Malibu Voters Mirror State and National Political Momentum
• Local Preferences Differ on Prop 8 and 9, School Board and Judicial Candidates
BY ANNE SOBLE
BY ANNE SOBLE
It may be another week before the final vote tallies are in for all of the election precincts in Los Angeles County, including those in Malibu and Malibu Heights, but no one expects many changes, except on the few ballot measures that are too close to call.
According to the preliminary vote count, 71.2 percent of registered voters in incorporated and unincorporated Malibu went to the polls, a percentage expected to increase as the remaining provisional, dropped-off absentee and other ballots that require hand counting are added to the totals.
To no one’s great surprise, the 90265 zip code was Obamaland by almost two-to-one in the City of Malibu voting precincts, as well as in the precincts for the unincorporated area of Malibu, which is officially designated Malibu Heights by the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder’s Office.
The unofficial presidential vote tallies for the city are Barack Obama, 3865, and John McCain, 1992; with 41 votes for Peace and Freedom candidate Ralph Nader, 40 votes for Libertarian Bob Barr; 14 votes for Greens Cynthia McKinney; and 12 votes for American Independent Alan Keyes.
In the unincorporated segment of Malibu, traditionally more conservative than the shoreline but no longer so, Obama received 832 votes to McCain’s 495; Barr tallied 12 votes; Nader, 8; Keyes, 6; and McKinney, 2.
With all of the media and campaign insider emphasis on the record-setting registration of black and Hispanic voters and their important role in Obama’s historic victory, some political scientists are starting to ask whether other major demographic shifts are not being accorded their political due.
When those numbers are factored into the victory equation, Malibu’s demographics mirror changes on the national level that may have been just as, or even more, important to the Obama win than the minority votes.
Campaign analysts are still digesting the numbers, but there are signs that the fastest growing group of voters in America are individuals who earn $100,000 or more. When added to those making over $75,000, they comprise a majority of what is the highest-income electorate in U. S. history.
Among voters in the $250,000-plus bracket, the group Obama says he plans to tax more, the candidate also appears to have fared well, although how much of that outcome was due to an anybody-but-a-Republican-candidate mindset is still subject to study.
This strong percentage of higher income voters usually among the GOP faithful may have voted Democratic when their normally secure financial status did not provide immunity from the miasma now gripping the economy.
That Obama received record vote counts from a greatly expanded minority voter base is undisputed. Yet, ironically, especially if gay marriage is viewed as a civil rights issue, three-fourths of all minority voters in California voted in favor of Prop 8, which Obama had said he opposed, then calculatedly shied away from throughout the campaign.
However, that was not the case with affluent non-minority voters who overwhelmingly backed Obama. They opposed the effort to ban same sex unions by solid margins throughout the state.
That also was the case with City of Malibu voters who were adamantly opposed to Prop 8, voting against it 4032 to 1775. Unincorporated voters were also no-on-8 voters by 808 to 526.
Running unopposed for another term in the 30th Congressional District, Democrat Henry Waxman’s numbers paralleled Obama’s, an indication of his popularity within the district and the powerful anti-GOP sentiment.
In the 23rd State Senate District race, similar patterns marked Democrat Fran Pavley’s solid win over the Republican and Libertarian candidates.
In the 41st State Assembly District race, incumbent Democrat Julia Brownley appeared to show somewhat more non-partisan support as she claimed victory with more than the party faithful in her political corner.
In the Superior Court race with the greatest local interest, candidate Cynthia Loo, who grew up in Malibu, lost overall, but won her hometown with 5131 votes of the total cast by the 7362 voters who went to the polls. Vote totals in other court races without a local component were much lower.
Malibuites supported Measures 2, 3, 1A, 11, 12, R and U.
Measure 9, named Marsy’s Law after a young Malibu woman who was murdered, won statewide, but may have lost by a small margin in Malibu, another reflection of strong party line voting.
Measure AA, which won handily overall, barely achieved the 55 percent vote it needed in Malibu and Malibu Heights precincts. The measure’s proponents waged a strong advertising campaign in Malibu, which overcame growing resistance to increased funding for Santa Monica College, which still has unspent monies from a previous measure.
In the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District board race, localism trumped other issues, but not in the final outcome.
Local school product Ben Allen the top vote-getter won a seat, but Chris Bley. who also grew up in the district and was only 130 Malibu votes behind him, well ahead of the other winners, Maria Leon-Vazquez and Jose Escarce, didn’t. The three successful candidates had the support of powerful Santa Monica political organizations.
Malibuites, however, did agree with the final results for the three Santa Monica Community College board posts and gave Susan Aminoff, Robert Rader and Margaret Quinones-Perez their votes.
Local Congressional representatives, Henry Waxman for the city, and Brad Sherman for mountain areas, as well as U. S. Senators Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, indicate they expect a record number of requests for the limited number of bleacher seat tickets for Obama’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
Waxman has already posted an electronic application form on his Web site. Information about general public access to inaugural events is available at http://inaugural.senate.gov/index.cfm