The other day I came across some statistics that reminded me that electoral-vote-heavy California, one of the most reliably Democrat states these days in presidential elections, didn’t used to swing that way.
The change came rather recently. Take a look: from 1972 to 1988, solid Republican. From 1992 on, solid Democrat.
It matters a lot. California now has 55 electoral votes, the equivalent of the sum total of the states of Montana, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alaska combined. And California’s electoral votes are now a given for Democrats.
Other electorally hefty states such as New York (29) and Texas (38) sort of cancel each other out, and biggish Florida (29) is a toss-up. But California the jumungous stands alone, and is responsible for the fact that a Republican candidate often has an arduous uphill battle to offset it.
I wonder whether, as California goes down the tubes, enough of its residents will wise up (or leave the state and reduce its electoral share) to make a difference. And I wonder how long that might take to happen, and what the state of this country will be by then.