Electoral College to meet Monday, hand state’s votes to Obama

The California Electoral College will meet Monday in Sacramento to formally cast the state’s 55 electoral votes for President Obama.

The procedural meeting starts at 2 p.m. in the California Assembly’s chambers.

Obama won California with more than 60 percent of the statewide vote.

An analysis of Riverside County’s election results show Obama also won over the Coachella Valley.

The breakdown shows Obama beat GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney in five of the nine desert cities: Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, Indio and Palm Springs.

Mitt Romney, Barack Obama: Tracking the state-by-state presidential projections

With polls closed on the East Coast, we tracked the results coming in — and, of course, the projections being made in the presidential election.

It took only a few minutes after West Coast closed its polls for several media outlets to project that President Obama won a second term.

A candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win.

Here’s the roundup of endorsements we saw:



President Barack Obama

  • Vermont (AP, FOX News) – 3 electoral votes
  • Illinois (AP, CNN, FOX News) – 20
  • Connecticut (AP, CNN) – 7
  • Maine (AP, CNN) – 4
  • D.C. (AP, CNN) – 3
  • Delaware (AP, CNN, FOX News) – 3
  • Rhode Island (AP, CNN, FOX News) – 4
  • Maryland (AP, CNN, FOX News) – 10
  • Massachusetts (AP, CNN, FOX News) – 11
  • New Jersey (AP, FOX News, NPR) – 14
  • New York (AP, FOX News, NPR) – 29
  • Michigan (AP, FOX News, NPR) – 16
  • Pennsylvania (AP, CNN, FOX News) – 20
  • Wisconsin (CBS, FOX News, NBC) – 10
  • New Hampshire (ABC News, CBS, FOX News, NPR) – 4
  • Minnesota (ABC News, NPR) – 10
  • New Mexico (ABC News, FOX News) – 5
  • California (AP, CBS) – 55
  • Hawaii (AP, CBS) – 4
  • Washington (AP, CBS) – 12
  • Ohio (AP, NPR) – 18
  • Oregon (CBS, NPR) – 7
  • Iowa (AP, NPR) – 6

Total electoral votes so far for Obama, if  these projections hold true: 287


Gov. Mitt Romney

  • Georgia (AP, CNN,  FOX News, NPR) – 16 electoral votes
  • Kentucky (AP, CNN, FOX News) – 8
  • Indiana (CNN, FOX News) – 11
  • South Carolina  (CNN, FOX News) – 9
  • West Virginia (AP, CNN, FOX News) – 5
  • Oklahoma (AP, CNN, ABC News, FOX News, NPR) – 7
  • Mississippi (AP, NPR) – 6
  • Alabama (AP, CNN, FOX News, NPR) – 9
  • Tennessee (AP, CNN, FOX News, NPR) – 11
  • Arkansas (AP, CNN, FOX News, NPR) – 6
  • Texas (AP, FOX News, NPR) – 38
  • Kansas (AP, FOX News, NPR) – 6
  • South Dakota (AP, FOX News, NPR) – 3
  • North Dakota (AP, FOX News, NPR) – 3
  • Louisiana (AP, FOX News, NPR) – 8
  • Wyoming  (AP, FOX News, NPR) – 3
  • Nebraska (AP, NPR) – 5
  • Utah (ABC News, CNN, NPR) – 6
  • Idaho (ABC News) – 4
  • Montana (CBS News) – 3
  • Missouri (CBS News) – 10
  • Arizona (AP, FOX News) – 11
  • North Carolina (NPR) – 15
  • Idaho (FOX News) – 4

Total electoral votes so far for Romney if these projections hold true: 207

Democratic women rally against Mary Bono Mack

A group dubbed “Women Against Mary” will protest in front of Rep. Mary Bono Mack’s district office in Palm Desert today.

Democrats formed the group earlier this year as part of their effort to unseat the Palm Springs Republican, who has been tapped by GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney to help campaign on women’s issues.

