Reblogged by Hunter for Daily Koss…
The California Republican Party is already battered and bruised and missing several limbs, but Team Trump singling out the state for punishment has managed to do what many thought impossible: make them even more hated by California voters.
In California, his numbers threaten to become an anchor that weighs down his own party: Just 28 percent of adults approve of Trump’s job performance, according to a December survey by the Public Policy Institute of California. Just 30 percent told pollsters at the University of California, Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies they approve of Trump.Two-thirds of independents disapproved of Trump’s performance, and 57 percent of all voters said they strongly disapproved.
The number of things national Republicans have done that even California Republicans consider (rightly) to be targeted attacks on the state continue to rise. Trump’s new push for offshore drilling is widely loathed in a state that both prizes its coastlines and vividly remembers past spills. His Justice Department attack on the state’s decision to loosen its marijuana restrictions is seen as federal overreach; the continued Republican attack on “sanctuary cities” is widely despised. Trump’s efforts to strip protection from DACA recipients are, as they are nationwide, widely condemned.
Even stubbornly conservative rural Californians are alarmed by the national party’s attacks on them. Immigrants are not despised in the California farming communities in which they are eternal fixtures; farmers counting on the party to weaken environmental and water laws were (perhaps naively) unprepared for an aggressive Republican push to criminalize their own workers. A sudden withdrawal from NAFTA, which Trump has constantly threatened and which is sending the state’s reliably conservative farming organizations into a state of increasing panic, would be catastrophic for the state’s farms.
The worst damage, though, is the Republican tax bill. Many among both urban and farmland conservatives will see their taxes go up, not down, under the new plan; in a state where taxes are high but property values higher, the state’s farmers are once again uniquely punished by Republican Party machinations. And the national party not only doesn’t care, but has snickered fairly openly about intending the bill to indeed harm those voters. This will be difficult, if not outright impossible, for California’s Republican House members to credibly distance themselves from.
The long and short of this is that California may see an anti-Republican wave larger and more crippling to the party than in any other state. Despite the state’s reputation as a liberal bastion, the more rural and more affluent portions of the state have long put forth their share of ever-toadying conservative national figures like Darrell Issa and the forever-ridiculous Rohrabacher; the odds that conservative voters will turn out in similar numbers to support such figures now is near-zero. Those figures have lost their own voters’ trust. Conservative voters did not want their own taxes raised. They did not want a new round of hyper federalism devoted to stripping their own local rights. They don’t want to lose the family farm because Rep. Paul Ryan had a vision at a college keg party of an America in which they can all get bent.
You can do a lot to voters, but there is a limit to how much even invested social conservatives will put up with. The national party and their own Republican representatives are now actively harming their pocketbooks, and that is the one thing that will invoke a bit of self-reflection in an otherwise reliable party-line voter.
There will be a wave, in California, the only remaining question is how large it will be. The state’s Republicans have lost faith in the party; now it is up to Democrats to advertise their alternatives.