For the US political observers, California politics clearly veers toward the left. Pundits know that the coming election season will throw up a younger tranche of Democrats which will be much more liberal. They will stand up to President Trump more than the ones who are going to depart. This is not a good sign for Democracy. A strong GOP opposition is needed to restrict social policy and spending ambitions. A few Republicans are wary about Democratic Governor Jerry Brown's departure. The governor has a proven record of being fiscally cautious. He has made California fiscally green again after he inherited a financially destroyed state in 2011.
The state of California is in an election year which will not determine the choice of the US President. The state will be a laboratory for multiple issues like climate change, income disparities between urban and rural areas, taxes, and immigration. Sexual harassment is also on the block. The election campaigns will test for national Democrats the useful positions to be taken on important issues. Republicans will also measure themselves on the popularity of the Democrats based on such issues.
Candidates from California will be compelled to defend its “sanctuary state” status related to immigration. Also in the crossfire are the electric car and solar power industries. They must reach tough environmental targets.
Left of Washington
What is sure is that Democrats who want to get elected can only take left of center positions. Their positions may shift from the moderate to the deep end. One issue in contention is of California's single payer healthcare. It failed in the legislature during 2017. The total cost is anticipated to cost almost two times the yearly budget of the state.
The Trump factor also plays a major role in a state which has rejected him by a massive two to one margin. The president has still not visited California after the winning election. Democratic Senators have discovered to their chagrin that the presidential policies continue to dominate the California voters. These issues cover up even issues related to the state election races. Trump's shadow is being seen on the decisions taken by Washington on allowing offshore oil drilling off the California coast. The Trump administration has also threatened to clamp down on sales of legal marijuana which have proved to be popular in the state. The Republican president has also condemned the immigration policy of the state.