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California Assembly Dems Eye Supermajority

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio / File

File: Voters choose their candidates at the polls during an election in 2014.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio / File

Democrats in the California Assembly need to pick up only a couple of seats in the November elections to win two-thirds control of the chamber. Meanwhile, Donald Trump has performed terribly against Hillary Clinton in the last few California polls.

In a normal election year, that would be a bad sign for Republicans running down-ticket. Typically, the most high-profile races drive turnout.

But Republican political consultant Mike Madrid says Trump’s unpopularity may not hurt the party in down-ballot, state races.

"Republicans tend to be an older, more engaged voter anyway," Madrid says "It’s why their propensity, or their likelihood, to show up is pretty consistent."

In June, more Republicans voted in down-ballot races than in the presidential race.

Still, Madrids thinks Democrats in the state Assembly have good odds in November of picking up the two seats necessary for a two-thirds majority, which is the threshold required to raise taxes.

"They’re pretty good, not just because of this year, but maybe especially because of this year," Madrid says. "Democrats do very well in presidential years and they do very poorly in off-years."

And, he says the swings have grown wider in recent years.

Democratic political consultant Darry Sragow also favors Assembly Democrats to reacquire a supermajority.

"Democrats clearly in California have reason to be optimistic," says Sragow. "Democratic registration has increased as a percentage of the electorate, Republican share of the electorate is decreasing."

Democrats would need to pick up one seat for a supermajority in the state Senate, but there are fewer competitive races this year.

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