the state handed out the money on a first-come, first-served basis to districts that already had matching funds. And public polls in the fall showed the measure not reaching majority support among voters.
But school bonds are popular. Eighty percent of local measures pass, according to the League of California Cities, and the previous four statewide school bonds were successful as well.
Funding to house L.A.'s homeless has strong lead
Backers of a bond measure that would provide housing for many of the city’s homeless were optimistic as early ballot counts favored the measure, which needs a two-thirds majority to pass.
With 50% of precincts reporting early Wednesday morning, Measure HHH had captured 76% of the vote.
“We earned our wings tonight,” 8th District L.A. City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson said on Tuesday night. “We completely lived up to the title City of Angels.”
Supporters of the measure, including city officials, gathered on the 30th floor of a downtown skyscraper.
“Looking good so far,” said 14th District Councilman Jose Huizar. “It reflects all we had seen in our polling and talking to people. I think it looks excellent.”
The measure asked Los Angeles city voters to approve general obligation bonds that would raise money to build housing for chronically homeless people. The city would borrow up to $1.2 billion over 10 years for construction projects to provide “safe, clean, affordable housing for the homeless and for those in danger of becoming homeless.”
The average annual cost over the 29 years the bonds are being repaid would be $9.64 per $100,000 of assessed valuation. That would be $32.87 on a home valued at the median of $341,000.
The measure would not nearly move all the city’s homeless into housing, but supporters have argued that it is an important early step.
Assemblywoman Catharine Baker, one of most targeted Republicans of the Legislature, keeps her seat
Assemblywoman Catharine Baker (R-Dublin) has held on to her seat in a closely watched race against Democrat Cheryl Cook-Kallio in the East Bay.
With nearly 95% of precincts reporting, Baker was leading, 56%-44%, against Cook-Kallio.
Early in the campaign, Baker, who is a social moderate and fiscal conservative, was identified as one of Assembly Democrats’ top Republican targets to pick off on their quest for a Democratic super-majority.
Cook-Kallio, a former Pleasanton City Council member, was one of four California legislative candidates endorsed by President Obama.
The contest was one of the most expensive legislative races this election cycle, with party spending on both sides nearing $2.8 million and independent expenditures just under $2 million in the final days of the campaign.
Protests erupt across California after Trump wins: ‘Not my president’
The election of Donald Trump to the presidency sparked protests early Wednesday across California, with many demonstrations concentrated around college campuses.
Shortly after Trump delivered a victory speech in New York City, a crowd at the UC Santa Barbara marched near the campus, with some chanting, “Not my president. Not my president.”
Assemblyman David Hadley, one of the most targeted Republicans in California, is in for a long night
Assemblyman David Hadley (R-Manhattan Beach) was in a car on his way home early Wednesday morning after an election night party in Redondo Beach.
With 42% of precincts reporting, Hadley was lagging behind challenger Al Muratsuchi, 53% to 47%.
But the race is still close to call and both candidates will likely have to wait until later Wednesday, or perhaps even later, to know whether Hadley will keep his seat.
“I have vague memories of refreshing my browser at 2:30 and 3:00 in the morning in 2014,” Hadley said. “I have a sneaking suspicion I’ll be doing that again tonight.”
Democrats had hoped to turn Hadley’s L.A. County coastal district blue as part of a strategy to regain a super-majority in the Assembly. As of early Wednesday morning, nearly all of those key targets Democrats had hoped to win were too close to call -- including Assembly District 65, where Assemblywoman Young Kim (R-Diamond Bar) and Democrat Sharon Quirk-Silva were separated by 1%.
“We’re still watching and we’ll see how we do,” Hadley said of his race, noting that the 2014 results showed he fared much better in certain parts of the district than others. “We just want to see more precincts in first.”
Assembly Democrats had tried to tie Hadley to Donald Trump during the campaign, despite the fact that he had said he would not vote for the Republican nominee.
