Plan to Split California Into Three States Makes Ballot

“California’s 168-year run as a single entity, hugging the continent’s edge for hundreds of miles and sprawling east across mountains and desert, could come to an end next year — as a controversial plan to split the Golden State into three new jurisdictions qualified Tuesday for the Nov. 6 ballot,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

“If a majority of voters who cast ballots agree, a long and contentious process would begin for three separate states to take the place of California, with one primarily centered around Los Angeles and the other two divvying up the counties to the north and south. Completion of the radical plan — far from certain, given its many hurdles at judicial, state and federal levels — would make history.”

“It would be the first division of an existing U.S. state since the creation of West Virginia in 1863.”

Democrats Already Playing Blame Game In California

Washington Post: “Confused and frustrated, a growing number of Democrats are blaming their own party as they seek to avert a drubbing in Tuesday’s congressional primaries here that would leave their candidates shut out of the November ballot in some races — and with a narrower path to win control of the House of Representatives.”

“Candidates are scrambling to set themselves apart, Democratic groups are urging unity to gain control of the House — and many voters are wondering how to contend with the despair they would feel if Democrats were locked out in this liberal state.”

Independents Now Outnumber Republicans In California

“Independents have surpassed Republicans to become the second-largest voting bloc in California, according to a firm that analyzes county voter registration information for campaigns,” the Sacramento Bee reports.

“Political Data Inc. on Tuesday released its latest count showing that voters registered with no party preference now outnumber Republicans by about 73,000 in California. The company regularly collects raw voter files from county registrars to maintain an updated database of the state’s 19 million voters.”

Playbook: “California Republicans have been sliding into obscurity for some time. But this seems particularly ominous in the long term for House Republicans, who have 14 seats in California.”

Both Parties Gaming California’s Top Two Primaries

First Read: “On the GOP side, President Trump has endorsed Republican John Cox for governor, trying to unite California Republicans around a single candidate, which could help drive turnout in the House and downballot races… In addition, House Republicans have opened an office in Southern California to spur GOP turnout in the three key House districts.”

“On the Democratic side, the DCCC has been airing TV ads both in favor of their preferred candidates in these crowded primaries (see here and here) and against Republican candidates (see here and here). And while House Democrats want two Democrats at the top of the ticket for governor – to drive Dem turnout and depress the GOP’s – gubernatorial frontrunner Gavin Newsom prefers a Republican opponent, since someone like fellow Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa represents a greater general-election threat than either of the two leading GOP candidates (Cox and Travis Allen).”

“What’s fascinating about all of these races is that they’re essentially margin-of-error contests to make the Top 2, where candidates in positions No. 2, No. 3 and even No. 4 are separated by just a handful of points in the public and private polling. All of which makes the June 5 primaries – and the strategies going into them – quite a game.”

Vox: California’s “top two” primary chaos, explained.

How California Could Bust Up the Two Party System

New York Times: ‘At the start of this year, barely a quarter of registered voters in California said they were Republicans, down from more than a third in 1997. At the same time, the number of voters in the state who say they have no party preference has more than doubled, to about 25 percent. This strongly suggests that most people who have left the Republican Party have not become Democrats and would be open to a center-right political party.”

“If a new California-based party can win votes and legislative seats, it could send a signal to politicians around the country that moderation can be a bankable political strategy, helping to break the vise grip of tribal politics that has turned so much of national politics into a blood sport and made it impossible for Congress to pass substantive bipartisan legislation.”

“If a third party has a chance anywhere in the United States, it’s in California. The state allows the two candidates who get the most votes in a so-called open primary, regardless of party affiliation, to advance to the general election.”

Democrats Consider Attacking Their Own In California

Sacramento Bee: “Facing the risk that the party could get shut out of the general election race for one or more competitive Republican-held seats, liberal groups formed to attack Republicans now say they are at least considering spending money to support particular Democratic candidates in the primaries. National Democratic officials say all options are on the table in the lead-up to June — including launching negative attacks on members of their own party, a tactic that stirred controversy in the Texas primary.”

California Moves Presidential Primary to March 2020

“Backing an effort for California to claim a bigger share of the attention from presidential candidates, Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill moving the state’s primary elections to early March,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

“Brown’s decision, announced without fanfare on Wednesday, means the state will hold its presidential primary on March 3, 2020. It’s a reversal from a decision he and Democratic lawmakers made in 2011 to push the state’s primary elections back until June, after years of trying — and failing — to entice major candidates to bring their campaigns to California instead of smaller, more rural states.”

Calexit Backers Can Begin Collecting Signatures

“Backers of a proposed constitutional amendment seeking California’s secession from the U.S. can begin collecting voter signatures to qualify for the 2018 ballot,” according to the Sacramento Bee.

“The so-called Calexit movement emerged within days of the upset presidential victory of Republican Donald Trump, who lost California by nearly 4.3 million votes. A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll showed that nearly one in three Californians support the state leaving the U.S.”

Trump Thinks He Can Win California

Donald Trump “is the only candidate left in the Republican primary, yet his campaign schedule is adhering fairly closely to the primary calendar, with him spending the second part of last week and the rest of this week holding rallies across California, which votes on Tuesday,” the New York Times reports.

Said Trump: “Sacramento, we’re going to do something. Because I’m going to make a real run in California, all right? We’re going to work California hard.”