Today’s protest, which starts at 1 p.m., will focus on the issue of equal pay for women.

Bono Mack in 2009 voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, a bill that was passed by the then-Democratically controlled House to help ensure women get equal pay for equal work.

Democrats have scheduled similar rallies for Oct. 11 and Oct. 18.

Presidential debate: Give us your feedback

President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will face off for the first time Wednesday night.

The much-anticipated debate — the first of three scheduled — will start at 6 p.m. local time. It should be broadcast live on C-SPAN, ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC as well as cable news channels such as CNN, Fox News and MSNBC.

The 90-minute session is expected to focus on the economy, with additional questions on health care and “the role of government,” according to the Commission on Presidential Debates.

We’re anxious to get your reactions to what the candidates are saying. Share your reactions to the debate as it unfolds via Twitter by using the hashtag #cvelection in your tweets.

We’ll be watching with you and will feature your tweets in our live debate coverage. A selection of your best tweets may also be included in Thursday’s MyDesert coverage of the debate.

If you want to watch the debate with some like-minded friends, both the Democrats and the Republicans are hosting parties Wednesday night.

– Local Democrats will be at the Stadium Club Sports Bistro in Rancho Mirage, 69-640 Highway 111. Doors open at 5 p.m. A $10 donation is requested.

Reservations: (760) 328-9425

– The Palm Springs Republican Women Federated will be at the Palm Canyon Roadhouse in Palm Springs, 535 S. Palm Canyon Drive. It starts at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for members and $15 for guests.

Reservations: (760) 837-7072

Getting out the (mock) vote

Candidates may be trying to woo voters in their late teens and early 20s. But the state officials are looking at an even younger demographic.

Secretary of State Debra Bowen and state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson are inviting high school and middle school students to participate in the 2012 MyVote California Student Mock Election.

The mock ballot will let students weigh in on the race for the White House, the U.S. Senate campaign and the 11 statewide ballot measures.

“These mock elections can make the upcoming election a teachable moment in California’s classrooms, and help students make the connection between the principles of democracy and their own lives,” Torlakson said in a statement.

Interested schools can sign up here. You have until Sept. 21 to get involved.

The actual vote will be conducted on Oct. 30, which is one week before Election Day.

Bono Mack: GOP abortion platform ‘particularly frustrating’

Rep. Mary Bono Mack has expressed her disagreement with the abortion platform that her fellow Republicans adopted in anticipation of the GOP convention.

The platform encourages a constitutional amendment to ban abortion, with no exceptions made for rape or incest.

“Every four years we go through the process of drafting a party platform and every four years this issue is particularly frustrating.  I do not agree with the language that has been adopted on abortion,” Bono Mack, a Palm Springs Republican, said in a statement.

“I am a Republican because I will always fight for economic freedom, fiscal responsibility, and energy independence.  As Republicans, we will always agree more than we disagree.”

Bono Mack will be in Tampa next week as a convention delegate for presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney. She is also a member of the convention’s rules committee.

Bono Mack’s Democratic challenger is Raul Ruiz, an emergency room physician from Palm Desert.

The issue of abortion has been a big talking point on the campaign trail this week after U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin, a Missouri Republican, suggested abortion laws don’t need exceptions for rape because “legitimate rape” rarely results in pregnancy.

His comments were blasted by both Bono Mack and U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, a Rancho Mirage Democrat.

No visit from Romney

We couldn’t help but pause when we saw this notice from the California Department of Transportation:

“I-10 (maintenance) nightwork rescheduled due to Mitt Romney visit to Banning”

The roadwork was slated for Wednesday night but has been rescheduled for Thursday.

Except Romney is not coming to Banning.

“The governor will not be in CA tomorrow. Sorry for any confusion,” regional press secretary Allie Brandenburger said in an email to The Desert Sun today.

A media advisory sent to reporters this week said Romney would be campaigning in Iowa on Wednesday morning.

According to news reports, he’s slated to be in New Jersey that afternoon for a fundraiser.

