Democrats vastly overestimated voters’ desire to pit the races against each other through affirmative action policies, even in a state as liberal as California.
Voters in the Golden State overwhelmingly rejected a proposition that would return affirmative action to education, employment, and contracting after the practice was banned for 24 years. As The New York Times reported, California’s “governor, a senator, members of Congress, university presidents and civil rights leaders called it a righting of old wrongs.” The Los Angeles Times editorial board endorsed it.
“Yet on Election Day, the proposition failed by a wide margin, 57 percent to 43 percent, and Latino and Asian-American voters played a key role in defeating it. The outcome captured the gap between the vision laid out by the liberal establishment in California, which has long imagined the creation of a multiracial, multiethnic coalition that would embrace progressive causes, and the sentiments of many Black, Latino, Asian and Arab voters,” the Times reported.