California used to be a reliable Republican state. Not so much anymore.
When 818,000 voters in Los Angeles County fill out their ballots this election, they will find themselves in strange political territory: The only Republican names they’ll see will be presidential nominee Donald Trump and his running mate Mike Pence.
In this GOP “dead zone” — spanning parts of five congressional districts, five state Assembly districts and one state Senate district — not a single Republican candidate made it on to the November ballot.
Instead, all but three of the candidates in those races will be Democrats. In two races voters can choose Libertarian Party candidates who mounted successful write-in campaigns during the primary. And in an East Los Angeles congressional race, an Air Force medic is mounting a bare-bones campaign as an independent against Lucille Roybal-Allard.
This scenario is the result of California’s relatively new, voter-approved primary system in which the two candidates who finish with the most votes in the June election go on to the general election — even if they are from the same party.
For the first time in a statewide contest, voters have two Democrats only to choose between in the open U.S. Senate contest between California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris and Rep. Loretta Sanchez.
But for those 818,000 voters in parts of Los Angeles County, such as the San Fernando Valley and Central Los Angeles, the dearth of GOP options stretches much further down the ballot, according to an analysis of voter registration conducted for The Times by Political Data Inc.
Immigration always has consequences, but the consequences are realized faster in a democracy.