The CalTrans spokeswoman who released the alert has not returned a message left on her cell phone.

But those familiar with Romney’s campaign schedule said a rally is scheduled in Banning this week to support the Republican’s presidential bid.

Boxer cancels campaign event

In light of the Colorado theater shooting, U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer this morning canceled a conference call she was scheduled to have with reporters covering the presidential campaign.

Boxer, a Rancho Mirage Democrat, was supposed to join California Attorney General Kamala Harris on the call. An invitation to the call said they would discuss the contrasts between President Obama and Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney.

The press call was scrapped early this morning following a shooting at a Denver-area movie theater, when a masked gunman opened fire during a midnight showing of the new Batman movie.

According to the latest reports, 12 people were killed and dozens more were injured.

“My thoughts and prayers go out to the families whose loved ones were killed or injured in this senseless tragedy,” Boxer said in a statement issued by her office this morning.

“We hold them in our hearts today and pray that those injured make a full recovery.”

Both Obama and Romney also announced they would not be campaigning today.

Bono Mack to address GOP donors at Romney’s Utah retreat

Rep. Mary Bono Mack will address top Republican donors who are gathering in Utah this weekend for a retreat with presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Invitations to the event were extended to donors who have raised $50,000 or more for Romney’s White House bid, according to media reports.

The Desert Sun has learned that Bono Mack is one of five members of the House who are scheduled to speak. A handful of U.S. senators and governors are also on the agenda.

Bono Mack, a Palm Springs Republican, will be leading a Saturday discussion on energy issues. She sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and chairs the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade.

When asked about the retreat, Bono Mack’s spokesman Ken Johnson said she was invited about a week ago.

“Congresswoman Bono Mack is looking forward to a wide-ranging discussion about critically important policy issues facing the  nation,” Johnson told The Desert Sun.

“The congresswoman firmly believes by expanding domestic energy production, we can create tens of thousands of jobs nationwide and help revive America’s beleaguered manufacturing sector.”

This is not the first time Bono Mack has played a notable role in Romney’s campaign.

She and her husband, Republican Rep. Connie Mack of Florida, in January joined the presidential campaign trail in order to sway Floridians’ vote. She also discussed women’s issues on a national conference call with reporters.

Bono Mack will be back in the Coachella Valley on Sunday, when she is expected to meet with supporters of her own re-election campaign. Bono Mack faces Democrat Raul Ruiz, an emergency room physician from Palm Desert, in the battle for the 36th Congressional seat.

Field Poll: Obama has 16-point lead in California

President Obama has a commanding lead when it comes to the race for California’s 55 electoral votes.

According to a Field Poll survey released this morning, Obama earns support from 48 percent of the state’s registered voters, while Republican challenger Mitt Romney garners 32 percent.

“Democrats, independents, women, younger and middle-age voters, Latinos and other ethnic voter groups are contributing heavily to Obama’s preference advantage,” the Field Poll noted.

The results of the Field Poll will come as little surprise to anyone tracking California’s voting trends.

The Field Poll noted that the size of Obama’s lead and the “positive image appraisals” that voters have are similar to the Field Poll results that have been done in the spring of each of the last four presidential campaigns.

“This augurs well for Obama’s chances to recapture California in November, since in each of those campaigns the Democrat went on to carry the state by double-digit margins,” the survey noted.

You can read more of the results here. California holds its presidential primary election on Tuesday.

Despite Obama’s lead, Romney isn’t writing off California voters.

On Thursday, the former Massachusetts governor held a news conference in front of the closed Solyndra facility in Fremont. He also met with former First Lady Nancy Reagan at her Los Angeles home, where they had “some lemonade and cookies,” according to a statement Reagan issued.

Today, he continues his California trip by stumping in Riverside County, although he has no events planned for the Coachella Valley.

A luncheon fundraiser that’s being held in Riverside is co-sponsored by Rep. Mary Bono Mack, a Palm Springs Republican who is helping head his California campaign. But the congresswoman won’t be actually attending the event.