Monday, September 20, 2021

Michael Barone: California Voters Get What They Deserve

 The nation's largest state has just voted in an election triggered by one of the nation's weirdest recall processes, and the results have come out just about where they've been before.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom was elected governor in 2018 by 62% to 38%, a result that was, unsurprisingly in an era of straight-ticket voting and strong partisan allegiance, almost identical to President Joe Biden's 64% to 34% margin over Donald Trump in 2020.

As of this writing -- and it has taken California weeks to fully count its votes in recent general elections -- incomplete returns show 64% of Californians voting against recalling Newsom and only 36% for removing him from office. 

That result makes the second question on the ballot about who should replace the governor irrelevant. But it did enable Democrats to spend enormous sums linking Larry Elder, the conservative radio talk host who led in polls on the replacement question, as a clone of Trump.

Some liberals even attacked Elder, who is Black, as a "white supremacist." It's interesting who plays the race card these days. 

Newsom's success is good news for Democrats. Polls over the summer showed as many as 47% of voters supporting the recall. When voters focused on facts on the ground such as the growing homeless encampments and the rapidly rising numbers of homicides and carjackings, they found reason to repudiate the liberal policies that Newsom has pursued or supported. 

Newsom's maskless appearance at the expensive ($350 a plate) French Laundry restaurant, celebrating the birthday of a Democratic lobbyist, was an unforced error, perhaps characteristic of a politician whose core constituency has been San Francisco billionaires. 

But an avalanche of TV ads targeting Trump got voters thinking in partisan terms, with the results as noted. Go over the county maps of the 2018, 2020 and 2021 contests and see how the results are the same within a couple of points just about everywhere.

The exit polls, however, suggest some shifts among demographic groups. The recall was opposed by 81% of Black voters, who are only 6% of California's population, but by significantly fewer Asians (62%) and Latinos (58%).

These latter "people of color" groups were less supportive of Newsom than white college graduates (68%). This reflects the increasing dominance in the Democratic Party of white college graduates and the fact that on issues, they are often the party's leftmost group. 

White voters without college degrees, or those left behind after hundreds of thousands others have left California's high housing and energy costs behind, were the one ethnically defined group that favored the recall by 57% to 43%.

These results mirror the recent national Quinnipiac poll that shows approval of Biden nationally at 42%. Approval is 69% among Black people and 56% among white college graduates, but only 38% among Hispanics and 28% among white people who didn't attend college. 

That polarization seems to be increasing. MSNBC's Steve Kornacki compared the 2018 and 2021 Newsom exit poll numbers and found that his support has risen 9 points among white college graduates but has declined by 12 points among noncollege white voters and 6 points among Hispanics. That looks much like the changes nationally between the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections. 

California, which seemed a harbinger of the political future from the 1950s through the 1980s, is clearly not anymore. It was the second best state, after Hawaii, for Hillary Clinton in 2016, and the fifth best, after Vermont, Massachusetts, Maryland and Hawaii, for Biden in 2020. 

Nor does California seem to be the demographic wave of the future. Forty years ago, I was writing about the dynamic economic growth on both sides of the Pacific Rim, in California and Japan. In the 1990s and 2000s, I substituted China for Japan and saluted California's booming high tech and China's double-digit economic growth.

Now the flowers on both sides of the Pacific Rim seem to be wilting. Thanks to its recently repealed one-child policy, China's workforce is now shrinking, while California's poverty rate of 15% is the highest in the nation when cost of living is taken into account. Illegal immigrants, who headed mostly to California 20 years ago, are mostly heading to Texas now.

After two decades of domestic population outflow, the 2020 census showed California gaining population at less than the national rate since 2010, and in the reapportionment following the census, it lost a congressional seat, and hence an electoral vote, for the first time since it was admitted to the Union in 1850. 

Newsom's victory shows that California voters want more of the same. As H.L. Mencken put it, they "deserve to get it good and hard."

Michael Barone is a senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and longtime co-author of The Almanac of American Politics.



Anonymous said...

California.5th largest economy in the world. Lowest per capita Covid death rate in the country. Yeah, weve got it soooo much better.

Anonymous said...

We have a bunch of politicians instead of statesmen and stateswomen. Ergo, they all suck.

Anonymous said...

