California Republicans Had One Desperate Gambit to Get Their Voters to the Polls - And It's Failing

California Republicans Had One Desperate Gambit to Get Their Voters to the Polls  -  And It's Failing

California Republicans are in trouble this year, and they know it.


Their gubernatorial candidate, John Cox, is being crushed in the polls by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, and they didn't even get to nominate a candidate for Senate for the second straight election in a row. There is little to motivate Republican voters statewide, and that could spell danger for the GOP in House races, where as many as 10 out of 14 GOP seats are varying degress of competitive — especially in a state where voters are furious with President Donald Trump.

But Republicans thought they had an answer to their turnout problem: Proposition 6.

The referendum, if passed, would repeal a 12-cent-a-gallon hike of the state gas tax and a $25-175 fee hike for vehicle registration passed by the Democratic legislature to fund repairs to California's roads. Proposition 6 would also amend the state constitution to require voter approval of new vehicle-related tax increases, hobbling the already-difficult process of passing taxes in the state.

The referendum was supposed to be a winner for Republicans, who warned gleefully of backlash against the Democrats' tax overreach. A Democratic state senator was recalled from office earlier this year over the gas tax hike, and GOP congressional candidate Diane Harkey led a rally this weekend to support the measure.

Unfortunately for the GOP, Proposition 6 is not turning out to be the ace in the hole they were expecting.

Since Republicans got the measure on the ballot, spending has been 9 to 1 against it. Three separate polls over the previous month found the measure underwater, and the latest poll, conducted by Change Research, found voters opposed 49 to 43.

California Republicans have historically used anti-tax initiatives as a means of curtailing Democratic power in the state. The most infamous example is Proposition 13 in 1978, which severely limited property tax growth and, it has been argued, contributed to the housing affordability crisis that is plaguing California cities.

In the end, it appears as though the GOP in California will not even wind up with the signature policy that was supposed to serve as consolation prize and turnout booster. For them, tomorrow could be a bad night indeed.

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.