AMAC Exclusive – by Daniel Roman
On Tuesday, September 14th, the few California voters who had not already cast ballots by mail went in person to the polls to vote on the fate of Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom. The results, with around 85% of the vote counted are 63.4% against the recall and 36.6% in favor.
Both Democrats and Republicans have been quick to try and spin these results. Republicans, especially those linked to the Republican establishment, have argued that because the 36.5% of Californians voted to remove Newsom is greater than the 34.3% of the vote received by Donald Trump in 2020, the result represents a 2% swing toward the GOP. Although less than they would have hoped for given Biden’s travails (the no recall vote will probably end just under Biden’s 63.44% vote share in 2020) it is still “progress.”
Democrats by contrast argue that the results represent a swing in their favor from 2018, when Gavin Newsom was elected by a margin of 61.95% to 38.05%, in what was a Democratic landslide year. In short, Republicans have claimed a better year than 2020, and Democrats a better year than 2018.
But both parties cannot have actually made progress with voters during Newsom’s recall in the zero-sum game of politics, and especially not down ballot in California, where 2018 saw Republicans decimated in Congressional races, losing 7 seats, four of which they regained in 2020. In fact, the narratives of both parties ignore the fact that, with Donald Trump on top of the ticket, Republican candidates had a much better year in 2020, not just in California, but nationwide. But it was particularly a much better year in California, where Donald Trump received the highest number of votes ever cast for a Republican, over 6 million, (around the same number of Californians who voted to keep Gavin Newsom last week), and increased his percentage of the vote by 3 points compared to 2016.
The reality is that while Republican hacks, especially the #NeverTrumpers who are eager to blame Donald J Trump and now Larry Elder for alienating voters, are lying with statistics, the Democrats, while perhaps being more honest with the statistics, are lying about politics. Because what the recall results show is three things: First, the Great Realignment has continued. Second, Trump was an asset to GOP candidates even in blue states. And third, 2022 will likely be a bad year for Democrats where the GOP builds on what worked in 2020.
The Great Realignment Has Continued
I have written an entire series for AMAC Newsline looking at a clear trend across the Western world: as the Left has gone all in on trying to push identity – racial, ethnic, gender, sexual orientation– as the determining factor in politics, working class voters of all colors and backgrounds are in fact moving in the opposite direction. Education, economic status, and bread and butter issues are cutting across the lines of identity which Critical Race Theory and its derivative ideologies teach us should mean everything. This has meant Hispanic voters in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas and Miami voting for Donald Trump, blue-collar Muslim voters in the U.K. rejecting the Labour party just as their white working class counterparts have been doing, and even hip Gen Z voters in Madrid going for a right-wing politician who promised to keep their bars open.
It has, as Democratic commentators have consoled themselves, led to some swings in the other direction. The Republican Party has struggled in recent years in the Northeast, especially given the repeal of the SALT deduction in 2017. But party alignments are changing.
The results in California were most disappointing to those in both parties who wanted to pretend that American politics in 2021 would revert to that of 2012. Establishment Republicans hoped that upper-income white voters would return to casting their ballots for Republicans who talked a good game on taxes, and otherwise promised to keep everything as it was, except where the elite wanted it to change. Democrats hoped that the swings they saw among working class Latinos were a one-time thing.
Instead, the results in the 2021 California recall showed that the trends from 2020 accelerated. Initial exit polls indicated that Hispanic voters voted almost identically to white voters (all the more impressive for Republicans when one considers the Hispanic electorate is much younger), a split driven by the increasing polarization between voters with a college degree and those without. This is a particularly meaningful divide in California, which is among the most polarized states in the country when it comes to wealth. For those with it, or jobs in the sectors which make the astronomical costs of living affordable, the state is a utopia, with even COVID restrictions able to be avoided with the right connections and wealth.
The problem for Republicans is that the cost of living is no longer an abstract issue. It has driven a transformation of the state. Many of those who cannot afford to live in California have already left. And those who can afford to live there do not necessarily oppose COVID restrictions, high taxes, or other aspects of the liberal agenda.
What is even more interesting is the role education plays among white voters. The gap between non-white voters with a college degree and those without a college degree is a mere 4% points. But among white voters it is 25%. White voters with college degrees vote to the Left not just of non-white voters without a college degree, but even non-white voters with degrees. In fact, even corrected for gender, white men with degrees still voted to the left of non-white voters as a whole.
