Now that the tallying for Election 2016 is all but finished (yes, the Green Party lady wants a recount in the three key swing states which Hillary Clinton lost, but it's an exercise in Green waste and Democratic futility. Not that I would discourage the effort, of course!), it's time to survey other states and their victories.
Blue states took on a reddish hue in Election 2016, despite the higher turnout across the country, which tends to favor Democrats. The norm in Presidential elections usually helps Dems, too, in larger states like Illinois.
And yet in this state, Republicans gained ground, even though Crooked Hillary was running for a third term of Barack Obama, and swept his (and her) home state.
Republican Governor Bruce Rauner threw in $30,000,000 of his own money to take over more seats in the state legislature, and to blunt the power of Madman Mike Matigan, the speaker of Illinois' lower chamber.
Rauner has broken the supermajority in Springfield. His victories in conservative sections of the state enabled him to chip away at the heavy-handed power of the Democratic leadership in the state capital.
Rauner's money haul for key seats came with a large price tag, but more importantly his heavy spending forced Democrats to keep up for the first time in years. That development needs to be re-read. Democrats had a hard time keeping up with the Republican donors' financing.
What lessons can other blue states learn from this miracle (of sorts)?
The donor classes which Republicans seek need to focus on flipping key seats in line with clear policy reforms.
Rauner has pressed for the following:
1. Cap on property taxes.
2. Pension reforms
3. Citizen redistricting
4. Term limits
The next gubernatorial candidate in California should focus on similar reforms.
Anything that will ensure that normal California voters still have a seat at the table.
Donors need to combine a strategic fight for reform-minded normalcy in the state of California.
If a deep blue state like Illinois can build up strength against the Democratic machine, then anything is possible in other states.
California Republicans need to think very hard and plan very careful to ensure one candidate can emerge victorious through the open primary and into the general election.