A Night to Dismember the Democrats

Election 2010: Scenes from some of the few races where Dems didn't get tsunami'd

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11:15 p.m., Hyatt Regency, Irvine: California Republicans have been their own worst enemies when it comes to driving potential Latino voters away, and they didn’t help themselves again tonight. Lieutenant Governor Abel Maldonado—the highest-ranking Latino candidate in the state (running against Gavin Newsom to retain his office)—walks onto the stage with his family and is loudly booed. Not just once or twice, but three times. I guess Maldonado shouldn’t have cast that deciding vote to pass a Democratic budget. (RSM)

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Van Tran, pensive
Jonathan Ho
Van Tran, pensive

11:30 p.m. Hyatt Regency, Irvine: At a point when her votes are nearly tied with Boxer’s, challenger Fiorina takes the stage to ridicule “all those people who declared this race over” as soon as the polls closed. Fiorina describes herself as “tireless, fearless” and says it’s “not a smart thing to” underestimate her campaign. She then tells her supporters to prepare for a long night. “We may not know for many, many hours” she says. Many of her supporters, holding cocktails, seem okay with the idea. As she leaves the stage, the band plays “The Heat Is On” from the soundtrack of Beverly Hills Cop. (RSM)

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1 a.m., Tran Headquarters, Garden Grove: Inside the converted Blockbuster store, Tran continues to hold onto his dream of defeating Sanchez. Tran is trailing by more than 5,000 votes—and the gap seems to be getting larger. But, he says, “It’s not over. There are many, many more votes to count.”

His wife gives him a warm hug. But around the campaign headquarters, the mood is somber. People are consoling one another. One says, “Well, we scared Loretta.” Others are speaking rapidly in Vietnamese; I can hear Sanchez mentioned in every couple of sentences. In a corner, Tran continues to give media interviews. His words are positive, but he looks exhausted and his words come out slowly. His wife gives him another warm hug.

“We just have to wait,” he tells me. “But there won’t be any concession tonight.”

In the distance, a woman yells, “Does anyone want to take any rice home?” (RSM)

These reports first appeared on the Weekly’s Navel Gazing blog.

This article appeared in print as "Midterm Meltdown Madness! California asses are among the few that don’t get kicked, Prop. 19 goes down in smoke, and the Weekly is there."

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