Down Ballot: May 20, 2014, 14 days to Election Day

STATE SENATE DISTRICT 10 Republican Peter Kuo is making many a Democrat in District 10 worried (and also excited). There is palpable buzz that he could possibly eek into the top two next June and at the expense, most likely, of Mary Hayashi. Kuo’s campaign says a poll it commissioned shows him in second place trailing Bob Wieckowski by five points. The poll of 400 likely voters by Dane and Associates shows Wieckowski leading with 27.8 percent, followed by Kuo at 22.6 percent. Hayashi comes in at 17 percent, while the polls found 20 percent of respondents are still undecided. Numbers for candidates Roman Reed and Audie Bock were not included, nor was a margin of error…Scott Lay at The Nooner believes the likelihood of Wieckowski and Hayashi facing off in the fall is “50-50.”

CONGRESS DISTRICT 17 UC Berkeley lecturer Harry Snyder negatively equates Ro Khanna’s considerable backing from tech leaders to other colossal American industries in an opinion piece for the Sacramento Bee. “Supporters of Khanna have likened investing in his campaign to financing a startup – taking a risk on something new and untested in hopes of big dividends – but there’s nothing new about this. Just like Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Auto and Big Health Care – Big Tech is investing in its own go-to guy. When a private interest, even tech, is bankrolling a public servant, it’s not ‘occupying’ democracy; it’s stepping on it.”…Time magazine columnist Joe Klein covered California’s jungle primary. He asked Khanna about nagging allegation his campaign made a coordinated effort to enlist Republican Joel Vanlandingham in order to siphon votes away from fellow Republican Vanila Singh. “I would have to be pretty stupid to get involved in that sort of thing,” Khanna told Klein. “I mean, Vanlandingham was really tough on me in the League of Women Voters debate.”…Singh said on Twitter Monday she and volunteers knocked on 1,500 doors last weekend…At a GOTV rally in Newark last Saturday, Rep. Mike Honda teared up when acknowledging the hard work of his supporters.

CONGRESS DISTRICT 15 Ellen Corbett reeled in a potential legislative talking point on Monday for her challenge to Rep. Eric Swalwell. The State Senate passed a bipartisan bill cutting off the state from any “material support” or resources to any federal agency, including the National Security Agency, which engages in the illegal collection of cell phone metadata. The bill passed, 29-1, and was sponsored by State Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) and Joel Anderson (R-San Diego). In several candidate’s forums this primary season, Corbett has referenced Swalwell’s 2013 vote allowing government monitoring of web histories without a warrant…Swalwell’s propensity for corny YouTube videos is well-known. He now has one featuring supporters reading a David Letterman-style Top 10 of reasons to re-elect Swalwell. One reason: he likes puppies.

OTHER Political Data, Inc. released statistics Monday comparing the voter I.D. of absentee ballots already returned to California county registrars to the 2012 June primary. The numbers show Democratic and Republican absentee voters slightly lagging behind at this point two years ago. However, No Party Preference voters are running slightly above 2012. In addition, most estimates predict an even smaller turnout than the primary two years ago.