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California Primary: Blue Wave or Blue Bust?

06-07-2018
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Why was the turnout for the California primary so low, and what might the results predict about voting trends for November? Watch Gary Lane's On the Homefront interview with Tom Del Beccaro for some insights.

For months, members of the national news media cited various public opinion polls predicting voters would likely reject Donald Trump's policies, that a blue wave would arrive in November. 

They said Democrats would likely retake a majority in the US House of Representatives and pick up seats and reduce the Republican majority in the US Senate.

Some early generic congressional candidate surveys found people preferred Democratic candidates by as much as 18 percent over Republicans. 

More recently, polls have tightened and have predicted a much closer fall election. 

So, what are political observers learning about blue or red waves now that the votes have been counted in California's "jungle" primary?

Radio/ TV commentator and author of the book The Divided Era, Thomas Del Beccaro says the state is considered the center of American resistance to Trump, yet voters did not demonstrate anger or overwhelming disapproval of the president's policies. 

"California if any place on earth should have been the blue wave place, right? You had what they said would be an angry Latino vote and Nancy Pelosi et. al, were concentrating on seven seats that Hillary won that they said they'd be able to flip," Del Beccaro explained.

In California's primary, the top two vote getters—regardless of party affiliation—run off against each other in November. Republicans won the majority of the vote in six of those seven seats.
 
"Not only that, the Republicans recalled the sitting state Democrat senator and replaced him with a Republican," said the former California Republican Party Chairman. 

"And so, the big splash, the big wave didn't happen here. In fact, they had two statewide, famous Latino candidates who did really poorly."   

Del Beccaro said a predicted wave of angry Latino voters, upset over Trump's immigration policy, actually failed to show up at the polls. Overall, voter turnout for the California primary reached only 22%. 
 

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