8:02 - You forgot to mention the highest number of illegal aliens on the planet. I could just go on and skip ahead and let you know California is as close as America has yet become to Gomorrah - And we will arrive there shortly.

Anonymous said...

Yea, because elections can’t be rigged.

Anonymous said...

My question is why do they always say “non college educated Whites” and “college educated Whites”, but then you see Black, Hispanic, and Asian with no college affiliation at all? California is interesting though, you go to one city and the mask Nazi’s are out in force and then you go to another city and no one cares.

Anonymous said...

Does he even have property in California? This makes as much sense as me hollering over Texas politics.

Anonymous said...

Having been there in the early 90's ...a brother who lived there and some other kin folk, California is essentially its own country and a failing bank for Mexico. Beautiful indeed but screwed beyond repair. And it WILL in the near future be forced into the Pacific Ocean.

Anonymous said...

After reading all that, i need a box of Goody's Headache Powers.

Anonymous said...

6:04 a.m.- California has a large amount of undocumented aliens because it needs a labor force to do the work that the white folks won't do. Do you like almonds? Pistachios? Lettuce? You can thank those illegal aliens! But, sure, they're only there to rape the white women and steal stuff.

Also, California has more Republicans, and more that are further right, than even you! It's almost like you can't paint a geographical area with human characteristics.

Anonymous said...

someone explain me why all the green teeth rednecks around here love to obsess over californian politics?

Anonymous said...

No one in Mississippi should have one damn thing to say. At lease California has a process to fire their employees. Meanwhile here in bassackwards MS we have to keep swallowing. Open wide and say yum!

Anonymous said...

6:40 AM

Mississippi is 2nd highest rate of STD in the nation: 1,082/100K. California is at 14th.

Mississippi has 49.4 percent of births out of wedlock. California has 35.7 percent of births out of wedlock.

Any other statistics that support your view, other than slanted media coverage?

Anonymous said...

@6:55 - losing an election doesn’t mean it was rigged. That seems common sense to half this country, but for some reason the other half just can’t grasp the concept. I wonder why?

Anonymous said...

One of the biggest tricks in the history of US politics is how poor, white southerners have been convinced by the GOP that their policies are better for them. The south has been poor and stupid for decades now with no real sign of improvement but you keep voting for the republicans because you've been convinced that the other side will take your all guns and kill all your babies.

The same families have had all the money and power since things got started in Mississippi. And the same families have remained poor and hopeless in this state too

It's so sad that all you can do is laugh at it now. But go on about how California is doing things all wrong.

Anonymous said...

California has some of the dumbest sportsman laws ever and they are numerous but have just as many rednecks as anyone else. The problem there is the major cities.

Anonymous said...

11:07 am

You are close to being dead on point.

Republicans got the redneck racist vote around 1965 and they tell white people - you may wake up in a trailer with a fat woman and 5 kids and no money but you know what? At least you ain’t a black guy! And that’s it. Simple as that.

Add to the equation that gay guys can now adopt (lesbians are fine) and gay guys can get married???? That blows the redneck mind! (Mississippi has the highest % per capita of viewers of gay porn…..)

As younger poor whites live near and among poor blacks….and as music / entertainment merge the races….the R party is doomed as it is currently constructed.

Anonymous said...

11:24 : Can't you same the same about Democrats ? Let's be fair here. Both parties are guilty of all kinds of wacky doodle dandy stuff. Jackson Ms. has an extremely high number of alt lifestyle folks and has for years. Jackson Square Drag Shows ? Rocky Horror ? Come on man.

Anonymous said...

@11:24 AM - old study. #1 is now WDC, #2 NY, and #3 is MS. Which site do you get off on?

Anonymous said...

San Andres Fault will take care of them while the New Madrid Fault will wipe our asses. "The New Madrid Fault zone is six times larger than the San Andreas Fault zone in California and it covers portions of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi. Someday, perhaps without any warning, an absolutely massive earthquake will strike the New Madrid fault." Just leave them alone since we got our own share of problems.

Anonymous said...

1:01 : Quite a few years ago I met some guys illegally on our family land doing sonar locating. They told me they were Federal employees and that they were basically looking for mini faults. According to them our time should be now. And they said if it were to go it would be no less than a 9 and destroy everything east of the river all the way to NYC.

Anonymous said...

I believe Texas has the most illegal immigrants in the country. The fences and CBP in Cali are fairly good.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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