Book excerpt: The Almanac of American Politics 2020

With the 2020 presidential election cycle poised to lurch into high gear following the Labor Day weekend, the arrival of The Almanac of American Politics 2020 ensures that reporting on the political scene will be more accurate, if not cheering.

The book covers members of Congress and governors, with profiles and election results, with districts and states.

If you want a good handle on California as we stumble towards the March 3, 2020 primary election, start reading on page 147 and continue until you hit Colorado on page 322.

The Almanac rates him almost a pure Liberal, with a composite score of 99% Liberal/1% Conservative. The conservative comes out in the social category. I will have to poke around to find out what’s included in that category. The rating is based on an analysis of twelve key roll-call votes in the 115th Congress that are classified as economic, social, or foreign policy.

As a sample, I have excerpted below from the entry on page 303 for Alan Lowenthal (D-CA47):

Alan Lowenthal, a Democrat first elected in 2012, is a rare academician seeking to bring pragmatic problem-solving to Washington. As the new chairman of a subcommittee dealing with energy and mineral resource issues, he planned to focus on sustainable and renewable energy development. His port district has made him very familiar with freight and offshore production issues. With lengthy experience at home and in Sacramento, he kept a low profile in the House minority but raised thoughtful ideas.

Lowenthalhas styled himself as a behind-the-scenes operator. “I don’t scream and yell,” he told the Long Beach Post in December 2018. “I just make it very clear where I am and what I am going to do”

The recap of prior elections shows that Lowenthal outspent Republican challengers by a lot — in the 2016 election against John Briscoe, he outspent his challenger by 10-to-1.

The Almanac describes Lowenthal’s District thusly:

The 47th Congressional District is centered on Long Beach, and takes in Signal Hill, where oil rigs are still pumping. Parts are in Orange County, including Los Alamitos and Cypress, which has a large Asian-American population and is the birthplace of golfing great Tiger Woods. Parts of Garden Grove and Westminster, founded as a Presbyterian temperance colony in 1870, are shared with the 48th District. Nearly two-thirds of the total vote is in Los Angeles County. Politically, it leans strongly Democratic. In 2016, Hillary Clinton led Donald Trump, 62%-31%.

Lowenthal’s opponent this election cycle is Republican Amy Phan West.