And not just for the House races, which generally went pretty well from my view. I'm talking about the local results.
In terms of propositions, a few that I voted for lost, but I had mixed feelings about them anyway. In fact, I feel a bit stupid given that 75% of voters in some cases had voted the other way... (What did they know that I didn't?) So no tobacco tax, no weird parcel tax that apparently even its supporters didn't bother to campaign for, no public campaign financing, and no alternative energy program. (Actually, that may be too bad because it's a worthy goal, but it's also possible that the proposition wasn't very good. I'm not sure.) Conversely certain measures that I'd voted against won, and I'm ok with that too. (E.g., emergency shelter funding and the second flood proposition.)
Of course there were some things that came out just as I wanted them to, like the passage of many bond proposals and the rejection of the parental notification law for teens seeking abortions. There were, however, some things where I'm not pleased with the outcome. One is the draconian sex offender registry requirements. See, this is why certain laws should not be put directly to the electorate. It's really hard to get people not to vote for things that will make sex offenders more miserable. I think the interests of justice require a measured, thoughtful approach to the appropriate punishment for their crimes, but people will of course have the natural reflex to just want to string 'em all up and vote yes for any measure that seems to allow them to do that. So I wait to see if this law passes constitutional muster (Edit: it may not), and if it is allowed to stand, whether it doesn't end up making things worse in the long run.
The other measure I'm sorry to see pass is 1A. A few years ago, before I'd gone off to law school, there had been a ballot measure requiring that auto-related taxes only be spent on auto-related expenses. That sounds good, until you realize that it completely constrains the legislature from being able to spend its revenues in any sort of flexible way that may be necessary. If money is needed for, say, schools, and there's extra money raised from gas taxes, the schools will be out of luck. California will have pristine roads, but lousy schools. (Actually, that may well be the case already...) What appears to have happened is that the legislature found a loophole so that funds could be reallocated. This proposition, at least as far as I can tell, seems to close that loophole.
Even more locally, Measure R, the Marin train measure, seems to be failing but the final result may not be out yet. It has a majority, but it needs 2/3, and that's going to be a struggle to get.
Then in terms of elected officials, things seem to have gone ok. I think only two of my choices for major offices didn't win: Cruz Bustamente for insurance commissioner (probably because of the incessant ads accusing him of taking money from people he shouldn't have) and Arnold Schwarzenegger. I find his political fortunes so baffling. I really can't stand him. His ascension to office in the first place seemed so illegitimate, his association to Bush so unfortunate, his arrogance so insufferable... I couldn't imagine that the people wouldn't kick him out at the first opportunity. And for a while polls suggested that they would. But then the Democrats engaged in a vicious primary, where the candidate left standing was already politically damaged. And the guy they picked was Phil Angelides, who is probably a very nice guy and potentially a great public administrator, but a very limp personality. Or at least compared to Arnold, who is bigger than life. That perception of their respective personalities I'm sure was a major factor in the election. I met someone a few weeks ago, who generally shared my political leanings, who said he'd still vote for Schwarzenegger for governor. "But WHY?" I asked him. And then he threw out some statistic about how much California rice China is now buying from the US, and how that increase has all happened under Schwarzenegger's watch. I wanted to shout that it's a coincidence of history - China's imports have grown dramatically in all quarters in the last few years. But as far as he was concerned, it was all because all the Chinese leaders wanted to meet this American movie star and were so star-struck that they agreed to all these deals. Under his theories, Angelides couldn't sell the rice; only Arnold could.
This I doubt, but I think it's this general sense of wanting the head of state to be more than a just a public official but rather an actual figurehead that appealed to voters. Which I can definitely see the merits of but I don't think trumps bad politics.