How many times has California voted Republicans
California: Trump's Most Hated State
When the forest fires devastated California, with dozens of dead and more than 1,000 missing, the US president tweeted that the cause was to be found in poor forest management. At the same time he threatened to withdraw federal funds from the "Golden State".
Once again it was against California, which Republicans like to cite as a prime example to show the dangers lurking behind a Democratic-led government. Swipes are not uncommon: "The Democrats want us to be like California," said Republican Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz, in his latest election campaign, "from tofu to silicone to colored hair." His party colleague Adam Laxalt from Nevada made the fear of California regulation mania the central message of his election campaign - sometimes unsuccessful. And the Republicans in Florida warned that the Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum wanted to introduce "California-level taxes".
Is it your own fault? For Donald Trump, poor California forest management is responsible for the forest fires
One in eight Americans lives in California. The state, which has almost 40 million people, has the greatest ethnic diversity in the country. A majority of its citizens vote for the Democrats. In the most recent midterm elections, the party even gained votes: Every state-filled leadership position is in Democratic hands, and the party has a comfortable majority in both California's House of Representatives. Republicans are few and far between in the administration, and in many places they do not even hold deputy posts. Even independent candidates hold more elected positions than Republican politicians.
It wasn't always like this: Despite Hollywood, the hippie movement, and the anti-Vietnam War demonstrations, there was an ebb and flow between Democrats and Republicans most of the time in the state. "California is indeed the Janus face of American politics," says Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a political analyst who taught at the University of Southern California. Even if the state is now solidly in democratic hands.
What has changed? The demographics. As recently as 1970, four out of five California citizens were white. In 1998 their share was only 52 percent, while Latinos made up 30 percent, Asian-born eleven percent and Afro-Americans seven percent.
Californians protest against the building of the wall on the border with Mexico
Immigrants on the rise
The turning point in California politics was triggered by Republican Governor Pete Wilson when he campaigned for a legislative proposal almost 25 years ago to prevent illegal immigrants from accessing public services, including schools and the health system. Even such migrants should be reported to the authorities by teachers and health care workers. The courts ruled this unconstitutional, so this law never came into force.
The legislative initiative, however, had the effect that more and more Latinos went into politics - the majority in the Democratic Party. Little by little they gained political functions.
"This development was accelerated by the fact that California restricted the terms of office of public authorities by voting," says Jeffe. "The incumbents were mostly white men who have now had to resign. And of course it is always much more difficult to compete against an incumbent than to apply for a vacant position. That opened the administration more to women and members of ethnic minorities."
Loud criticism of Trump's politics: minority leader Nancy Pelosi comes from - California
Hearth of Resistance
According to official figures, whites in California are no longer in the majority these days, they even make up less than 38 percent of the population. The largest group are Latinos with 39 percent. The fastest growing population group is now that of Asian descent with 15 percent; African Americans make up six percent.
Another reason Trump and the Republicans are shooting broadsides against California is because of the Democratic politicians who hail from here: Nancy Pelosi, the minority leader in the US House of Representatives, Senator Kamala Harris, Governor Jerry Brown and Eric Garcetti, the mayor of Los Angeles - They are loudly opposed to all of the President's plans since he took office.
"California is targeted by Donald Trump because the governor and all other state officials are Democrats," says Jeffe. "The jurisdiction is also under the control of the Democrats - and they are 180 degrees in opposition to Trump on the central concerns of the Californians. We are seen as the focus of the resistance movement against him."
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