Election Day in New Jersey and California

Today, voters head to the polls to fill a vacant Congressional seat in downtown Los Angeles, and pick their party candidates in the Garden State. Polls close at 8pm in New Jersey, and barring a dramatic error in polling, both parties seem to have already decided on their nominees: Phil Murphy has dominated the Democratic field, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno the Republican one. Between the two contests, the Republican one is more prime for an upset, but I’m saying that because the polling has been slightly closer there than within the Democratic field, turnout is low, and Guadagno’s biggest opponent, State Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, has received a few county GOP endorsements. Expect numbers to start rolling in rather quickly: with low turnout and our volunteers set, it will probably be an early night in the East.
The possible surprise tonight comes from the best coast, the West Coast: the special Congressional election to fill CA-34. From an field of almost two dozen candidates (including almost twenty Democrats), two advanced: Democrat Robert Lee Ahn and Democrat (and current State Assemblyman) Jimmy Gomez. Gomez is the favorite in this contest, but turnout has been (typically) horrible. Only 21,000 votes by mail have been cast so far, which may fall short of the first round’s anemic 22k. The district is heavily Latino, but Korean-Americans have cast the most votes by mail- and more than they did in round one (the Latino VBM vote is down, as of today, from the primary). We still expect Gomez to win tonight, but of the three major contests we are covering today, this is the one with the most uncertain outcome.
A reminder: we are also covering the UK General Election Thursday, the San Antonio Mayoral runoff Saturday, and the statehood referendum in Puerto Rico on Sunday.