Election Eve

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This is Kevin Roderick with LA Observed for KCRW.

Well here we are. One day left in the California election marathon.

That means the candidates are out today making their last rounds of the state, from Sacramento to San Diego.

One place they aren't spending a lot of time today is in Los Angeles.

That's because, for most of the races, Los Angeles isn't really seen as in play.

LA is certainly big and potentially decisive – about one in four California voters live in LA County. And turnout tomorrow is expected to be crucial.

But the City of LA is safely Democratic. Almost as liberal, when it comes to voting, as San Francisco.

That's why Jerry Brown began today greeting voters in Old Town San Diego. The polls have him ahead of Meg Whitman, but only if Democrats come out to vote and if he can win over enough of the independent voters who are in play.

Like those in San Diego.

There was a time when LA was the capital of last-minute campaigning. That was back when candidates didn't spend $100 million of their own money to run.

And when how many voter hands they shook was important to their success.

Now the war is fought mostly on television and radio, and increasingly on the Internet. Even YouTube videos are coming with 15-second campaign ads attached to the front of them this election season.

There is still some value, though, in being seen talking to voters in the state's biggest media market. That's why Senator Barbara Boxer began her morning at Patys coffee shop in Toluca Lake.

Interrupting voters during their coffee and bagel is a time-honored tradition of LA campaigning.

Democrats for years have pitched for the Jewish vote at Canter's. Or at Art's Deli in Studio City

Boxer's stop at Patys was the closest thing to a deli walk-through I could find on today's schedules. I didn't go, but I wonder what kind of reaction she got.

When I flew up to Oakland last week on the same Southwest flight as Boxer, she waited in line just like the rest of us – and nobody bothered her.

They may not have known who she was – there were no TV cameras following her, no entourage. She is slight in stature, and easily blends in.

But still. The closing days of an intense campaign, and nobody asked for an autograph or a picture.

Boxer and Brown met up later today at a Democratic rally downtown outside the Central Library. Then it was out on the road again, Brown headed to Salinas and Oakland.

His Republican rival, Meg Whitman, did start her day in L.A. She was at a field campaign office in Woodland Hills, bucking up volunteers with her assurances that the race isn't over, despite what the pre-election polls are saying.

She then headed out to see more volunteers in Orange County, San Diego and Temecula, all with the message to keep making their phone calls.

At a Whitman rally yesterday in Burbank, a couple of hundred people in a Marriott ballroom were whipped into a frenzy by a rock band.

But when Whitman's campaign bus pulled up outside, there was no cheering crowd. No picture takers, except me.

Maybe we Californians have just seen enough of our politicians. And their ads. At least for another year.

Go to KCRW.com/LAObserved to tell us what you think.

For KCRW, this has been Kevin Roderick with LA Observed.