A few lessons for the law in California – Orange County Register


Gov. Gavin Newsom will retain his post, at least for another year. California voters flatly rejected the governor’s recall attempt on Tuesday. Considering the scale of the victory – as of this writing, 63.9% voted against the recall – it’s clear Californians haven’t just accepted the argument that Newsom was so bad it ‘he had to go now; they certainly weren’t convinced by a GOP with a badly tarnished California brand.

In context, the recall was always a long shot.

In February, the Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies released the results of its survey that only 36% of Californians intended to support Newsom’s recall. In the following months, subsequent IGS and Public Policy Institute of California polls reiterated that support for the recall was quite low. The final result reflects polls from the start of the year.

Party registration data alone explains much of the reason. According to the PPIC, nearly 47% of registered California voters are Democrats, compared to 24% of Republicans and 23% of independents.

While there are certainly a lot of people willing to break with their political parties, most people who identify with a political party do so for a reason and tend to vote accordingly.

This is an intrinsic advantage for Democratic candidates and statewide politicians, and obviously a strong defense against efforts to recall whole-state officials in particular. But, as stated, it is not waterproof. In 2020, Californians rejected prominent progressive agenda items including split roll, affirmative action and rent control, while passing an exclusion for companies like Uber and Lyft despite the union campaigns against such exclusions.

Which brings us to the recall. Clearly, the recall failed to resonate with most voters outside of Republican and Republican voters.

Part of the reason is undoubtedly the Democrats’ simple but effective strategy to reduce the recall to a mere “Republican recall” with ties to Donald Trump and Trumpism.

Many independents and moderate Democrats may join the political elements of the GOP or even the candidates in nearby districts, but in this post-Trump era, it was enough to invoke Trump and the name of the GOP to stifle the momentum of the recall and tap into the intrinsic benefits for Democrats.

For the California GOP, this should trigger some soul-searching. The state GOP is virtually the only vehicle for creating political competition in California. A GOP that cannot gain support outside its party is doomed to failure and in turn condemns the state to one-party rule, with all the problems that this causes.

Alas, with Larry Elder emerging as the top voter among the replacement contenders, it’s hard to imagine where the California GOP will go from here.

There will almost certainly be an intensified struggle between populists who support candidates such as Elder and the more moderate wing of the GOP supporting candidates such as former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

One thing is certain: what makes the base of the GOP enthusiastic is what takes people away from the middle.

Although this editorial board approved Elder as governor, we were disappointed that he chose to present himself as though he was running in a Republican primary and even more disappointed with his tendency to bend to the margins on issues. such as vaccinations and suspected electoral fraud.

That’s not how you win elections here, and that’s certainly not how you change the course of politics in California.

With this result, we hope the California right will gain a late reality check.

Californians may not be as on the left as California politicians, but they won’t accept any alternative.

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