California’s Special Election Could Be a Referendum on the Trump Administration’s Immigration Policy

With televised Trump subpoena, Jan. 6 panel asks voters for a second season of TV series The Jan. 6 hearing at the State Capitol in Sacramento focused on an ongoing battle between the Trump…

California’s Special Election Could Be a Referendum on the Trump Administration’s Immigration Policy

With televised Trump subpoena, Jan. 6 panel asks voters for a second season of TV series

The Jan. 6 hearing at the State Capitol in Sacramento focused on an ongoing battle between the Trump administration and California. (David McNew/Getty Images)

The most immediate question for voters in Tuesday’s special election for one of California’s two U.S. Senate seats is whether they intend to go to the polls and cast ballots in favor of a candidate who’s running as an ally of the sitting president.

A second-term congressman, Republican Rep. Jeff Denham, is fighting for his political life against Democrat John Garamendi, a former aide to Gov. Jerry Brown who has also served in the Legislature.

The race will be fought over public lands and water issues, which have loomed large in the politics of California’s Capitol, and it could become a referendum on the Trump administration’s immigration policy that began with the separation of parents and children at the U.S. border.

So far, the Trump administration’s efforts to discourage immigration have been ineffective, and the administration has instead focused on the flow of asylum seekers at the border. (The administration also continues to grant work permits to asylum seekers.)

In the meantime, California has been the nation’s most prosperous and liberal state, whose economy, particularly tourism, accounts for about one-third of the state’s tax revenue. The race, along with other contests across the country, is shaping up to be a referendum on the two major-party presidential nominees and their potential general-election victories.

“Democrats are hoping to make it a referendum on President Trump,” said Matt Barreto, a spokesman for the Committee for the Re-Election of the President (CREEP). “It’s a high stakes election.”

Democrats and their allies have warned that Denham is trying to turn the election into a referendum on the president himself, painting him as an alien with a foreign policy that’s at odds with the traditional Republican-liberal values of the Golden State.

“I think the Democrats want to turn this into an example of Trump gone wild,” said Barreto

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