May 16, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Opinion: Explaining California’s Low GOP Vote

 

When all the votes have finally been counted, the total tally for the two major Republican candidates in this week’s California primary election run for governor likely will come to just over 35 percent of the total.

That’s the lowest percentage for the GOP in a seriously contested primary in modern history, and there’s a reason for it: Despite constant Republican rhetoric about this state’s decline and despite the echoes of President Trump in the vows of GOP candidates John Cox and Travis Allen to “Make California Great Again,” things are actually going pretty well here – at least for the vast majority of Californians.

Photo: johncoxforgovernor.com.
Republican John Cox will go head to head with Gavin Newsom for Governor.

Generally, when the economy is successful, challenges to the party in power can flop.

So it will almost certainly be a defeat this fall for Cox, a former Illinois businessman and peripatetic 12-time losing candidate there who beat out Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa and Orange County Assemblyman Allen for the right to run against Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom this November.

With Republican voter registration now barely 25 percent of the total and actually third behind Democrats (45 percent) and those with no party preference (almost 26 percent), Cox will have a difficult task.

No California candidate has ever faced such a party-registration deficit and it isn’t because the GOP hasn’t tried hard. Over the last 25 years, the party spent millions of dollars on voter registration efforts aimed at whites, Latinos, Asian-Americans and African-Americans, with little or no success.

One result is the low percentage of votes for the party’s major springtime candidates for governor.

This performance led to Democratic primary winner Newsom, the former San Francisco mayor, instantly becoming a big favorite to win the November election and succeed Jerry Brown as governor.

The reasons for it include California’s economic performance, which belies Trump’s labeling this a “failed state.” Simply put, reality is the opposite.

Yes, as Newsom said in a springtime interview, this is both America’s richest state and its poorest. But the election results demonstrate the poor have no faith Republicans will solve their problems, while the well-off are satisfied with the party that’s at least partly enabled them to achieve that status.

California is doing well by almost every measure. The latest ranking by the often-cited Wallethub website of the best and worst state economies in the nation – out early this month – placed California in fourth place, contrary to GOP rhetoric that routinely calls this a rotten place to do business.

California had the fifth-most start-up businesses in America over the last year. It tied Massachusetts for the most independent inventor patents per capita. It ranked among the lowest in unemployment. That was just one ranking system.

Perhaps the most important ranking for California came when it surpassed the United Kingdom and France for the first time ever to become the world’s fifth-largest economy (behind only the overall U.S., China, Japan and Germany) with a gross domestic product of more than $2.7 trillion, an increase of $127 billion over just the last year.

The rise in gross domestic product put California’s pace of growth far ahead of low-tax states like Texas and Florida, which style themselves as the wave of the future and California’s chief rivals. Economic and job growth has far outstripped the nation as a whole, accounting for the lion’s share of national growth.

It’s hard to see how Trump, who says his decimating of federal regulations has created economic growth, can try to make the same claim about California, which is fighting most of his changes.

This all trickles down, as the conservative economist Arthur Laffer (a former Californian) might say. It even trickles into the voting booth.

Essentially, the party registration figures and the flight of onetime Republican voters into both the no-preference and Democratic columns are the result of Democratic successes with the state economy.

Cox will surely keep arguing that things are terrible. As a challenger of the status quo, he needs to do that. But barring a sudden collapse that could be blamed on Democrats, he’s unlikely to have much more success in the fall than his party did this spring.

Related Posts

1221 Ocean Avenue Complex Sold For Record Price

May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

Sold for a record price of $330 million. By Dolores Quintana The Irvine Company has sold 1221 Ocean Avenue to...

Office Construction Is Starting To Rise In Los Angeles

May 15, 2022

May 15, 2022

Property vacancies are still affecting growth.  By Dolores Quintana In March, the Los Angeles Metropolitan area had 3.2 million square...

Santa Monica City Council Selects Doug Sloan as New City Attorney

May 12, 2022

May 12, 2022

At its meeting this week, the Santa Monica City Council appointed Doug Sloan to serve as Santa Monica’s next City...

Column From Santa Monica Mayor Himmelrich: We Walk the Talk

May 12, 2022

May 12, 2022

By Sue Himmelrich, Santa Moncia Mayor  I like the SMa.r.t. architects. I often agree with them. But in allowing Mark...

Landmark Theater Closing in Former Westside Pavillion

May 12, 2022

May 12, 2022

Theater will close at the end of month By Sam Catanzaro The Landmark Pico theater at the former Westside Pavillion...

Is Gelson’s Our Future? Bigger Is Not Better!

May 12, 2022

May 12, 2022

It’s appalling to see what’s happening in our city – projects recently built or about to be approved – in...

Community Policing at the Heart of Beat Four

May 11, 2022

May 11, 2022

The Neighborhood Resource Officer (NRO) Program thrives through community involvement and collective work. Today we hear from Officer Aaron Alpert...

Santa Monica High School Among Top-900 Schools in Country

May 10, 2022

May 10, 2022

SAMOHI ranked 829 out of over 18,000 total schools By Staff Writer Santa Monica High School is among the top...

Pico Marketplace Changing Small Businesses Access to Retail Space: Santa Monica Beat – May 10th, 2022

May 10, 2022

May 10, 2022

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes.* Pico Marketplace Changing Small Businesses Access to Retail Space* Grunion Fish Seen...

Video: Westside E-Scooter Injury Rate High Than National Rate for Motorcycles

May 10, 2022

May 10, 2022

The Westside’s injury rate for e-scooters is higher than the national rate for motorcycles, a new study has found. Learn...

Douglas Sloan Set to be Santa Monica’s New City Attorney

May 9, 2022

May 9, 2022

Sloan would be first permanent person to hold post in two years By Dolores Quintana  The next Santa Monica City...

Santa Monica Releases 2022 Homeless Count Results

May 9, 2022

May 9, 2022

Number of unsheltered individuals increases 1 percent in first count since 2020 By Dolores Quintana and Sam Catanzaro The City...

Renting Your Second Home

May 6, 2022

May 6, 2022

If you are among the many Americans who own a second home that you occasionally use as a vacation getaway,...

Amazon Bringing 1,000 News Jobs to Santa Monica

May 6, 2022

May 6, 2022

Company signs a lease for a 200,000-square-foot space at the Water Garden  By Dolores Quintana Amazon.com intends to create 2,500...

LA Considering Emblem Program to License Cannabis Stores

May 6, 2022

May 6, 2022

Program would help Angelenos distinguish between licensed and unlicensed cannabis vendors and safe cannabis products By Dolores Quintana Members of...