Free Californias Modern Political Trends Essay Sample
The state of California covers 156,000 square miles and has a population of about 37 million, California as a state has a GDP of about 1.85 trillion dollars. California is divided into regions namely; The Los Angeles Metro, The San Francisco -Sacramento region, The Inland Valley, The Northern and Southern Central Valley and San Diego Metro area. Each of these regions would easily outsize many states in the United States. This essay seeks to discuss some of the political trends in California in relation to national politics and how it does not serve as a good indicator of American politics.
Why California Continues to Buck National Trends and Choose Democrats
The last two congressional races in California resulted in the re- election of Democrats Jim Costa and Jerry McNerny. During the recent mid term elections, voters all over the United States overwhelmingly chose republicans to Congress, the U.S Senate and many state houses; meanwhile the voters in California voted for Democrats in every state wide races. California, just as the rest of the United States has a fiscal crisis. In the other states, Democrats were punished for failing to lift the nation out of the economic doldrums and piled up a deficit of 2 trillion dollars in the process. This augured well for the Republicans who made a major comeback nationally. In spite of the fiscal crisis in California, voters somehow did not have confidence in the fiscal policies of the Republican Party and its candidates (Bruzzone, Athur).
Political Trends Shift to Republicans
Three indicators generally give an indication of the behavior of voters in elections, these are; Party self identification, generic party strength and presidential approval.
Party Self Identification
Party affiliation is one of the best indicators of the electorate voting behavior. Studies have shown that between 80% to 90% of will usually vote for the candidate in which they are registered. A party that has a high self identification rates usually translates to a larger base of likely support to the candidates vying for political office through the ticket of that party. Party identification is an effective indicator of voting pattern and behavior as it is a measure of preference. On the other hand, voter registration statistics are not a good indicator because voters who change party preference do not necessarily or automatically re-register as a member of that party. Sustained changes in the statistics of party identification may take months or even years to be reflected in changes in the statistics of voter registration.
Generic Ballot Strength
By asking potential voters to indicate which party's candidate for a particular political office they are likely to support in the next election is a good indicator of how the electorate will view each party.
Presidential Approval Rating
Presidential approval rating normally has a direct correlation with any party's performance during elections. In 10 out of the last 12 mid term elections, the party that has controlled the White House has suffered a net loss of seats in Congress and also a loss in the number of state legislative seats that were held by that party. There is also a definite direct correlation between the approval ratings of the incumbent president on the day of elections and the number of seats that the president's party has lost because the President is the single largest defining factor for his party in the minds of the electorate (Nehring, R).
Although some many of the political issues facing the state of California generally affect other states, California, in my opinion does not serve as a good indicator of American politics. This is because of the sheer size of the state, its economy and the diverse make up of its population. Many other factors contribute to the agenda of the national politics of the United States.