The Sky is Not Falling in California Because of the Massachusetts Election Result

Darry Sragow
Publisher of the California Target Book and USC professor

The sky over Massachusetts is reported to have fallen last night. But California isn’t Massachusetts, and it certainly isn’t Washington, D.C., where the reverberations are being felt.

If, at a superficial level, both the Bay State and the Golden State can be labeled reliably Blue, yesterday’s outcome may bolster the hopes of California Republicans who are fueling their 2010 campaigns with the hope that their party is not destined to chronic irrelevancy.
But if you look at the size and ethnic make up of both states’ electorates, it is immediately evident that the two places have little in common politically.

Barbara Boxer, Jerry Brown and every one of California’s Democratic leaders would be well served to scrutinize the data coming out of Massachusetts, and to overlay that information on what they already know about political attitudes and trends in California. But they need to be very thoughtful about the conclusions they draw.

Voters in both states are very unhappy. In California, the focus is on jobs, the economy, and the state budget. In Massachusetts, if you believe the pundits, it’s over the pace of health care reform in Washington. Personally, I think they’re angry because when they went to vote the temperatures were down in the 20’s.

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