What’s the matter with California? It is a question once asked about Kansas when that state came to be viewed as a harbinger of a more conservative America. But now the trend is quite opposite, the right wing is in retreat and the Golden State is the progressive bellwether.
How is it that the state that incubated the presidencies of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan is now so deep blue Democrat that Mitt Romney hardly bothered to campaign there? Why did voters, including huge majorities in the state’s two wealthiest counties, approve a tax on high-income earners to increase funding for public education?
The answer is that the shifting demographics of California, forerunners of an inevitable national trend, are producing an American electoral majority that is more culturally sophisticated, socially tolerant and supportive of a robust public sector than can be accommodated by the simplistic naysayers who now dominate the Republican Party.
The big news from the last election is that California, home to 12 percent of Americans and the world’s eighth-largest economy, is a model of rational political thought. Not only did President Obama garner almost 60 percent of the vote there, but the Democrats who already controlled all branches of the state’s government gained a two-thirds supermajority in both houses of the state Legislature, the first time one party has done so since 1933, when the Republicans were in power. The Democrats have not managed such a feat since 1883.You can read the whole thing here.