California, already dominated by Democrats, is about to become even more left-wing after the 2018 elections.
That’s the consensus view emerging as the state’s primary races shape up, with contests for governor and for U.S. Senate dominated by well-known Democrats, and smaller races swamped by left-wing activists who are fueled by the so-called “Resistance” and motivated by their hatred of President Donald Trump.
Republicans are rallying around a referendum to repeal last year’s 12-cent gas tax hike, and have a credible, if long-shot, candidate for governor in Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-CA). But as the Los Angeles Times points out, there is no serious Republican candidate in the U.S. Senate race that pits incumbent Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) against Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles).
Under the state’s “jungle” or “top two” primary, all candidates from all parties compete together in the first round, with voters able to choose any candidate they want, regardless of their own party affiliation. The top two finishers advance to the general election — which means that the final contest can feature candidates from the same party.
Given Democrats’ increasing dominance in the state, that means that for the second election in a row, Republicans will have no candidate for U.S. Senate in the general election. That could depress GOP turnout, which in turn could help Democratic Party candidates across the state in races for Congress and the state legislature.
Moreover, the Washington Post notes, all of the action within the Democratic Party is on the left. The two leading candidates to replace Jerry Brown as governor, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, are both to his left.
In other primary races, Democrats are competing with each other to support radical proposals such as universal health care at the state level, which non-partisan analysis suggests the state simply cannot afford.
The state’s moderate GOP establishment has tried to respond to the challenge by moving to the middle — exactly the opposite direction from the state’s remaining Republican voters, who feel abandoned as party leaders support left-wing policies like cap-and-trade.
All of that is adding up to a more radical California — the stuff of radical dreams, and conservative nightmares.
But reality will hit hard: the heavily-indebted state is known for its Hollywood and Silicon Valley ultra-rich, but also leads the nation in poverty, suffers crumbling infrastructure, and attracts a disproportionate share of illegal aliens.
If Republicans’ political ideas are inadequate to the political moment, Democrats’ political ideas may trigger the fiscal death spiral that Gov. Brown — the “adult in the room” — has attempted to keep at bay.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.