The Corner


Referenda and the Parties

Kevin Williamson (seconded by Roger Clegg) cheers the results of referenda in California, noting that conservatives generally don’t win elected office there. I wonder if conservative success in referenda play a part in the dearth of elected conservatives in the state. If you’re a moderate or conflicted voter, you know you can put a brake on liberal governance in the state without having to go so far as to elect a Republican.

Similarly, in Florida, you can go along with the state’s apparent drift toward the Republicans and still get a higher minimum wage. If the referendum option wasn’t available, maybe the issue would work better for Democratic candidates there.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.