When the Democrats talk about the “radicalization” of “white America” they are not entirely wrong. But the “radicalization” that has occurred is a radical move to the left among whites with advanced degrees, especially college-educated white women. That in turn, is driving the radicalization of American politics, leading figures like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to float ideas such as expanding the Supreme Court, and a much more extreme Democratic party on issues like abortion.
Donald Trump Helped in 2020
One of the laziest pieces of analysis is to look at the total numbers and compare them to 2020 to conclude that a) Donald Trump did worse than the recall effort; b) Donald Trump was a drag on Republicans; and c) Donald Trump is somehow at fault for the recall failing.
This analysis works – marginally – if you look only at the statewide totals, but even there the results are misleading. Republican candidates for governor in California have always done about 4-5% better than presidential candidates. In 2010, Meg Whitman won 41%; in 2014 Neal Kashkari 41% again. In 2018, John Cox got 38%. By contrast, the period saw a steady decline in the GOP vote in presidential contests, from 37% for Mitt Romney, to 31% for Donald Trump in 2016, until 2020 when Donald Trump increased his total to 34.3%. That increase was driven by gains among minorities: Central Valley Latinos, but also Asians and African Americans.
In September 2021, the GOP held some of the gains with Latinos, but collapsed with Asians. In rural areas with heavy Latino and rural white populations and low education levels, the recall ran ahead of Donald Trump. But in urban areas, the ones Democrats win by lopsided margins, the recall did much worse. In Orange County, Vietnamese-heavy precincts swung almost 30% from Trump to voting against the recall. Korean-heavy precincts swung 7%.
While some of this shift may be due to Asian American attitudes on COVID restrictions, Donald Trump certainly appears to have had real appeal to traditionally Democratic voters that the Republican recall effort did not. This should be concerning when it comes to three congressional seats in Orange County, two with heavy Vietnamese populations that the GOP recovered in 2020 after losing in 2018.
It is easy to overanalyze the California recall. It mostly tells us about California. But if we look at it not as a Democrat vs. Republican exercise, but instead analyze how different voter groups moved or did not since 2020, we can deduce a few things.
One, voting is increasingly tied to education.
Two, intense partisanship is being driven by the radicalization of college-educated white voters, especially women with advanced degrees, who are more and more progressive in their views.
And three, this trend is producing a vastly more radical Democratic party, which is in turn alienating non-white voters, especially those without college degrees.
Democrats can take solace in the fact that there is little evidence white women with advanced degrees will turn on them, no matter what Gavin Newsom or Joe Biden does wrong. But they should be worried about whether they can win elections outside California with just that group. Because it looks like they are alienating almost everyone else.
Daniel Roman is the pen name of a frequent commentator and lecturer on foreign policy and political affairs, both nationally and internationally. He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics.
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Just seems to me that the number of former residents of California has risen greatly, leaving those who are gimme people left and since Gov N gave them all money, they are happy and expect to get more in the future. Pretty sad that so many can be bought!
The bar of society is either raised or lowered by the behavior of women. It’s in the gutter. “White educated” women are so vile, amoral, snobby, and lust abortion – it’s over America – women have destroyed the country and they’re the ones running this nightmare now. I’m a woman – I now have zero lefty friends after 12 years of political war.
I’m one of the six million who voted to get rid of Newsome. He has been a terrible governor. I live in the Central Valley, and NOTHING has been done to alleviate the poverty of this rich agricultural area. At one time, one of our erudite Democrat assemblyman told our farmers that they should grow their crops in the winter instead of our scorching summers! How idiotic. As if farmers for millenia have got it all wrong and just needed a little help. A life=long Democrat, I am now an independent, refusing to identify with such stupidity and arrogance.
“Working-Class Voters of All Races Flee to GOP”
Yeah–more and more, the Democrats are becoming the Free Stuff Party that appeals only to free-stuff class voters.
You could argue that the Democrats have become the party of those who work in industries with little reliance upon a blue collar workforce and of minorities, whether blue collar or not. The Republicans have become the party of those who work in industries that do rely upon a blue collar workforce, though their management is usually college educated. The latter feel, often correctly, that the Dems want many of their industries to be shut down, so remarkably the Dems have succeeded in aligning the interests of management and their white blue collar workers. It’s a somewhat ragged alliance, but it’s there. As minority blue collar economic interests are not dissimilar to their white counterpart’s, that minorities would start to edge to Republicans should not be unexpected. It may still take awhile longer.
