How Blue State Voters Compare to Red State Voters Part 4: California 43rd District Voter Conclusions
by Tom Donelson on August 7, 2017 at 12:45 PM
Due to the jungle primary and the elimination of party primaries, California has seen a drop in party registration and LA Times Daniel Woods reported, “Although some headlines across the state give the impression that both parties are losing ground, the figures should not be construed as equally distributed, some analysts say…Roughly 20 percent of independent voters in California lean Republican and 40 percent Democratic.” (13) In some cases, this could be seen as in the objectives of voters in California’s 43rd district where Independents goals on what Congress should be are similar to what Democrats in that district but the views on many issues held by California Independents are similar to other Independents in states carried by Trump.
One conclusion that can be drawn is that many of the voters are more conservative than the Democrats they vote for and while the California Democrats have moved sharply to the left, if the California 43rd District is any example, California Democrats and Independents believe more in private sectors solution than their leaders and this could open some doors for Republicans.
This is not to say California will turn red anytime soon but the lesson for Republicans and conservatives is that many of their issues are still poignant. Republicans’ biggest problem presently is less about the issues and more about the battle over personality during the Trump era. The media has made the resistance the end game in ending the Trump Presidency but what the Democrats have failed to do is to design policies to counter the Trump agenda other than an attack on Trump’s personality. Trump’s victory was due to his ability to understand the angst of the voters whereas Democrats made it clear that many of the Middle Class were simply deplorable and their faith of a rising new coalition that would prevail, locking in the leftist agenda for a generation.
The 2016 election stopped the Hillary Clinton coronation and delayed the New Leftist’s paradise but the left is not yet convinced they lost the election and the election decision, if not reversed by impeachment, will be reversed by the voters in 2020. Our California polls show the weakness in these arguments and the new Democratic Socialistic paradise may not yet happen.
California voters showed that economic growth trumps the politics of envy and that voters understand that unlimited spending does not mean prosperity for them. California voters saw the need for choice in health care and reduction of cost and they supported parental choice when educating their children. Republicans have failed so far over Trump’s first year to set the agenda but allowed Democrats to set the agenda on the economy, in particular, health care reform.
For the past four years, Americas Majority Foundations has polled over 100,000 voters and the 2014 and 2016 election showed the validity of our strategy based on our polling data. We have found in both national and individual state polls that many voters were frustrated by government policies and felt that the system was rigged against them but yet, they still believed in hard work paying off and that government was not the solution to their problems. Other polls verified our work and now after polling 12,000 voters from April to July, we still see that voters are not sold on government solutions to all of their problems. They don’t see increasing government spending helping them and they want a growing economy but there are splits among Democrats and Republicans on how to approach that. While voters view a growing economy should be Congress’s number one priority, Republicans and Independents in Wisconsin, Missouri and Montana also view that Congress should work on controlling government spending and tax reform where Democrats want Congress to fix our health care. The latter is ironic since the present health care issue was supposed to be fixed by Obamacare and now Democrats are wanting Obamacare to be fixed or left in place as its implode with higher cost, failing exchanges and less choices. Even during the Democratic primary, exit polls showed 22% of Democratic voters viewing healthcare as their number one concern. In those same polls, 40% of Democratic voters viewed a growing economy as their number one concern while only 26% viewed dealing with inequality as their number one concern, something our polls have supported since the 2016 election to the present. (14)
The key element of the Republicans is to remember what got Trump elected, and what got him elected was his message “Making America Great Again” and grow the economy. The Republican incompetence in dealing with the health care issue and the inability to come up with a plan after campaigning against it for seven years and the debate over tax reform shows that Republicans have simply forgotten what saved their Senate and House majority in 2016.
The message that will work for Trump and Republicans is that their plan will give the Middle Class their opportunity to succeed from creating both plentiful and less expensive energy to health care reform that lowers the price of health care along with tax reform that grows the economy. Republicans must come up with a broad based economic plan that start with making health care less expensive and a tax system that grows the economy while restraining the non-essential in the federal budget.
The Democratic Party has moved to the hard left but Republicans have yet to decide what kind of Party they will be, a nationalist populist or adopt a conservative populist movement similar to what got Reagan elected twice in landslide election victories. The latter will allow the GOP to win the 2018 midterm and ensure a Trump win in the 2020 general. The 43rd California polls show that if one talks growing the economy, voters will listen.