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Steinberg: Senate Democrats Eye Supermajority

Aired 2/1/12 on KPBS News.

The Democratic leader of the California State Senate says he thinks his party can win enough seats this year to reach a two-thirds supermajority. That’s the margin required to raise taxes and place measures on ballots.

The Democratic leader of the California State Senate said he thinks his party can win enough seats this year to reach a two-thirds supermajority. That's the margin required to raise taxes and place measures on ballots.

Senate President Darrell Steinberg said that's thanks in large part to last week's California Supreme Court ruling. The ruling leaves new Senate maps drawn by the Citizens Redistricting Commission in place for 2012.

"Between the Supreme Court's decision and our own quiet work to avoid what would have been expensive and difficult primaries, even under the open primary system - we are now, I think, set to compete and to compete aggressively. And we will do so," said Steinberg.

Steinberg believes Democrats should have 26 "relatively safe" seats - one shy of two-thirds - along with three competitive races.

California Republican Party Chairman Tom Del Beccaro said the state has run out of money under Democratic control - so voters should be "very concerned" about a potential supermajority.

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