It can be all too easy to forget that California, now a Democrat-mismanaged chronic cesspool, used to be a conservative stronghold. The state gave America Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan and voted for the GOP in nine out of ten presidential elections between 1952 and 1988.
Clearly, a lot has changed. California hasn’t supported a single Republican presidential candidate in any of the eight elections since 1988. What’s more, the margin of support for Republican candidates has consistently shrunk, with Bill Clinton receiving 46 percent of the vote in 1992 (an election with three serious candidates) and 51 percent in 1996.
In 2020, Joe Biden garnered more than 63 percent of the California vote, the Democrats’ best year in the state since Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected in a national landslide. Since 2007, Republican Party affiliation has plummeted from 33.8 percent to an abysmal 24 percent, now tying with no party preference.
What happened? How did the state that gave us Nixon and Reagan become a Democratic stronghold in the span of a few short election cycles? Was the Democratic Party’s messaging just that effective? Doubtful.
While it’d be reductionist to attribute California’s leftward trend to a single variable, there’s one that can not only be blamed for much of the shift, but is also integral to understanding the left’s strategy to sink Republican majorities across America.
The answer lies in immigration. California has been, for many years, a top destination for immigrants, both legal and illegal. Today, California has more immigrants than any other state, largely in part due to the addition of a whopping and electorally significant 2.4 million immigrants during the 1990s. As California was flooded with immigrants, the state shifted left, with newly imported populations heavily favoring the Democratic Party.
Ample research indicates that immigrants from Latin America, who historically have made up the largest share of California’s immigrant population, vote overwhelmingly for Democrats, with a more recent study from Pew finding that 4 percent of illegal immigrants of Hispanic descent support the GOP and 31 percent support the Democratic Party, while legal permanent residents and foreign-born U.S. citizens support Democrats 49 to 8 percent and 54 to 11 percent, respectively.
After Reagan signed the 1986 amnesty, which a representative from the Federation for American Immigration Reform cited in a statement to The Federalist as “the reason why we have had illegal immigration ever since,” Californians took action to curtail immigration and passed Proposition 187, a bill that would’ve prevented illegal immigrants from receiving government benefits by a landslide margin of 59 percent to 41 percent.
The victory was short-lived, however, as a permanent injunction from federal judge Marianna Pfaelzer killed the widely supported measure. Now, estimates say that 6 percent of California’s population is currently there illegally, and the state was the first to openly violate federal law to harbor illegal immigrants.
California’s rapid shift isn’t a story of a sudden ideological change, but of a drastic population shift that Democrats and weak Republicans intend to foist on the rest of America through open border policies and amnesty for unvetted illegal immigrants.
Now, the same playbook is being used as a blueprint for the entire country, with conservative predominance in key states being threatened by similar population changes. Texas, long viewed as the epitome of a red state, is now grappling with fears that demographic shifts could threaten the GOP’s control over the second most populous state in the union.
Such fears are well founded, with Sen. Ted Cruz only beating out Beto O’Rourke by 2.6 percent in the 2018 Senate election in an uncharacteristically close race. While many have expressed concern over the possibility that those who have moved to Texas from failed Democrat states might turn it blue, studies have found that such voters tend to be overwhelmingly supportive of the GOP.
Instead, a cross-reference of data from the Statistical Atlas (which displays counties with a higher foreign-born population in the lighter color) and election results show that O’Rourke secured landslide victories in counties that had the largest shares of immigrant voters.
With an estimated 1.7 million illegal immigrants, amnesty could prove to be fatal for the GOP in Texas, especially in conjunction with persistent legal immigration in a U.S. system based on chain migration instead of skill-based immigration criteria.
Texas is not the only state that is threatened by immigration, however, with Democrats winning almost 90 percent of congressional districts across the country with large foreign-born populations. Several other red (or formerly red) states have been or are being turned blue at least in significant part to immigration, including Georgia, Virginia, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Arizona.
When Democrats can’t convince current voters, they import new ones, masking their lust for power in the humanitarian cloaks of “multiculturalism” and “diversity,” while drowning any dissent with a flurry of insults or a disingenuous recitation of Emma Lazarus’s “The New Colossus.” The left employs all this fanfare about diversity while enforcing a crushing conformity in all other facets of society, with cancel culture’s hall monitors perpetually searching for opportunities to stifle intellectual diversity.
While the severity of this situation differs between states, the danger is uniform and undeniable. Mass immigration, be it legal or illegal, has been weaponized by Democrats and threatens the GOP’s electoral viability on a national scale.
Yet another indication that this strategy is intentional is the apoplectic response when it is exposed to the public.
When Tucker Carlson said, “In order to win and maintain power, Democrats plan to change the population of the country,” he met outrage from the Anti-Defamation League, which invoked the left’s favorite buzzword, accusing Tucker of embracing “a white supremacist trope” and called for his firing, with their CEO doubling down in a tweet. Meanwhile, researcher Nikki McCann Ramirez of Media Matters claimed Carlson was promoting a “conspiracy theory.”
While those on the left feebly brand any discussion of statistically verifiable and electorally significant population changes as racist and conspiratorial, at other times they openly boast about the success of this strategy, with a leftist activist remarking, “When you think about California, what it was like 30 or 40 years ago, that’s Georgia,” and failed gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams contending that “Georgia’s demography is an example of what’s happening maybe more slowly everywhere else in the Sun Belt” and saying that changing “demography is opportunity.”
Although Carlson discussed these shifts in explicitly nonracial terms, prominent leftwing voices have used this issue to peddle the nastiest form of identity politics, with The New York Times even running an article literally titled “We Can Replace Them” in which columnist Michelle Goldberg derisively blames America’s division on “an embittered white conservative minority.”
Attempts to blacklist these conversations are even more obviously duplicitous when leftists politicians, activists, and journalists brag about the strategy’s success, simultaneously asserting that such population shifts are a driving force for their electoral success and calling conservatives who recognize that very same fact racist conspiracy theorists.
The same ploy that turned the Golden State blue is being foisted on the entirety of America, and it threatens to yield the same consequences. To fend off nationwide Californication, Republican officials must oppose mass immigration and boldly expose the left’s plan to reshape America’s population for political gain. Their jobs, and more importantly, any hope of pursuing conservative policies and values on a national scale, may very well depend on it.