Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

What Happened to California Republicans?

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

From 1967 to 2019, Republicans controlled the California governorship for 31 of 52 years. So why is there currently not a single statewide Republican officeholder? California also has a Democratic governor and Democratic supermajorities in both houses of the state legislature. Only seven of California’s 53 congressional seats are held by Republicans.

In 1994, then-governor Pete Wilson backed Proposition 187, which denied state social services to undocumented immigrants. The spin goes that it backfired and alienated the Hispanic community, and thus marked the road to Republican perdition.

Not quite.

Prop 187 passed with 59 percent support. Wilson’s endorsement of the bill helped its passage, and his support of it aided his landslide 1994 reelection. Among minority voters, 52 percent of Asian and African-American voters supported Proposition 187. Some 27 percent of Latinos voted for it.

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About Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. He is also the Wayne & Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History, Hillsdale College, where he teaches each fall semester courses in military history and classical culture.

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