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Morning Report: An Early Look at Who’s Voting

Crystal ball, activate! A sure thing or two about the election, pastors gone rogue, Chula Vista’s climate-fighting future, more pension trouble and a long beer week.

By this time tomorrow, we’ll be able to put all the cliches back in storage and — with any luck — not have to worry how “it all comes down to turnout” until 2016 rolls around. For now, we can take a gander into a hazy crystal ball courtesy of VOSD reporter Liam Dillon, and a report from the National University System Institute for Policy Research.

Here’s what we know:

• When one of San Diego’s wildest and wooliest campaigns ever comes to an end today, congressional challenger Carl DeMaio may actually win. That’s because Republicans have been turning in ballots at a higher rate than Democrats in the district that’s currently represented by Rep. Scott Peters.

Sure, Peters won last time, knocking out a redistricted Republican incumbent. But Democratic voters seem to be scarcer this year, as predicted. If GOP types hold firm for DeMaio, his chances are good.

• People over the age of 55 have been much more likely to mail or otherwise turn in their ballots. (I assume everybody else is like me and will turn their mail ballots into the polls on Election Day because they spent too long procrastinating about trying to figure out whom the heck to vote for in the community college district election.)

• The registrar likes to release a chunk of returns right after 8 p.m. and then wait a few hours before telling anybody anything else. Those absentee numbers can be way off from the final results, as we saw in the 2012 mayoral race. But they could be fairly accurate tonight because so many people have already voted.

Election Roundup: One Sure Thing

• No matter what happens, San Diego is certain to have its first Asian-American Council member since the 1980s. Meanwhile, 10 of the county’s 18 cities will select mayors today. (City News Service)

• Local journalists have been gabbing about how DeMaio blocked them on Twitter, even though that only means it’ll now be a tiny hassle for the journos to read his tweets. (Poynter)

• Pastors around the country are endorsing candidates even though the IRS doesn’t like it. “If by chance a member of the IRS gets this sermon and is listening, sue me,” says pastor Jim Garlow of Skyline Church, who’s endorsed the Democrat, Rep. Scott Peters against DeMaio because he fears the challenger’s “radical homosexual agenda,” whatever that is. (Newsmax)

How Our Second City Will Combat Climate Change

Chula Vista, the county’s second-largest city, has had its own Climate Action Plan since 2000 and is updating it once again, much like San Diego is in the process of creating its own climate blueprint. We take a look at what a group of advisers — including environmentalists and business types — has come up with.

The Chula Vista proposal doesn’t do much to push people to renovate their existing homes to make them use less energy, and it seems like the final plan will be easier to tinker with than the one in San Diego.

• The Washington Post’s weather editor has a good question: Why on earth is anyone paying attention to former local weatherman John Coleman (the “K-Uuuuuu-S-I” guy), who’s been bouncing around national cable news networks and spouting off about how global warming isn’t real? Yes, he helped start the Weather Channel, but “he’s not providing good, objective information or a credible viewpoint on the issue. He doesn’t deserve the attention he’s getting.”

Another Looming Pension Debacle

Sacramento Bee columnist Dave Walters writes about how the state controller dropped “a political bomb” the other day with little notice. According to a new database, pension systems in the state owe retirees almost $200 billion that they don’t have. And it gets worse: “that startling number assumes that pension systems will see asset earnings of about 7.5 percent a year — a number that some are beginning to see as unattainable.” So that $200 billion number might be low.

• Good news for city employees and city retirees in the bankrupt city of Stockton “doesn’t mean that municipal employees — in California and across the country — have nothing to worry about if their governments seek protection from creditors.” (L.A. Times)

Quick News Hits: Suds for You

• NBC 7 has posted a map showing the locations of hundreds of serious dog bites in the county over the past three years. The map includes details about the bites and even photos of many of the dogs.

The news station says the number of reported bites is going up — more than 2,500 are investigated each year — and most of last year’s five fatal dog bites in California were in San Diego County.

• “The former executive director of La Jolla’s Congregation Beth El synagogue has been ordered to pay restitution of $470,500 by the federal judge who sentenced him to prison for 18 months for his role in defrauding the synagogue.” (sdnews.com)

• Baja California is having a tough time economically compared with the rest of Mexico. But San Diego’s economy is doing well. (KPBS)

• Talk about timing! San Diego Beer Week begins on Friday and runs until Nov. 16.

If you’re scoring at home, and I hope you are, that’s not a week. But after today, some local politicos will need all the Beer Week they can get.

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and president of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Please contact him directly at randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.

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