What's The Matter W/ California? Not A Goddamn Thing, Compared To Kansas or Texas!
We really are wonderful, aren't we?Well, no whites have suffered more abrupt, rattling demotion than California’s. Yet, California whites, who have plenty of experience with actual immigrants, voted against Trump by a 5 percentage point margin. Reading and triangulating 2016 election exit polls shows Californian whites vote very differently from other whites around the country – including those in New York, a similarly affluent, educated Democrat bastion. New York whites supported Trump by a 6-point margin, a pro-Republican switch of 12 percentage points from 2008. At the opposite political node, Texas’ white folks may be tasting diversity but want none of it; they handed Trump a 43 percentage point landslide.
The stark absence of either a pro-Republican majority or rightward shift among California white voters in 2016 is unique. What makes West Coast whites different – particularly younger ones, whose voting approaches nonwhites’?
Californians certainly had past periods of racial animosity. In the 1980s and ’90s, a growing older white population fueled Republicans, their traditional defenders. Harsh anti-crime rhetoric, policing and prisons proliferated; taxes and schools were cut; immigrants politically lashed.
Today, more than a decade later, Republican office holders are vanishing from the Golden State. The surge in the older white population has ebbed. Youngsters are not stepping up. Among California white millennials (age 18-29) – the future of whiteness – Trump lost by better than 20 percentage points.
Clearly, Trump’s image of immigrant-driven drugs, rape and murder has not descended on increasingly multiracial California. Just the opposite. The decline in California’s white population has accompanied sharply falling rates of crime, violence, rape, gun deaths, school failure and related ills. Doubtless there’s no connection, but the ironies are staggering.
The biggest improvements are among younger and nonwhite populations, the ones most shaped by immigration. The worst social trends, especially for crime, gun deaths and drug overdoses, plague older, less educated whites – the population most likely to support Trump.