Yes, California Really Did Kick Ass in the November Election

On November 7 I reported that voter turnout in California had been lousy this year. On November 9 I reported that I had screwed up: voter turnout had actually been pretty great. Using estimates from David Dayen, I figured that total turnout would turn out to be about 12.7 million, or 50.4 percent of eligible voters. Today the Sacramento Bee provided us with nearly final numbers:

More than 25 million Californians were eligible to vote in the election, and nearly 19.7 million of them were registered — both record-highs. About 12.7 million Californians are expected to have voted in the November elections — the highest number in a general election midterm cycle in state history.

That was a pretty good estimate from David! Let this be a lesson to everyone: it takes a long time to count votes in California, so don’t jump to conclusions unless you really know what you’re talking about.

ALSO: We flipped seven seats from Republican to Democratic, 18 percent of the national total. That’s kicking ass.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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