On Friday, Hadley revealed that he had cast a ballot for Gary Johnson for president, saying Johnson “appeared to be the third-party nominee with the best chance of showing dissatisfaction with the two major party nominees.”
Legislature will have to pass bills under new transparency rules set by Proposition 54
California voters have approved a significant change of the rules in how proposed laws are approved by the Legislature, overwhelmingly supporting a new mandate for public review of legislation before any final vote.
Proposition 54, which will impose a three-day waiting period before lawmakers can take action on the final version of bills, appeared headed for an easy victory on election night. As of early Wednesday, it was winning with 64% of the vote.
The change in legislative rules was long discussed in the state Capitol but failed to gain momentum until the initiative written by a former GOP legislator and bankrolled by a wealthy Bay Area activist.
In addition to the three-day delay for public review of most bills, Proposition 54 will also impose new rules requiring that video of legislative hearings and debates be posted online. It also removes a ban on using video from legislative proceedings in campaign commercials.
Rep. Grace Napolitano wins 10th term, defeating scandal-plagued Roger Hernandez
Democratic Rep. Grace F. Napolitano won her bid for a 10th term in Congress, after a campaign that saw her opponent, state Assemblyman Roger Hernendez (D-West Covina), effectively end his campaign in August after a judge granted his ex-wife’s request for a domestic-violence restraining order against him.
The Associated Press called the race with Napolitano claiming 63.1% of the vote to Hernandez’s 36.9%.
Baldwin Park City Councilwoman Susan Rubio gave graphic testimony detailing abuse she said she suffered during her relationship with Hernandez.
Hernandez faced a swift political backlash after the restraining order was issued, including the loss of several endorsements as well as all of his committee assignments in the Assembly.
Hernandez had long odds even before news of the accusations broke, and he relied largely on attacking Napolitano for not living in the 32nd Congressional District.
Napolitano suffered a stroke in February but vowed to keep campaigning for a 10th term, saying that “my ability to do my job is not at risk.”
Burbank airport terminal replacement measure has wide lead in early returns
A measure to allow the replacement of the aging, cramped and seismically deficient Hollywood Burbank airport was dominating in early voting results Tuesday.
With 31% of the precincts reporting, 72% of voters backed Measure B.
If approved by a majority of voters, Measure B will permit the construction of a 14-gate replacement terminal at what was formerly known as Bob Hope Airport in a plan supported by both airport officials and a majority of the Burbank City Council.
Opened 86 years ago, the Burbank airport terminal is considered outdated and obsolete, so close to the runway it does not meet federal safety standards. It also is vulnerable to heavy damage in a major earthquake.
Airport and Burbank city officials have openly feuded about the terminal’s future for decades, and this agreement would finally pave the way for a replacement.
A rejection of Measure B would likely result in an ongoing legal battle between the airport and the city, and the airport authority could attempt to build a terminal of the same size in a less favorable area, one that would force the demolition and replacement of the general aviation terminal.
Putin sends Trump a congratulatory telegram
Lead increases for tax hike to expand L.A. Metro mass transit
An ambitious measure to dramatically expand Los Angeles County’s mass transit system widened its lead Wednesday morning as election officials counted ballots into the wee hours of the night.
With 46% of the precincts reporting, 68.82% of voters gave a thumbs-up to Measure M, as of about 12:45 a.m. Wednesday. That’s above the 66.67% threshold it needs to win.
On Tuesday night, Measure M backers were optimistic they would pull off a win.
“I’m superstitious. I don’t ever declare victory until the end,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. But, he added, early results looked “very promising.”
Metropolitan Transportation Authority board member Jackie Dupont-Walker, the agency’s only voting director who is not an elected official, said she was hopeful that the measure would pass.
“I’m feeling good,” she said, adding that she had spent the last few days crisscrossing the county, talking to transit riders along the Expo Line and the Silver Line busway.
