National Democrats who have been crowing about the mythic “Blue Wave” find themselves cowering behind recent election results and California’s so-called “jungle” primary system.
Unlike most other states, California employs a blanket primary system that burs political party lines. Any candidate can throw their hat in the ring and the top two vote-getters go head-to-head in the general election. Ironically, this appears to be bad news for Democrats running in what many consider to be the most liberal state in the union.
Looking back at the history of the jungle system, one might wink and nod to the extreme left and say, “be careful what you wish for.” That’s because Democrats have fought tooth and nail to push through the nonpartisan primary system that could bite them come November.
In 2000, the voting system was struck down as unconstitutional because it forced unwelcome party associates. The Golden State tried to resurrect the system in 2004, but a statewide measure failed to get a majority vote. The left-leaning West Coast state finally won a measure called Proposition 14 in 2010 and managed to secure six Democrat-only races in 2014, with Republicans enjoying two of their own.
Democrats built on that liberal-only congressional balloting with two Democrat-only Senate races and seven districts not having Republicans on the November ballot in 2016. The recent bravado about Democrats regaining the U.S. House majority now appears to be in jeopardy as the Grand Old Party runs on its recent legislative wins and an upwardly trending economy.
Democrat Leaders Fear The Jungle
Heading into the mid-term elections, Democrats must gain 24 seats the retake control of the House. Banking on a “referendum on Trump” has not worked out very well, as the sitting president continues to tout special election wins. The most recent coming in Arizona when Trump-endorsed Republican Debbie Lesko earned a more than 4-point victory.
In Pennsylvania, the far-left of the Democratic party were horrified as Connor Lamb, a fellow Democrat, won by running squarely against the liberal agenda pushed by California’s Nancy Pelosi. Now, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer appears to be biting his nails over the California system.
“It’s a concern about having a Democrat in the final two,” Hoyer reportedly said. “We are focused on that and trying to make sure that we have at least one, maybe two, that really we think are viable. In some areas, we have like five or six Democrats and two or three Republicans and that makes it challenging.”
Under tremendous pressure to regain national prominence, Hoyer was recently accused of strong-arming Democrat Levi Tillemann to drop out of Colorado’s 6th Congressional District because Washington elites favor his primary opponent Jason Crow. It has widely been reported that extreme left party leaders such as Hoyer and his boss, Pelosi, are staunch anti-Trumpers overwrought with disdain. Pushing “resist” and “obstruct” as a DNC rallying cry, Pelosi has been infamously quoted for calling the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that put more money back in American’s paychecks “crumbs.”
Democrats No Longer Like California’s New Math
It wasn’t long ago that smiling Democrats counted their chickens before they hatched, claiming they’d easily pick-up 40 seats in the House, which would far outpace the 24-seat increase required to solidify a majority.
Democrat experts tracking the jungle primary have been watching a disturbing trend in the polls. Their once-perceived advantage has been erratic and dipping into the single digits in some races.
Another scary development for Democrats was the recent rebuke of long-standing Sen. Diane Feinstein. The moderately left-of-center politician saw party leadership thumb their nose and refuse to endorse her. In the age of Trump, Feinstein has backed several of the president’s policy moves, including extending government funding, a bipartisan immigration reform proposal, making Christopher Wray the director of the FBI, making Wilbur Ross Secretary of Commerce, making Mike Pompeo head of the CIA, and abstained from voting to repeal ObamaCare. Apparently, her willingness to reach across the aisle on select issues has resulted in her falling from grace among California’s super-liberals.
Many see the rejection of the popular Sen. Feinstein as early shots in a Democrat civil war that will pit the extreme left against moderates. That could result in multiple, warring Democrat factions dividing party votes in the each primary. It also demonstrates to everyday Californians that the party does not have its act together.
Regardless of the DNC versus GOP poll numbers, there are likely to be polar opposite Democrats in several California jungle primaries. That math favors even dark horse Republicans when all the votes get counted. It looks like that big Blue Wave may crest and fall long before it makes it to sunny California’s shores. Here comes the GOP, flipping California.
~ Liberty Planet