If Democrats win the House, it will be largely thanks to California, where Trump is too scared to even show his face.
Democrats need to flip 24 seats in the House this year in order to gain control from Republicans, and right now it looks like at least half of those wins could come from California alone. That’s where the GOP is currently clinging to life under the historically unpopular Donald Trump.
And California is where Trump is afraid to go.
In 2017, he became the first president since Dwight Eisenhower to not travel to America’s most populous state during his first year in office, the Los Angeles Times notes.
Trump’s name is associated with one golf resort in the state, the Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles. But he’s so unpopular on the West Coast that he appears to have no interest in trying to boost the club’s bottom line by visiting it.
How widely disliked is Trump in California? His current approval rating stands at a myopic 27 percent, which is just about where Richard Nixon was in term of California approval on the eve of his 1974 resignation. And where George W. Bush stood after he oversaw a failed, $3 trillion invasion of Iraq.
Incredibly, Trump is that unpopular after just 11 months in office.
California, led by Gov. Jerry Brown, now doubles as unofficial home base for the resistance, as the state legislature now actively moves to counter Trump’s agenda by, for instance, passing immigration laws aimed at directly undercutting the White House.
Trump lost California by a whopping 4 million votes in 2016. And there are currently just 14 California Republicans serving in Congress out of the state’s 55 representatives, half of whom represent districts that Hillary Clinton won in 2016.
According to the non-partisan Cook Political Report, eight of the 14 House districts that Republicans currently hold are deemed to be “highly competitive” for November.
Meanwhile, Trump’s radical agenda is likely to be an albatross for California Republicans in November.
“The recently passed tax-cut bill, with its limits on deductibility of state and local taxes and mortgage interest, seemed almost designed to strike at high-tax states with pricey real estate such as California,” notes the Wall Street Journal. “President Donald Trump’s immigration policies are widely unpopular in a state with a large population of Hispanics and Asian-Americans.”
Even as the state has swung dramatically towards Democrats in recent years — longtime GOP bastion Orange County flipped Democratic in 2016 — prominent Republicans routinely visited, if only for the lush fundraising opportunities that still existed.
But not Trump.
He wants nothing to do with the sixth largest economy in the world. And soon, California voters may want to have nothing to do with the GOP.