Newsletter: Essential California: Your election guide

Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, left, and Republican businessman John Cox are running for California governor.
(Brian van der Brug / Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Monday, Nov. 5, and here’s what’s happening across California:


During the Cold War, military bases, the defense industry and churches helped turn Orange County into the anti-communist, right-wing bastion it was. Long-coming demographic change — and dislike for President Trump — has weakened the Republican base like never before. But it’s still more red than some say, and that poses a big challenge for Democrats trying to flip the House of Representatives on Tuesday. Los Angeles Times

-- The campaign: The frenzied final days. Los Angeles Times


-- The “base”: Trump is energizing California, but will it be enough? Los Angeles Times

-- The overview: Republicans defending their home turf in California and beyond have slim hopes of keeping the House. Los Angeles Times

-- Voting: A surge of complaints in California about election law violations. Los Angeles Times

-- On the ground: Republicans never thought they could lose this once solidly red suburb. Los Angeles Times

-- The electorate: In many close races in California and around the country, a different group, those who don’t like either party or its leaders, could hold the decisive votes. Los Angeles Times

-- The next governor: Where John Cox and Gavin Newsom stand on the top issues in California. Los Angeles Times

-- One big issue: As Obamacare’s provisions have become reality and the GOP repeal effort threatened to take insurance away from people benefiting from it, the law has gone from a political hot potato for Democrats to a Republican liability heading into the midterm. Los Angeles Times



-- Temecula: They sometime cringe, but this California couple likes what they see from Trump. Los Angeles Times

-- San Francisco: The homeless go to the polls. San Francisco Chronicle

-- San Diego: More than ever, voters you’d like to behave predictably are going their own way. San Diego Union-Tribune

-- Fresno: Those who register are getting younger. But will they vote? Fresno Bee


-- Sacramento: Why the oil industry is pouring money in California Democratic coffers. CALmatters

-- Palm Springs: Why Sen. Dianne Feinstein survives in a year of the progressive. New York Times

-- Malibu: Barbra Streisand’s musical resistance. Los Angeles Times

-- Whittier: For Latinos, the struggle to get out the vote. Los Angeles Times


-- Russian River: Feeling afraid and alienated, even in the heart of liberal Northern California. New York Times

-- Bakersfield: Kern County faces a major test in whether Latinos will get more representation. Los Angeles Times

-- Manteca: How did it get so ugly? The view from the heart of the Central Valley. Manteca Bulletin



-- Understanding the propositions. Los Angeles Times

-- The statewide candidates. Los Angeles Times

-- The big House races. Los Angeles Times

-- Los Angeles County sheriff. Los Angeles Times


-- Orange County district attorney. Los Angeles Times


-- Los Angeles Times

-- Sacramento Bee


-- Orange County Register

-- San Francisco Chronicle

-- San Jose Mercury News

-- San Diego Union-Tribune


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Uh-oh? Are we seeing signs of an L.A. real estate crash? The annals of postwar Southern California real estate history are full of boom-and-bust cycles, with periods of sharp price appreciation that suddenly skid to a halt. Whether those ups and downs offer any guidance — or hope — for today’s homeowners is a subject for debate. Los Angeles Times

In Porter Ranch: New safety questions three years after the Aliso Canyon gas leak. Los Angeles Daily News


No sweat: The Rams’ run of perfection in the NFL season has come to an end. “This game right here might be a blessing in a disguise,” one player said. Los Angeles Times

Meow-sketeers: Forget the mouse. Disneyland is ruled by cats. San Gabriel Valley Tribune


A “giant”: Ramona Ripston, whose four decades at the helm of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California shaped the liberal agenda in Los Angeles and beyond, has died at age 91. Former Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates derided her as “Ramona the Ripper” and conservative radio’s Rush Limbaugh labeled her and her husband “left-leaning commie socialists.” Los Angeles Times

Ramona Ripston, who served as head of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California for more than 40 years, at her office in Los Angeles the year she retired in 2010.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

In Maywood: A 14-year-old student stood next to his high school music teacher, repeatedly used a racial epithet and threw a basketball at him. The teacher, who is black, punched the boy in the face and kept swinging as other students recorded the incident with their cellphones. Los Angeles Times

Taken for a ride? A golf-cart salesman is accused of an elaborate scam in Palm Springs. Desert Sun



End of an era: The Bakersfield Californian is moving out of its historic headquarters. Bakersfield Californian

The Indiaspora: The rise of East Indians in San Francisco. San Francisco Chronicle

“Blue wave” tights: The liberal wrestler who is fighting his way through Trump country. Los Angeles Times

Do you know the way to … ? Amid Silicon Valley’s housing crunch, San Jose becomes home to the world’s largest “dorm style” living complex. Mercury News


Innovative: How the costume designer of “Black Panther” tried to tell the African American experience through clothing. Wall Street Journal


Los Angeles area: Sunny, 77, Monday. Sunny, 73, Tuesday. San Diego: Sunny, 72, Monday. Sunny, 70, Tuesday. San Francisco area: Sunny, 68, Monday. Sunny, 66, Tuesday. San Jose: Sunny, 74, Monday. Sunny, 76, Tuesday. Sacramento: Sunny, 79, Monday. Sunny, 77, Tuesday. More weather is here.



This week’s birthdays for those who made a mark in California:

sportscaster and retired basketball player Bill Walton (Nov. 5, 1952), state Sen. Mark Ridley-Thomas (Nov. 6, 1954), journalist and former California First Lady Maria Shriver (Nov. 6, 1955), Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang (Nov. 6, 1968), Lakers part-owner Jim Buss (Nov. 9, 1959), UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero (Nov. 10, 1951), former Sen. Barbara Boxer (Nov. 11, 1940), L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson Jr. (Nov. 11, 1951)

If you have a memory or story about the Golden State, share it with us. Send us an email to let us know what you love or fondly remember about our state. (Please keep your story to 100 words.)

Please let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send comments, complaints and ideas to Benjamin Oreskes and Shelby Grad. Also follow them on Twitter @boreskes and @shelbygrad.