Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Van Tran for Senate?

The word is out. The rumor has been kept as faithfully as certain elected officials’ wedding vows. Van Tran is likely to run for SD34.

After the 2004 debacle where not a single seat changed Party hands, conventional wisdom is that the only thing that could result in a change of breakdown in Sacramento is either the abduction of Dean Gardner (or whatever his name is) by aliens, or the passage of Prop 77.

However, I think one more thing could change that – Van Tran for Senate.

When I first heard Van was taking a serious look at this, I scoffed. But I did so foolishly, as I just didn’t know the numbers.

A little less than two years ago, I would’ve been right – running for this seat would’ve been a fool’s errand. There was a 10-point registration gap (44-34), and the numbers had been holding steady since they were drawn. But the mapmakers underestimated one thing, or rather one person, Van Tran.

When Van decided to run for Assembly, he got to work bringing Vietnamese-Americans into the political process, and the results have been staggering. Whereas about the time of the recall, the 34th Senate District had a 10-point gap, today Democrats hold only a 4-point advantage 41-37.

Additionally to Van’s advantage is that while his 68th AD holds only 65% of his home of Garden Grove, the 34th SD has 86% of it.

Further, evidence from recent elections shows Republicans can prosper. Bush beat Kerry this last year 52-47, and if anybody doesn’t think Van can outpoll the President in a district made up of 19% Asian voters is fooling themselves.

Initially, Senate Republican leader had been leaning towards recruiting a Hispanic Republican to run for this seat – someone such as Santa Ana Councilman Carlos Bustamante. Ackerman’s rationale for this was simple, demographically, Hispanics make up a whopping 60% of the district, while Asians make up only 18%. However, when you factor in the percentages each group makes up of the registered-voter population, Hispanics drop dramatically to only 30% of the electorate, while Asians actually climb a point to 19%. And this doesn’t even factor propensity, which as Mark Leyes found out the hard way, Asians in this area do tend to turn out for Van.

On the Demo side, the likely suspect to take the nomination appears to be Assemblyman Tom Umberg, though some rumors also place County Supe Lou Correa in the mix. If it is Umberg, as the good money says it’ll be, I wonder what the line on this race would be. Having seen numerically how Van has transformed the area, I sure wouldn’t bet against him.

Email Van, and tell him to make a go at this – we’d love to see a shakeup in Sacramento.


At 8/16/2005 8:39 AM, Blogger William C. Ferrell said...

I think Van can do it. Tran’s team is good and his support in the community is to a level ‎of almost legendary status. If the Asian community mobilizes like they did for his ‎Assembly run and he is able to do as well with Hispanics as the rest of Republicans I ‎think he can do it. ‎
‎ ‎

At 8/16/2005 9:10 AM, Blogger California Observer said...

Lou is having too much fun being on the Board of Supes. And Carlos Bustamante is he great GOP hope for Central Orange County, but he is still too new. Look for him to run for partisan office in a couple cycles.

Van Tran is the guy for SD 34. The asians will donate for him and turnout for him, and even as the Vietnamese vote gets less republican (as anti-communist sentiment fades from memory), they will cross party lines in a BOG way for Van.

Umberg is wounded, but not dead. Van Tran is theh GOP's only hope of winning this race.

At 8/17/2005 2:37 AM, Blogger Pete St. John said...

How realistic of a hope is it?

I think it's much better than a 50/50 proposition.

At 8/17/2005 4:22 PM, Blogger Roseville Conservative said...

Van Tran is awesome.

At 8/17/2005 5:35 PM, Blogger Senator McCarthy said...

Unless the 34th SD is cleared for Van and the Party promises him to put the race on the top of the list to target and fund in the General election, I wouldn't recommend Van leaving a safe Assembly seat to take on the Democrats for this seat. Maybe 2010 when he is termed out of the Assembly.

Politically speaking, if the 35th opens up for the special election, why not take a crack at it if Van doesn't have to risk losing his assembly seat?

Only reason for Van to run for the 34th instead of the 35th SD is to position himself to challenge Loretta Sanchez for the congressional seat if he wins the 34th and waits for a favorable drawing of Sanchez's district . . . Van might get himself a congressional seat . . . but I think it is a bit too risky and a lot of "what ifs."

By the way, 35th District has a heavy Asian population and will probably vote as a block. Look at the Irvine City Council race where the two Asians got elected from a different ticket.

At 8/17/2005 5:45 PM, Blogger NickM said...

SD12 (Denham) will be at the top of the list for funding. SD34 will be second.

One wild card is whether Loretta Sanchez decides to run for statewide office (Governor, or, if Feinsten retires, Senator). If he wants it, Tran would be the GOP frontrunner for that seat.


At 8/17/2005 6:03 PM, Blogger Pete St. John said...


denham has yet to draw serious opposition, thus the caucus will likely be off the hook from having to make a serious investment to keep him.

denham has pulled off a few magic tricks since being elected, including somehow weaseling himself a spot as CHAIRMAN of senate agriculture.

i can't find it, but if anyone has the article from politicalpulse a while back, it might be fun to infuse into the conversation.

At 8/17/2005 8:11 PM, Blogger NickM said...

Simon Salinas has not raised any serious money, but as a sitting legislator, he could raise whatever he needs. Fred Keeley has not raised much if any money either, but he would also be a very serious opponent.

I do not expect the Democrats to give Denham a pass.

At 8/17/2005 8:16 PM, Blogger Roseville Conservative said...

Hi Pete:

I will respectfully disagree with you on the Denham subject.

Denham has received a rock solid 80+ score on every CRA Scorecard. As the State CRA Sgt. at Arms, I would know.

Maybe he cut a deal of two, but he is all aces from a GOP perspective.


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