An earlier version of this editorial said Katie Porter had failed to unseat an incumbent U.S. representative in California. Porter was declared the winner Nov. 15.
WE wrote this fall about the potential downside of a Colorado initiative that sought to severely curtail drilling for oil and gas. Voters wound up rejecting this bad idea on a day when several far-left proposals and candidates took it on the chin. Democrats should take note.
The proposition would have expanded to 2,500 feet the buffer zone required between energy wells and residences and schools. The current buffer is 500 feet from buildings and 350 feet from recreational areas such as playgrounds.
Requirements in the state question also would have applied to lakes, streams, parks, green space and other “vulnerable areas.” State regulators said the 2,500-foot setback would have made drilling off-limits to 85 percent of the state’s nonfederal land, and would have hammered Colorado’s economy.
Voters said “no thanks” in no uncertain terms, rejecting the measure 57 percent to 43 percent.
Progressive proposals also were jettisoned last week by voters in Washington state, Arizona and Alaska.
A proposed carbon tax, which would have been used to fund various green energy subsidies, went down 56-44 in Washington. Seattle voters (no surprise) backed the plan, which would have driven up gasoline prices by 59 cents per gallon by 2035, but those outside the state’s largest city rejected it.
The vote was 70-30 against a proposal in Arizona, funded by billionaire Tom Steyer, requiring that state to draw 50 percent of its energy from renewables by 2030. In Alaska, voters went 64-36 against a ballot initiative, driven by out-of-state interests, that would have tightened the environmental permitting process for developments in salmon habitats.
Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, a democratic socialist, has been a star of the far left since her upset of a 10-term incumbent in their primary, but many Democratic candidates proved a little too progressive for voters on Election Day.
Acolytes of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., had it rough. Among them were Richard Cordray, who lost to Republican Mike DeWine in his bid for Ohio governor; and Liz Watson, a 59-41 loser in an Indiana U.S. House race that many felt would be competitive.
In Warren’s own state, she endorsed several candidates who were unsuccessful but also a ballot initiative that would have required nurse-to-patient ratios in hospitals. It garnered 30 percent support.
National Journal’sJosh Kraushaar tracked nine progressive candidates to gauge the movement’s strength. None of the nine won. “Indeed,” wrote The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel, “outside safe Democratic districts, the left-wing movement took a complete bath.”
As they look to 2020, Democrats should take heed.
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