The number of registered Republicans in La Cañada Flintridge has been shrinking over the past six years, but local results for the Nov. 2 election suggest that voters who turned out to the polls were in a generally conservative mood.
If election results had been decided only by La Cañada voters, Meg Whitman would have trounced Gov.-elect Jerry Brown 58% to 39%, the Democratic near-sweep of other top state offices would have been a Republican one, and Carly Fiorina would be headed to Washington.
Proposition 25, which lowers the legislative requirement to pass a budget to a simple majority and received 54.7% statewide support, would have failed in a La Cañada-only vote with just 45% support.
"Locally, we Republicans did a better job of mobilizing the vote," said La Cañada Flintridge Republican Committee Chairman Al Restivo.
It is unclear whether local numbers are a result of strong Republican turnout or a majority of Decline-to-State voters leaning to the right, but Restivo said Whitman's strong showing locally would seem to suggest she held an advantage with unaffiliated voters.
Celina Lew, a founding president of the Cañada Crescenta Democratic Club, said local gubernatorial tallies reflected a more even voter turnout among all registration groups, if in fact Decline-to-State voters split somewhat evenly between Brown and Whitman.
A voter registration tally on Oct. 18 recorded 6,787 Republican (48%), 4,257 Democrat (30%) and 2,668 Decline- to-State (19%) voters.
In October 2004, there were 7,482 Republican (55%), 3,610 Democrat (27%) and 2,037 Decline-to-State (15%) registrations.
La Cañada Flintridge voters cast 7,679 ballots on Nov. 2, which represented a 54% turnout of registered voters.
Lew said that rather than target Decline-to-State voters, local Democrats joined United Democratic Headquarters in its strategy of making sure registered Democrats — who hold a strong majority countywide and in Portantino's 44th Assembly District — got to the polls.
"We weren't trying to convince independents. In L.A. County, the strategy was to identify Democrats and get them to the polls. It was a bigger-picture strategy," she said.
In the Nov. 2 election, Republican Congressman David Dreier also faired better in La Cañada Flintridge than at large, winning 62% support locally to 54% throughout the mostly Republican district, which stretches eastward as far as Rancho Cucamonga.
With Republicans gaining control of the House of Representatives, Dreier announced Monday that he was selected as one of 22 members of the House's GOP Majority Transition Team.
Though Portantino did not fair as well in La Cañada precincts as he did district-wide, the former La Cañada Flintridge mayor still did much better than other Democrats on the ticket.
Support levels for Whitman, Fiorina and other Republicans suggest that Portantino would not have won majority support in La Cañada had voters here chosen simply along party lines.
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Locals-only election results
La Cañada Flintridge ballot counts for the Nov. 2 election
Voter Registration, as of Oct. 18:
Republican – 6,787 (48%)
Democrat – 4,257 (30%)
Decline to state – 2,668 (19%)
Voter Turnout on Nov. 2:
44th Assembly District:
Portantino – 3,906 of 7,344 (53% in LCF vs. 64.2% district-wide)
26th Congressional District:
Dreier – 4,532 of 7,321 (62% in LCF vs. 54.3% district-wide)
Whitman – 4,425 of 7,578 (58% vs. 32.5% countywide)
Brown – 2,965 of 7,578 (39% vs. 62.7% countywide)
Proposition 19 (Legalized marijuana)
Yes – 2,748 of 7,347 (37% vs. 47.3 percent countywide)
Proposition 25 (Majority budget):
Yes – 3,239 of 7,149 (45% vs. 58.2% countywide)
Source: L. A. County Registrar-Recorder's Office