2020 Primary Analysis: 33rd Assembly District

The 33rd Assembly District falls entirely within the boundaries of San Bernardino County. Jay Obernolte (R) has been the incumbent since 2014 when he took over for the departing Tim Donnelly.

This district shows the following party registration for the three largest political groups (the source is http://www.l2political.com):

Republican- 34.8%
Democrat- 33.3%
NPP- 23.4%

This seat could have been very competitive in 2020 based on the registration numbers (will explain why it won’t down below). Here are the 2016 primary results:

Socorro Cisneros (D)- 19.2%
Scott Markovich (D)- 15.0%
Jay Obernolte (R)- 65.8%

65,520 ballots were cast in this race. Obernolte ran way ahead of registration which leads me to believe that NPP voters lean heavily to the conservative side. In November Obernolte won by a margin of 60.2% to 39.8%

In 2020, Democrats royally screwed up in the primary election by fielding four candidates. Here are the 2020 results:

Socorro Cisneros (D)- 14.0%
Blanca Gomez (D)- 10.3%
Roger La Plante (D)- 6.5%
Anthony Roades (D)- 8.8%
Rick Herrick (R)- 17.2%
Thurston Smith (R)- 38.0%
Alex Walton (R)- 5.2%

Democrats got locked out of the November election due to the vote being split by the four candidates. This will cost them an opportunity to build upon their lead in seats.

We will now see an inner-party face-off between Rick Herrick (R) and Thurston Smith (R). Herrick is a member of the Big Bear Lake City Council and Smith is the former Mayor of Hesperia.

The strong performance by Smith in the primary is hard to look past. I predict that Thurston Smith will win in November.

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