If California’s primary is any indicator of the collective Democratic will to wash the country with a “blue wave” come November, the chances of flipping Republican seats are not looking good.
According to the Los Angeles Times, preliminary numbers show that despite historic levels of voter registration, less 22 percent of those eligible turned up at the polls – and though it’s too early to know for sure, Republicans consistently show up at the voting booth in greater numbers than their liberal counterparts.
Even if the final percentage of registered voters swells to more than 30%, as voting experts predicted, it would be nothing to celebrate — especially when California has been bending over backward to make it easy to vote with recent changes to its election law, automatic registration, early voting centers, provisional ballots and other reforms.
What did the Republicans gain this time around in California – despite recently falling to virtual “third party” status?
With just a quarter of the state’s registered voters, Republicans won a spot in the gubernatorial runoff against Gavin Newsom in November and recalled a Democratic state senator, effectively crushing Democrats’ hope of regaining a supermajority in that house — all while their candidates easily finished first in the seven Republican-held congressional districts that Democrats had targeted for flipping. Democrats were lucky they weren’t shut out of the November election in any of those races. It was a real possibility.
California’s primaries offer Democrats a gleaming example of how not to approach the midterms – if you want to create a “blue wave”, you need to show up at the polls.