The democrats should not be happy with the CA recall. If it was such a slam dunk, why did they pour so much money, bring in the big guns and worry so much? I think the republicans knew they would not win, but wanted to make Newsome and co. worry and spend time and capital they would need in other elections.
The Dems mailed a ballot to literally every voter in the state. And when we see what transpired in AZ on Friday when the audit report is released, you will know as well what happened in CA.
The results of the Presidential election and the recall only prove that demoncRAT voter fraud is alive and well in CA.
I’m not sure where you are getting your numbers, but I think that you better come up with a better bag of bs if you want this educated woman to bite
The actual change of votes from Trump to Biden during the Presidential election was 750,000, changing the actual vote by 1.5 million. Who knows what really happened in California. The Chinese must control us and until Americans wake up we are finished. Every state must do a recount. Unless the voting machines are gotten rid of we have no hope.
For me, I just get a sick feeling that we really can’t trust the voting in California. It seems to be like it is probably still wrought with fraud knowing their history of not updating their voting records and the ballot harvesting that has always gone on. It is truly sad for the Democratic Machine to own the state of California by any means. If we don’t get a way to end the fraud and cheating we are going to lose our Constitutional Republic. It’s obvious that the cities ruled by lawless Dems are a big mess and hard working tax payers and small business owners are suffering. It all makes me feel ill actually.
Not just happening in californication
The recall election only prove that 65% of Californians are stupid!
Anyone that thinks Numbskull got 65% of the vote is a special kind of stupid.
Agreed. Dems cheated again. 65% I don’t believe it. California is screwed, but the rich are OK.
Whole country is screwed
Same ol’, same ol’.
Fraud is on the democrats hands. The Dems do not listen and will not discuss anything anymore. They are petty, judgmental and power hungry dirt bags……………..
Dang, I’m a life long conservative Republican and I think this author just called me a Republican hack. Thanks for continuing to divide Republicans. We’ll never recover the majority with that line.
If the shoe fits……………………………………
Newsom’s recall was rigged.
Yep, and it will continue to be a dominating facet of the results until the voting process/system is made virtually rig-proof. It’s the only way the DemocRats can win with the controversial (that’s putting it kindly) governmental decision DemocRat politicians make, especially in libtard states like CA,IL,NY, Pennsylvania, etc. As I’ve said many times before, the US Postal System should not be involved in handling ballots either before or after the voting period. Only a fool could think that using the mail system is a prime target for rigging votes. FIX THE VOTING SYSTEM TO MAKE IT RIG PROOF … or rigging actions will become SOP and our Constitutional governance system will be a fraud on Americans.
Yes you are 100% correct.
Get rid of the voting machines. They are hacked.
I believe a high percentage of legitimate voters vote by Party.
I believe that all elections now are full of Democrat fraud – voting machines, ballot harvesting, illegal votes, no voter roll clean-up, etc..
Yep … put more succinctly … all elections are rigged and the DemocRats have honed it to near perfection.
That is why the dems were so pissed when Trump won. That election was rigged too. But they screwed up on their algorithm in the voting machines, not setting the percentages higher for the dems. Or there were not any algorithms in the machines at that time. Maybe the algorithms were added because of Trumps win! And the common man, even highly educated men, have no idea what is going on in the machine software. In fact, that is probably what happened when they updated the machines election night, manipulation of the software. There are a lot of unanswered questions from Dominion because they know what testing was done on the software and how it works. Yet they will not disclose any of it.
Correct, but add the China connection.
We don’t know if this Newsome election was free of fraud and no one seems to be addressing that concern.
Until if is addressed and resolved so all elections are beyond the reach of human manipulations, then I won’t trust any election, ever again.
And that is why election fraud should be our biggest concern before 2022 comes around. But, as usual, the Republicans are the “Do Nothing party” when it comes to looking out for us and our country.
I couldn’t have said it better. The republicans have let us down & I do not really expect much in the future. When the midterms get close, they will all clamor about how conservative they are & then when we elect them, it will be back to business as usual, caving to the democrats.The RINO’s & never-Trumpers have taken over the GOP & until they are gone, nothing will change.
That’s because very few current Republicans have a clue about playing offense. They are all 4th string defense players and they suck at it!!
Nothing will change unless we get some bold, strong Republican offensive players elected – – – and I mean all the way down to the local level!!
All nuts in Calif.,dont come from trees. Kyle L.
why is that it’s always upper middle class whiter leading the movements to free and uplift the oppressed and downtrodden proletariat with tragic results andproletariat falls for it each time