Garcetti also spoke optimistically about Measure HHH, an ambitious measure to tackle the homeless problem in Los Angeles.
“People said here, solve the problems that we face every day,” Garcetti said, referring to both Measure M and Measure HHH, the proposed $1.2-billion bond to build housing for L.A.'s homeless. “That’s a very strong message coming from Los Angeles and coming from the West Coast.”
Bay Area soda taxes headed to victory
Soda tax measures were headed to victory in Bay Area cities in early returns.
The measures, on the ballot in San Francisco, Oakland, and the East Bay suburb of Albany, would place a penny-per-ounce tax on sodas and other sugar beverages. The measures require a majority vote to pass.
In San Francisco, Proposition V was ahead 62% to 38%, with all precincts reporting. Oakland’s Measure HH had an identical tally, with 62% backing the measure, with 85% of the precincts reporting. And in Albany, 71% of voters were backing Measure O1, with all precincts reporting.
A study published in August reported that after Berkeley’s first-in-the-nation soda tax, Measure D, passed in 2014, lower-income residents reduced their consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages by 21% compared with the pretax days.
Opponents, led by the American Beverage Assn., have called the measures an “unfair grocery tax.”
Soda taxes proposed in El Monte and Richmond in 2012 failed by wide margins.
L.A. measures to revise rules for utility and police pensions too close to call
A measure to revise the oversight and operations of Los Angeles’ city-owned water and power utility slipped behind in returns late Tuesday night.
Edging into positive territory was a measure that would allow airport police officers to join the pension plan of other city police officers and firefighters.
With 25% of precincts reporting, Measure RRR, to reform the Department of Water and Power, was opposed by 50.9% of voters. The total includes a partial count of mail-in ballots.
Measure RRR is a long and detailed, but not sweeping, set of changes to the utility. Supporters say it would give the DWP more independence in a way that would make the municipally owned utility “more accountable, transparent and responsive,” as described in the city’s official ballot argument.
Backers were concerned about the possible impact of a disclosure days before the election. It came to light that the measure would allow Fred Pickel, the executive director of the city’s Office of Public Accountability, to be appointed to a second five-year term in his $276,000-a-year job as watchdog over the DWP. It also would double the minimum budget of his small department.
Pickel was responsible for submitting the wording of the ballot summary for voters and did not include these details.
Measure backers say it’s important to boost Pickel’s budget to ensure his independence and insulate him from political meddling.
The measure is endorsed by Mayor Eric Garcetti, the City Council and DWP management, who hope it will streamline operations at the roughly $4-billion-per-year department that keeps the lights on and faucets flowing for millions.
Opponents agree that the DWP, which has been plagued by controversy, needs reform. But they argue the ballot measure would be a step backward, allowing elected officials to avoid responsibility for missteps by the department and DWP managers.
Measure SSS sought to consolidate the pension systems of two police forces serving Los Angeles, and it was narrowly ahead.
It would move new hires at the L.A. Airport Police Division into the same pension plan as other police and fire department employees in the city. It also would allow current airport officers, about 500 in all, to buy their way into this pension fund. Currently, airport police are part of the city’s general pension system for municipal workers.
With 25% of precincts reporting, 50.2% of voters cast ballots in favor of the measure. The total also included a partial count of mail-in ballots.
Longtime Silicon Valley Rep. Mike Honda loses seat to fellow Democrat in bitter rematch battle
Fremont Democrat Ro Khanna has defeated eight-term Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose) in their bitter, intra-party matchup in Silicon Valley.
Honda, a longtime progressive voice in the Bay Area, was believed to be one of California’s most vulnerable congressional incumbents after he received fewer votes than his challenger in June’s primary.
Khanna, who also challenged Honda in 2014, argued that Silicon Valley voters needed a change in leadership.
An ongoing ethics investigation into whether Honda had improperly used his official resources for political purposes, as well as the loss of key endorsements like President Obama’s, clouded Honda’s campaign.
