San Francisco’s progressive District Attorney Chesa Boudin was recalled this week in a 60-40 landslide. Los Angeles saw a surge of support for a moderate mayoral candidate, Rick Caruso, who campaigned on crime, homelessness and social disorder. None of this necessarily marks a sea change; the people of both cities have long been happy to be liberal Democrats. What they won’t accept is being ruled by progressives. (San Francisco has made this clear twice; in February, when voters fired as many progressive members of the school board as they could, we called it the beginning of a serious rebuke.) An aspect that is potentially promising for the Republicans is that the shock and trauma of the past few years of misgovernment, and the recall fights, have, for the first time in at least a generation, reminded Democrats that there are options beyond their party and that on the issues of crime and public disorder, Republicans have demonstrated the greater wisdom. So yes, there could be long-term implications.
Early reports suggest, unsurprisingly, that minority voters backed the recall in greater numbers than college-educated whites. This is because they suffer more and have fewer protections when crime spikes and homeless encampments seize new ground.