Gavin Newsom will face a recall election in California. Most polling and pundit analysis indicates that Newsom will not be recalled. However, that may not be the end of the story. The LA Times has some interesting coverage and the title suggests that there's more going on here than the recall election itself:
California GOP could gain from a Newsom recall election — win or lose — if they play their cards right
The Dem position is articulated by Bob Shrum--yes, I agree: FWIW. Shrum wants people to think it's only and all about the election results:
“The recall will become nothing more than psychic satisfaction for Republicans — until they get the results on election night,” he said.
But, not so fast. Republican consultants argue that this election will give them an opportunity to put their message before the public at a time when dissatisfaction is high. Regardless of whether voters--who are normally a cautious lot--decide to take drastic action, the campaign could prove to be a preview for future events:
OK, but before that the GOP will have rare access to a golden mic to shout its message to voters.
“People are going to pay attention,” predicts Republican consultant Dave Gilliard, a major strategist in collecting the 1.5 million voter signatures needed to qualify the recall effort for the ballot.
“This is the biggest [California] political story of the year.”
“Republicans have to start clawing back bit by bit, and it’s not going to happen in one election cycle,” says Republican consultant Rob Stutzman, who was Schwarzenegger’s communications director.
Republicans could begin rehabilitating their image among moderate Democrats and independents by articulating solutions to problems that trouble centrist voters most: public education, affordable housing, homelessness, middle-class jobs and high taxes.
“The Republican Party should make the case that under one of its candidates, schools would have opened earlier,” Rexroad says.
This is an issue that I still maintain should be a major winner for Republicans.
There’s certainly a market for that pitch. A recent UCLA survey found that three-quarters of Los Angeles County parents with public school children believed their kids have been “substantially hurt” by stay-at-home Zoom classes.
“The challenge for Republicans is to come across as the party of governance and not insurrection,” says Jack Pitney, a government professor at Claremont McKenna College.
OK, that's not really where my heart is, but anything that promises to reduce the overall influence of CA Dems is good in my book.
And so, not altogether unrelated ...
The results are in, and Red states are the winners. Shipwreckedcrew has a nice analysis of what it all could mean, with all the ins and outs. I think we know the big picture already, but there are some twists that make the big picture more likely:
Here's the baseline:
WINNERS: "Texas gains two congressional seats, while Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Montana, and Oregon each gain one seat."
LOSERS: "California, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and West Virginia all lose one seat each."
While that might look initially like a wash, there are some twists that offer opportunities for the GOP and, at the least, could force the Dems to commit resources to tough races even in states that they dominate--like CA.
Here's the it's-a-wash part. NY and IL will be able to redistrict to prevent the GOP from gaining. At the same time, OH and WV will do the same for the GOP.
However, on the win side of the GOP ledger:
In the states gaining seats that are dominated by the GOP in state government — Texas, Florida, and Montana — this is almost certain to result in four new districts that will likely be won by GOP candidates in 2022.
Four almost certain wins just for getting out of bed in the morning. Ouch--that hurts Dems in a close House, very badly.
Just as bad, Dems may find themselves on the defensive in states they dominate:
Let’s consider Oregon first, which is gaining a seat. ... a large proportion of Democrat voters in Oregon are located in the counties surrounding metropolitan Portland, while the remainder of the more rural areas of the state has long been more GOP friendly.
While Joe Biden won Oregon 56.5 to 40% over Pres. Trump (allegedly), two incumbent House Democrats won re-election with less than 52% — and both of their GOP opponents ran in the mid-40s. Any effort to bolster the number of Democrat voters in those two vulnerable districts to support the incumbents would likely put any newly drawn district in play for the GOP. Drawing a strong Democrat-leaning new district in the metro-Portland area could cost the Democrats one or both of the more marginal seats as GOP support in both districts is increasing.
Speculative, yes, but not a given for Dems by any means.
California is now a complete one-party state, dominated at every level of politics by some of the most radical elements of the Democrat Party. But an Amendment to the California Constitution passed by voters in 2008 makes it very difficult for elected state government officials to have significant influence in the drawing of new district boundaries in such a way as to ensure that a GOP congressional district will be the one eliminated.
Pursuant to the Amendment, California now has a “California Citizens Redistricting Commission.” [Follow link for details.]
The Commission members will work with Commission staff to draft new congressional boundaries. For any map to be approved, a majority of each of the three subgroups on the Commission must vote in favor — 3 out of 5 Democrat members, 3 out of 5 GOP members, and 3 out of 4 expressing no party preference.
There are rumors in California circles that because of demographic changes, it is quite possible that the geographic area losing a congressional district will be metropolitan Los Angeles.
And that would very possibly mean a loss of a Dem seat.
Colorado is in a position that's very similar to the situation in CA, with a Commission that requires a super majority to approve the changes.
And so SWC ends up with a bottom line:
Just about every sign is pointing to a substantial swing in the House in favor of the GOP in 2022, and the Republicans should regain control of the House with a significant majority.
Again, it's nibbling at the margins--I understand that. But a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. We need some victories if we're ever going to get to the big picture stuff. These structural changes could really help, along with a slew of issues that favor the GOP--if they've learned anything over the last years.