In All-Blue California Election Results, Lessons for Democratic Party

By Wood, Daniel B | The Christian Science Monitor, November 3, 2010 | Go to article overview

In All-Blue California Election Results, Lessons for Democratic Party


Wood, Daniel B, The Christian Science Monitor


In the face of a GOP juggernaut across much of the US, Golden State voters opted for Democrats in major statewide races. California election results are not just an anomaly, analysts there say.

Democrats did something right, at least, in California.

In the face of a surging GOP elsewhere in the nation, California voters - who had credible and interesting Republican candidates to choose from in two big statewide races - elected to go with Democrats over Republicans, long-time politicians over fresh faces, single-party control over divided government, and, some would say, pragmatism over anger.

Do the state's election results hold lessons for the Democratic Party? Or is that bucking of the national trend nothing more than California being California - living in its own la-la land?

Not so, said some voters here. Their votes were born of experience, including a gridlocked state government that is perennially unable to grapple effectively with a multibillion- dollar budget deficit.

"Elsewhere in America, people are angry and so they looked at the president and voted the opposite party to make a statement," says Megan Martinez, a 20-something emergency medical technician, at the Sen. Barbara Boxer victory celebration. "Californians are angry but took the time to really look at [Democratic gubernatorial candidate] Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer versus [GOP competitors] Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina. They chose experience over fresh faces because we're in very tough times. We already tried a fresh face with [Gov.] Arnold Schwarzenegger, and that didn't work."

California election results mean that the state is one of the few to remain all blue: Democrats will sit in the governor's office, hold both US Senate seats, and control the state legislature. Even Massachusetts has recently elected a Republican (Sen. Scott Brown in January), and reliably blue New York isn't sure yet which party will control the state Senate.

Analysts credit an intense burst of support by longtime Democratic allies - plus the party's edge among the many racial and ethnic subgroups here - for turning out the Democratic vote.

"Labor, the Democratic Party, and ethnic voters helped the Democrats win and buck the national GOP tide," says Hal Dash, president and CEO of Cerrell & Accociates, a Democratic strategy consulting firm.

California's relatively large shares of Latinos, Asians, Pacific Islanders, and African-Americans tend to skew Democratic. That contributes to the Democrats' advantage in voter registration: 44 percent of voters register as Democrats, compared with 31 percent as Republicans and 25 percent as third-party or decline-to-state.

"Republicans in California just did not have the numbers or turnout statewide to topple Boxer and beat Jerry Brown," says Mr. Dash. "Democratic enthusiasm started slow but finished strong, and that was another key."

California's results are not just an aberration and may be a bellwether of what's to come for the rest of the nation, argues political scientist Barbara O'Connor.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

In All-Blue California Election Results, Lessons for Democratic Party
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.