Does Rigard have a pathway to the November election for the 10th District California Assembly?

Mid-term primary elections notoriously have low voter participation, and this June's race for the 10th District California Assembly is no exception. According to Political Data Inc., as of May 27, only eight percent of eligible ballots for the 10th District Assembly race have been submitted.

Along with low turnout, candidates tend to appeal to party partisans during primary elections, the most consistent voters. In California, the top two finishers in the primary advance to the general election regardless of party affiliation which adds another wrinkle.

With five candidates in the 10th Assembly contest, four Democrats and one Republican, there is a good chance two Democrats could make it to the November ballot. But there are scenarios where the Republican in the race, Eric Rigard, could come in second place and advance in a district where Democrats have a distinct advantage.  

So far, 22,005 ballots have been submitted, of which 4,791 are Republican. If Rigard has even 90-percent of the Republican votes, he would have about 20-percent of the current total vote. Likewise, if he can pick up about a quarter of the independent vote, that would give him about 5440 votes, or about 25-percent of the total submitted votes.

That leaves about 75 percent left for the three viable Democrats - Rev. Tecoy Porter, Elk Grove City Council member Stephanie Nguyen, and Sacramento City Councilmember Eric Guerra will need to exceed Rigard's projected vote of 25-percent.

While Porter has been actively campaigning, he doesn't have the financial resources of Guerra and Nguyen. As a result, say Porter conservatively draws about eight or nine percent of the voter, combined with 25 percent for Rigard, which leaves about 66 percent for Nguyen and Guerra.

It is entirely possible Guerra, and Nguyen could split the 66-percent and win the top two positions, advancing them to the November election. On the other hand, Guerra and his supporters have emphasized his Democratic credentials and targeted Democratic voters by calling out Nguyen's party credentials.

Nguyen and her supporters have touted law endorsement credentials, making her an attractive candidate for the independent votes and, more significantly, Republicans. Will Republican voters abandon Rigard in the primary and vote for Nguyen thinking she has a realistic chance in November?

For Rigard to come in second place to either Nguyen or Guerra, he'll need to sweep Republican votes and secure a significant number of independent votes which is within the realm of possibility. Also, he needs help to ensure Nguyen's law and order message doesn't resonate with Republican voters who would otherwise vote for him.

Given Guerra and Nguyen have been subjected to negative campaign advertising, one of them may have already been sufficiently damaged with partisan Democratic voters. So the question is, who has higher negatives with Democratic voters?
What if Guerra or Nguyen loses a significant number of high propensity Democratic voters as a result of all the negative advertisements? In that case, they could easily drop below 30-percent, giving Rigard a narrow margin for second place.

Yes, Rigard, with a bit of help from others, has a decent chance to advance to the November election and that would suit Nguyen or Guerra just fine.
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