Morningafterwise: A Look at Some Ballot Initiative Results

Did you know that today is apparently National Stress Awareness Day?

Whoever thought of the timing for this is both a comic genius and (if you’re a Democrat) an evil genius.

The great thing about this election is that even if Biden manages to win by the skin of his teeth, the left will still be in need of grief counselors because this isn’t how it was supposed to happen.

While we await the drama of the presidential contest, it is worth looking at some tidings from ballot initiatives. Out here in Commiefornia, Joe Biden is going to beat Trump by a two-to-one margin, winning by more than 4 million votes, which will very likely account for all of his margin in the national popular vote. Trump right now is sitting at only 33 percent of the vote.

But below this, it is worth noting that on the ballot propositions, California voters delivered a clean sweep against the agenda of the left. Like other states California will be counting mail-in ballots for another week or more, but it is unlikely this will change many results.

As Paul has noted, Proposition 16, the measure that would have restored racial discrimination, is losing by a healthy margin (56-44% right now—meaning 20 percent of the voters who rejected Trump also rejected Prop. 16). Proposition 15, which would have raised business property taxes, is losing 51.7% to 48.3%. A monumentally stupid rent control initiative, Prop. 21, is losing 62 -38%. And Prop. 22, the measure that legalizes commercial transaction between consenting adults (i.e., rolling back the legislature’s attempt to crush Uber, Lyft, and other forms of independent contracting), is winning 58-42%.

Already the left is saying these results merely show the political power of big business, which spent heaving on behalf of the winning side for Props. 15, 21, and 22 (not true of Prop. 16, where the No campaign was outspent heavily). However, cast your eyes to Illinois, a heavily Democratic state, where voters rejected the “Fair Tax Amendment” that would have raised income taxes on high incomes. Gov. Pritzker, a billionaire, spent $56 million of his own money on behalf of the measure, but it failed 55-45%. Apparently even Illinois Democrats are tired of tax increases to bail out their cosseted public employee unions.

The one bright spot for the left comes from Florida, which approved a $15 an hour minimum wage even as Trump crushed it in the presidential race. Never mind that the minimum wage is a counterproductive measure; it is the kind of measure that appeals to the working class. And yet Biden chose to embrace punitive liberalism, emphasizing raising taxes on the rich rather than running on a national minimum wage hike, which might have grabbed him some votes that Trump’s economic populism attracted instead.

Finally, this, from clear-eyed leftie Matthew Yglesias, is just delicious. Needless to say lots of his irony-deprived Twitter followers don’t get the joke. Perhaps because the joke’s on them.

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