Do suburban voters who are electing Democrats across the nation really want to embrace Hamas and MS-13 while banning plastic straws? Have they suddenly embraced the “abolish ICE” and “abolish prisons” movements? The results from a ballot initiative in Tucson clearly show that when voters are presented with a clear contrast on an important issue of our time, they do not side with the Democrats.
Despite Republicans facing increasing problems in the suburbs, a trend highlighted last night by the GOP slaughter in Virginia’s state and local elections, it’s clear that much of it is a backlash against Trump’s personality, the GOP’s dysfunction and lack of vision, and the absence of a bold contrast highlighting the radical nature of Democrats. It’s not Trump’s perceived policies that are getting rejected.
Despite the backing from the ACLU and other special interest groups, Tucson’s Proposition 205 – the effort to make the city a sanctuary for illegal aliens – went down in flames last night by a margin of 71%-29%.
The promotion of illegal aliens has become a symbol of where the modern Democrat Party is heading. It is considered a contentious “50-50” issue on the national level. Yet when it’s actually put to a vote through a long-form and contentious public debate, the people overwhelmingly side with Trump’s view.
Moreover, Tucson is no 50-50 jurisdiction. It voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton. Yet more than 70 percent of voters, even in a deep blue urban area, don’t want police prevented from inquiring about immigration status so that criminals can be turned over to ICE. This is the same reason why Montgomery County, Maryland, after much scrutiny of its sanctuary policies, is beginning to change its tune and reverse sanctuary policies, despite being a county Hillary won by 55 points.
The moral of the story is that the GOP brand is tarnished for reasons that have nothing to do with the core agenda Democrats are seeking to implement. For example, a radical sheriff and prosecutor who oppose ICE won their respective races in Prince William County, Virginia. But did they really win because of those views? They won despite them because the GOP brand is so damaged.
The bottom line is that on critical issues, especially on issues like immigration and crime, Republicans are not as emphatically to the right as Democrats are to the left. They fail to consistently and uniformly attack leftist positions with high-profile legislative battles that ensure voters know exactly what Democrats have in store for our future. The lack of unity and clarity on the issues ensures that Democrats are not held accountable or even exposed for the scope and danger of their radical views.
How else do you explain, on the one hand, Republican issues winning overwhelmingly in urban and very Hispanic Tucson, but on the other hand, GOP candidates losing tremendous ground in suburbs, even in red states like Mississippi?
Where Republicans are more aggressive and unified in pursuit of conservatism, they are winning. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis aggressively pushed anti-sanctuary legislation and is now promoting mandatory E-verify to ensure that illegal workers aren’t hired. As such, everyone in the state knows where he and Republicans stand on the issue, and the issue itself is very prominently on the minds of voters. The result? DeSantis has 72% of Florida voter approval of the job he’s doing. That number is 82 percent among Hispanics, which flies in the face of establishment Republican thought regarding immigration and the Hispanic vote. Also, 74% of Hispanics in Florida support mandatory E-verify.
It’s not just on immigration. Washington state voters narrowly rejected affirmative action last night, despite the state increasingly becoming dark blue in its politics. Referendum 88 would have instituted affirmative action in public education and employment. Even though it was only narrowly rejected, the measure enjoyed majority support in just three of the state’s 39 counties.
Furthermore, the ballot language was very measured and failed to fully capture the extent of how far Democrats really want to take this issue. The ballot language states that this initiative “would allow the state to remedy documented or proven discrimination” and “does not use quotas or preferential treatment.” Imagine what the vote would look like if the ballot language reflected their true position of applying quotas even when there is no evidence of discrimination.
What about Texas, where some Republicans fear the state is slipping from their control? By a margin of 75%-25%, voters passed a constitutional amendment banning a state income tax, a measure that will now require two-thirds support in both houses of the legislature to ever levy even a one-percent income tax. Thus, the same voters who drifted toward Beto O’Rourke are overwhelmingly and adamantly opposing the concept of a tax that he and his colleagues want to massively increase.
What did we learn from last night’s elections? Essentially what we’ve known for years. Voters in no way support the extreme agenda of the Democratic Party, certainly not those living in suburban neighborhoods in the south. But the Republican Party is a terrible vehicle for promoting a bold contrast. That ensures the election becomes about personalities and media-driven soap opera.
As a result, voters don’t even realize the Democrat candidates are even promoting the very values they reject.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.