The race quickly became California’s most expensive congressional campaigns and had grown increasingly nasty, with Honda filing a lawsuit in the final weeks of the race, alleging that Khanna’s campaign manager had illegally accessed proprietary campaign data.
A spokesman for Honda’s campaign declined to comment, saying the campaign would be releasing a later statement Wednesday.
Trump’s first address as president-elect is a call for unity after a divisive campaign
After waging a fiercely divisive campaign that ultimately netted him the White House, Donald Trump called for unifying Americans early Wednesday.
“Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division,” he told cheering supporters at a Manhattan hotel.
“To all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people. It’s time. I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans.”
Trump said he received a call from Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton conceding the race and congratulating him on his win.
He said he, in turn, told her she had fought hard, and in his speech, he only praised the former rival he regularly referred to as “Crooked Hillary” on the campaign trail.
“Hillary has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time, and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for service to the country,” Trump said. “I mean that very sincerely.”
In his 15-minute speech, Trump said he planned to focus on growing the nation’s economy, embarking on infrastructure projects that would put millions of Americans to work and caring for the nation’s veterans. There was no mention of mainstays of his campaign rhetoric, such as building a wall along the southern border and making Mexico pay for it or ripping up trade deals.
Instead, he pledged to work with other nations.
“We will seek common ground, not hostility. Partnership, not conflict,” Trump said.
Measure to restrict Santa Monica development trails in early returns
An initiative in Santa Monica that would create one of the strictest slow-growth measures in the region is trailing in early returns.
If passed, Measure LV would require voter approval for most development projects taller than 32 to 36 feet. That threshold would cover many new apartment and condo developments, as well as office and retail projects.
Without the growth limits Measure LV would impose, backers say more developers will tear down existing housing and build even more luxury developments that could price out Santa Monica’s renters.
Pro-growth groups, meanwhile, argue more development is needed to address the region’s soaring rents and shortage of housing units.
With 9% of the precincts reporting, Measure LV is trailing, with 55.72% of the voters opposed.
The growth limit measure comes as more developers seek to take advantage of the new Expo Line and the city’s bustling downtown area. Urban planners are increasingly favoring this kind of multi-use development to foster walkable neighborhoods and encourage residents to ride bikes or take mass transit rather than drive.
Early lead for Bay Area transit measures backing BART renovation and extension to San Jose
Bay Area measures that seek to restore BART and extend the commuter rail system to downtown San Jose were ahead Tuesday in early returns, both of which require a two-thirds vote to pass.
In Santa Clara County, Measure B asked voters to raise the sales tax by half a cent for every dollar spent to fund a host of freeway and transit improvements, including funding to bring BART to downtown San Jose, raising more than $6 billion over the next three decades. Measure B was garnering 71% support with an estimated 44% of the ballots counted.
Voters in San Francisco, Alameda and Contra Costa counties were deciding the fate of Measure RR, a $3.5-billion bond measure to rebuild the core systems of the aging electric train service, which has been plagued with ancient, faulty power systems and water leaks that have weakened steel rails so much they crack during the commute. With 76% of the precincts reporting, Measure RR was garnering 70% of the vote.
In San Francisco, voters were considering Propositions J and K, which would increase the sales tax rate by three-quarters of a penny for every dollar spent and set aside about $100 million a year to pay for repairs, upgrades and infrastructure improvements to Muni and about $50 million to provide services to the homeless. Those measures require a majority of votes to pass.
Trump won. Tell us how you’re feeling
Democrat Lou Correa elected Orange County’s next congressman
Lou Correa will be Orange County’s newest congressman, the AP projects. Correa prevailed in his fight against fellow Democrat, Garden Grove Mayor Bao Nguyen, in his race to replace Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Orange) in the 46th Congressional District.
As of midnight Wednesday, Correa was leading by a wide 70-30 margin, with 48% of precincts reporting.
