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Experts Say California’s Primary a Big Question Mark

SACRAMENTO -- If you like a nice, predictable election cycle this year isn’t that.

"Probably the most difficult election in California history from the standpoint of polling," said political analyst and veteran journalist Dan Walters.

With 27 candidates for governor, California still adjusting to the top-two primary system and Sacramento and Nevada counties locally using new voting methods, Walters says it’s chaos for campaign managers trying to figure out where their candidates stand, let alone the voters themselves.

"We don’t know. All these things are cross-currents and we won’t know the answer," Walters said. "We’ll know some of the answers this week. We’ll know more of the answers in November. And we won’t know the final answers until you get past that and the people who are elected in November actually go to work."

Voters at Colonial Heights Library casting their ballots Monday said it doesn’t matter if their candidates are shoo-ins or underdogs.

"I think voting is always important," said local voter Fernaeda Fonseca. "You should always speak your mind and you should always make sure the people are representing your needs. So it doesn’t matter."

There are two elections in particular that will draw voters in Sacramento County.

The races for Sacramento County Sheriff and District Attorney may hinge on a couple big cases in ways not seen in past elections. The arrest of a suspect in the East Area Rapist case and the lack of an arrest in the shooting death of Stephon Clark are what Walters calls election X-factors.

"In a way, it’s kind of wrong that all these things should hinge on a couple of sensational cases," Walters said.