Santa Cruz business owners and politicians donated primarily to city council candidates Don Lane, Cynthia Mathews, Pamela Comstock and Richelle Noroyan as of Oct. 22, according to the Santa Cruz Sentinel. Big names on the local scene, including boardwalk owners Charles and Tom Canfield, former California Secretary of State Bruce McPherson and county treasurer Fred Keeley have donated the bulk of their support to these four candidates. Comstock remains the frontrunner in campaign contributions, having raised $31,791.
As of Oct. 28, 153,574 people have registered to vote in Santa Cruz County, an increase of over 5,000 compared to voters registered for the 2008 presidential election. County clerk Gail Pellerin attributes this success to the new online voter registration system. In Santa Cruz County alone, 7,843 voters have used the online system to register, according to the Santa Cruz Sentinel.
Californians donated more money to the Democratic Party than any other state in the 2011–12 election year, with a total of $185.6 million. California is also the second-largest state contributor to the Republican Party, donating $123 million to Republicans — an amount surpassed only by Texas. Of a total $314.6 million donated to federal candidates, three out of every five dollars were donated to a candidate outside of California, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
As of Oct. 21, according to a Los Angeles Times poll, support for Gov. Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30 tax initiative has dropped to 46 percent. Forty-two percent of respondents oppose the proposition, while 13 percent are undecided. In the last week, Brown has been campaigning more aggressively for the tax initiative, including a visit at UCSC on Oct. 26. The rival tax initiative to Brown’s proposal, the Molly Munger-backed Proposition 38, has a support rating of only 28 percent, according to the same poll.
An Arizona non-profit group has made an $11 million donation to the campaigns for “No on 30” and “Yes on 32.” The people behind this donation, which is the largest anonymous political contribution in California history, remain unknown. The Fair Political Practices Commission has demanded documentation from the group, which thus far has refused to provide any further information, claiming that they are protected from releasing documentation under the first amendment. California law states that the names of donors must be disclosed if they donate to an organization with the knowledge that their money will be used for political purposes. The California Superior Court has set a hearing for Tuesday, according to the Los Angeles Times.
ABC News, based on their analysis of which candidate is likely to obtain the electoral college votes from each swing state, said on Tuesday that the 2012 presidential race may end with each candidate receiving 269 electoral votes, just one shy of the 270 needed to win. The most plausible scenario consists of Obama winning Ohio, New Hampshire and Wisconsin, with Romney winning Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado, Nevada and Iowa. Were this scenario to occur, the Constitution states that the newly elected House of Representatives would choose the presidential winner, whereas the Senate would select the vice president. According to ABC, such an outcome could result in a Romney/Biden administration.
According to CNN, third-party candidates Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party) and Virgil Goode (Constitution Party) could siphon off a few thousand votes from candidates Mitt Romney and Barack Obama in key “battleground” states. Although, third-party candidates have less influence than they did two decades ago — take for instance the fact that in 1992 Ross Perot won 19 percent of the vote — even a relatively minor number of votes for a third-party candidate can swing the election by taking votes away from the major candidates.
Polls conducted on Oct. 23–24 show Obama and Romney tied at 48 percent each in Colorado, while Obama has 50 percent to Romney’s 47 percent in Nevada, according to CNN. Romney has gained in each state since September, from 43 percent in Colorado and 45 percent in Nevada. Following the third presidential debate, in the realm of foreign policy Obama had an edge of 51 percent to Romney’s 44 percent in both Colorado and Nevada.