Correa, a veteran politician who has represented the area in the state Senate and Assembly, lost narrowly in a 2014 bid for a seat on the Orange County Board of Supervisors.
High Vietnamese American turnout was a key factor in that race and was expected to help Nguyen, who fled Vietnam with his parents as a baby.
Nguyen eked out a surprise victory in the June primary, marking the first time Republicans have been shut out of a congressional race in Orange County.
The race was expected to be a test of the ethnic loyalties of the diverse district’s Vietnamese and Latino voting blocs.
Correa had earned the endorsement of Sanchez and many other establishment Democrats, while Nguyen said he was relying on a grass-roots strategy and appealing to millennials and supporters of Bernie Sanders, who carried the district in the June primary.
Democrat Salud Carbajal defeats Justin Fareed in race for open Central Coast House seat
Democratic Santa Barbara County Supervisor Salud Carbajal won an expensive race against Republican Justin Fareed to replace outgoing Democratic Congresswoman Lois Capps in the Central Coast.
The Associated Press called the race late Tuesday with Carbajal leading with 55.2% of the vote to Fareed’s 44.8%.
The two survived a crowded primary contest and fought a bitter battle through the fall with Carbajal spending $2.5 million while Fareed dropped $1.8 million for his effort.
Though Democrats have a large eight-percentage point advantage in the district, outside Republican groups swept in to attack Carbajal, hoping that Fareed — a 28-year-old former House staffer and strong fundraiser — could find success with his outsider status.
Carbajal and a Democratic super PAC launched a series of ads on television attacking Fareed for comments he made supporting Donald Trump, causing headaches for Fareed’s campaign, which later tried to argue that he never really endorsed Trump.
Carbajal had the support of Capps and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, while Fareed had the backing of House Speaker Paul D. Ryan.
Twitter reacts to the reality of President-elect Trump
In keeping with the volatile emotions of the evening, Twitter is continuing to churn out reactions to election results that have confirmed Donald Trump as President-elect.
The tweets take two decidedly different tones, with some feeling as though the election results suggest something abysmal.
Even Captain America was bummed.
Of course, where some Twitter users saw rain, others saw a rainbow and their reactions were as exuberant as could be expected.
Hillary Clinton concedes defeat in private call to Donald Trump
Hillary Clinton has conceded defeat to Donald J. Trump, ending her quest to make history as the nation’s first female president.
Clinton did not speak publicly, as Tuesday night turned to early Wednesday morning on the East Coast. But as Trump addressed his supporters, the president-elect announced he had spoken with his former rival.
“She congratulated us,” Trump said, “and I congratulated her and her family on a very, very hard-fought campaign.”
“We owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country,” he added.
The former secretary of state, like many in her party, entered election day confident in a victory that would have ensured Democrats retained the White House for a third consecutive term.
But Trump, the real estate magnate turned reality television star, demonstrated unexpected strength in Rust Belt states that had been the foundation of President Obama’s two victories.
The White House did not comment on whether Obama would also call Trump.
Mike Pence: ‘This is a historic night’
Vice President-elect Mike Pence thanked the American people for “placing their confidence” in him and President-elect Donald Trump, capping off an upset victory in Tuesday’s election.
“This is a historic night; the American people have spoken,” Pence said. “America has elected a new president.”
Proposition 56, a $2-per-pack boost to tobacco taxes, is approved by voters
After voters twice turned back attempts to raise the state’s tobacco tax over the last decade, California looks poised to pass Proposition 56, which would increase the cigarette tax by $2 per pack.
Proposition 56 leads 62.4% to 37.6% in late returns, according to the secretary of state’s office.
“Smoking is the number one cause of avoidable death in the state of California,” said Democratic donor Tom Steyer, who was the co-chairman of the Proposition 56 campaign. “We had a broader coalition to support the idea of pushing back against the tobacco companies and raising the cigarette tax than ever before. We believe that that kind of broad coalition works against organized and concentrated economic interests when we stick together and when we all turn out and vote.”
