Is California in play?
On Sunday, Trump made a campaign stop in Newport Beach, California. Republican presidential candidates don't usually bother to hold rallies in California because the state is so overwhelmingly Democrat that there's no way for a Republican to grab its Electoral College votes. Trump, however, seems to think that even California could be in play this crazy year — and judging by the crowds that turned out to see him, he may be correct.
Kayleigh McEnany, who's fully recovered from her tangle with the Wuhan virus, tweeted that thousands of people lined the road for miles to cheer on Trump's motorcade — and she had the video to prove it:
UNBELIEVABLE‼️— Kayleigh McEnany (@kayleighmcenany) October 18, 2020
Thousands upon thousands lined for miles along our motorcade route in CALIFORNIA to cheer on President @realDonaldTrump!!!!! pic.twitter.com/tp0oGQ34MH
Here are a few other views of Californians going wild for Trump:
Massive crowd of @realDonaldTrump supporters greet his motorcade in Newport Peach, California.— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) October 18, 2020
Trump supporters SHOW UP. #LeadRight #Trump2020 pic.twitter.com/tJwh8pTk1C
Are you sitting down?— Jewish Deplorable 🇺🇸 (@TrumpJew) October 18, 2020
This is California today:
This is Newport, California. Thousands and thousands of American patriots lining the streets. Los Angeles County, meanwhile, is awash in needles, human waste, and despair. The homeless are neglected and victimized by the rampaging failure of Democrats... pic.twitter.com/nZ2D4iszIQ— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) October 19, 2020
Even Beverly Hills got in the act:
People in Beverly Hills “CALIFORNIA”, showing their support for President Trump and backing the blue!— Joy Bella (@joybellabella) October 19, 2020
Hello Hollywood!😎 #trump pic.twitter.com/BKbqq1dDH3
That's the kind of enthusiasm one expects in red states. To see people turn out that way in California, of all places, is absolutely stunning.
It's true that Newport Beach is part of Orange County, one of the most conservative regions in California. Most people feel that Orange County sent a Democrat representative to Congress — Rep. Harley Rouda — in 2018 only because of ballot-harvesting and vote fraud.
Certainly, the turnout for Trump suggests that, whether a Democrat sits in the 48th Congressional District or not, Orange County is still conservative. But again, a busy president doesn't go to a true blue state just because one county is conservative. Trump's presence in Orange County suggests that his internal polling is telling him that California is in play.
What you must remember about California is that it's actually two states: it's Democrat along the northern coast, especially around the San Francisco Bay Area, in Los Angeles County, in the Lake Tahoe region, and right along the Mexico border.
All of these areas I listed are either affluent or urban areas. In addition, the border area may be awash with illegal voters. The rest of the state is impoverished and conservative. Geographically, far more of California is red than is blue. However, the blue areas benefit from population density and — and this is important — voter enthusiasm.
This year, though, it may be different. If Trump can get out the inland voters, whether they are apathetic conservatives, fed up independents, or Trump Democrats, he may really be able to flip California. I would say the chance is small, but Trump's presence says the chance isn't that small.
Over the past several years, California conservatives have developed a "why should I even bother?" attitude when it comes to voting. Their votes seem meaningless. This year, though, it may be that every Trump vote in California counts. It would be a crying shame if independents and Democrats voted for Trump, but jaded conservatives couldn't be bothered.
So, if you're a California conservative, vote! Trump's telling you your vote matters.
Image: Trump supporters in California. Twitter screen grab.