The California central valley has been known for being the safe space for the Republicans left in the state. But after 2018 things seem to be changing.
The Los Angeles Times hit the pavement in Rep. Devin Nunes' district where they found support for the GOP congressman, despite similar votes for Democratic presidential candidates.
"The GOP enjoys an advantage with 39% of registered voters here, compared with the Democrats’ 32%," wrote the Times. "While Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by more than 4.2 million votes statewide, the future president found a rare haven in the 22nd, where he ran up a 10-percentage-point victory."
It explains why Nunes was so eager to cozy up to Trump after the 2016 election. But as the backlash against Trump began, two congressional seats near Nunes' in the San Joaquin Valley fell to Democrats. Nunes similarly saw support for his secure seat drop, "making clear the region could no longer be considered a Republican lock," said the Times.
"Nunes won. But his victory, by a little more than 5 percentage points, was a shadow of the 30- and 40-point blowouts that had been the norm," the report explained.
"The shift to the left has been particularly distinct in Fresno County," said the Times. "After decades of Republican dominion, the county voted for Barack Obama in two straight presidential races, then sided with Hillary Clinton over Trump in 2016. In January, two newly elected Latino members of the Fresno City Council solidified Democratic control."
There's a rise of Latino voters and young people searching for affordable housing while the Bay Area has priced out far too many people.
“I think Fresno is kind of a microcosm of what’s happening throughout the rest of the Central Valley,” said Nunes' former challenger, Andrew Janz. “We’re seeing it trend more blue.”
The Times' description of the Fresno County Republican Party gathering couldn't be more telling about the GOP's inability to expand beyond older white voters.
"A mostly gray-haired group, sporting 'Keep America Great' hats and other Trump regalia, packed in front of a big-screen television. GOP county chairman Fred Vanderhoof said they had been brought together by the power of 'a blue-collar billionaire, who speaks from the heart.'”
During a campaign stop last week, Trump even told the California farmers that they hadn't suffered from a drought, it was the fault of regulations. As farmers can attest, the drought was real and a new report warns of another one approaching for the summer, despite Trump's deregulation.
With the blue creeping into Nunes' red district, the demographic shifts and the lies to farmers, it could ultimately lead to an end for the Nunes reign in the next few years.