The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates that Proposition 56 could raise at least $1.3 billion a year, with most of the money going toward the state’s Medi-Cal health care program for low-income residents.
The campaign was one of the most expensive in the state this year, with tobacco companies pouring in more than $70 million to fight the tax hike. In television advertisements, the companies criticized the measure as a payoff to the health care industry, which financed much of the Yes on 56 campaign.
But in contrast to failed efforts to raise the tobacco tax in 2006 and 2012, proponents of the tax hike were able to raise significantly more funds to promote Proposition 56.
Currently, California’s cigarette tax is $0.87 per pack, which ranks 37th in the country, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and it hasn’t been raised in almost 20 years. Along with cigarettes, other tobacco products including smokeless tobacco and cigars will see a corresponding tax increase. And for the first time, the growing e-cigarette industry will need to pay tobacco taxes.
Barger holds early lead in 5th District supervisor race for northern L.A. County
Kathryn Barger held a solid early lead in the race to replace Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, who represents northern Los Angeles County.
With 28% of precincts reporting, Barger claimed 62% of the vote, while her opponent, Darrell Park, received 38%. The total includes a partial count of mail-in ballots.
Barger, a moderate Republican, is Antonovich’s longtime chief of staff, and started working for Antonovich as an intern 28 years ago. She also has the backing of four of the county’s five supervisors and of powerful labor groups, including the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.
Her opponent, Park, has campaigned heavily on his Democratic Party affiliation. Park is a green energy entrepreneur and former staffer in the White House Office of Management and Budget under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
Antonovich, a Republican who has held his seat on the Board of Supervisors since 1980, is being forced out by term limits that were approved by voters in 2002. He is seeking election to the state Senate.
At New Beverly Cinema, dozens hide out to escape political reality
“This seemed like a good way to hide out in a dark hole and await the apocalypse,” Connor Weber reasoned, standing below the the theater marquee.
The 28-year-old took a drag on his cigarette. He was one of a few dozen who had shown up at the New Beverly Cinema on Tuesday night to escape the chaos of election night, paying $8 for a double bill of “Shampoo” and “The Candidate.” Like most at the theater, he had an ‘I Voted’ sticker still affixed to his shirt; he said he had gone to the polls to write his own name in the presidential candidate slot. “I’m pretty politically disillusioned,” he said with a sigh.
About 120 people — mostly men — came to the Quentin Tarantino-run venue on Tuesday. Mike Schlereth, a 33-year-old from North Carolina who voted for Hillary Clinton, thought it seemed like a good alternative to watching the news. Still, he was distressed by how close the race between Clinton and Donald Trump was at 9:45 p.m., when there was a brief break between the two films. “It’s a little worrying,” he said. “I’m gonna try to turn my phone off.”
Nearby, a group of three friends who described the theater as their church lamented how well Trump was doing. “Jesus,” 34-year-old Christopher Stefanic said, shaking his head. “I’d rather relate to the stories that were presented when America was great.”
“Yeah, if the election doesn’t go the way I want, at least I can get some entertainment out of it,” agreed his buddy, Jeremy Warner, also 34. They were both wearing buttons that had been handed out at the screening with pictures of Robert Redford on them. “I Voted for ‘The Candidate,’ ” the pins read. “New Bev 2016.” Inside the lobby, employees had affixed a handwritten list of updated results to the popcorn machine. Those who purchased concessions were also encouraged to tip by putting their spare change into glasses for Clinton, Trump or Redford.
Bill Steele, 52, had intended on coming to the screenings to stave off his anxiety. But he found himself distracted during “Shampoo.”
“For about an hour, I was able to escape the anxiety, because it’s a great film,” he said. “But really we’re just pushing off the inevitable.”
O.C. Supervisor Andrew Do ahead of Michele Martinez in contentious race