California Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Cordie Williams believes his state is shifting right and that Virginia and other places offer examples of what is possible for the GOP.
“What we saw happen in Virginia and New Jersey this past November is being seen across the country. It’s a dramatic shift towards the Republican Party,” Williams said in a statement to The Western Journal.
“When you combine the dissatisfaction of the Biden Administration, a diminished excitement level from Democrats, and Americans from all political affiliations vocally expressing their concern over parental rights and medical freedom, the mid-term is shaping up to be a monumental year for conservatives.”
Gallup reported last month that party identification shifted dramatically nationwide in 2021 from a nine-point Democratic advantage to a five-point Republican lead, a 14-point swing. The GOP held its greatest lead since 1991.
The trend back toward the Republican Party may have started two years ago in California.
One of the shockers coming out of the 2020 general election was that Republicans won four congressional seats held by Democrats in the Golden State. It was the first time in over 20 years that districts flipped from blue to red in California, which had been trending Democratic for decades.
Then came the governor’s recall election last fall, when Gov. Gavin Newsom looked vulnerable in polling as his job approval rating sank to new lows under the weight of his strict coronavirus policies.
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The decade also saw the last time a Republican represented California in the U.S. Senate. Williams aims to change that.
The Marine Corps veteran who has a chiropractic practice in southern California believes there has been movement among the state’s electorate even in the last several months.
“If we want to talk in terms of business, even since the recall this is a different market. It’s a different consumer,” Williams told The Western Journal in a recent interview when asked about Newsom’s win last fall.
The Senate candidate pointed to the governor’s move in December to reinstitute a statewide mask mandate, which expired Tuesday. The Newsom administration kept in place the mask requirement for schools.
In October, after surviving the recall, Newsom also directed that all eligible students must be vaccinated to attend in-class instruction.
His approval rating in the state is 48 percent, down from 64 percent in September 2020, according to a new poll from the University of California, Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies. Only 74 percent of Democrats and 41 percent of independents approve of Newsom.
Furthermore, just 50 percent of those surveyed in a Public Policy Institute of California poll released this month believe the state is heading in the right direction, down from 56 percent in May.
Consistent with nationwide trends, Biden’s approval rating in the state has dropped from 70 percent in January 2021 to 53 percent last month, according to the PPIC survey.
“Even folks that voted for the current guy in the White House are [disenchanted] because really, the question we’re asking him too is, ‘Are you better off now than you were nine months ago? Are you better off now, regardless of whether you liked or hated [Donald] Trump?’” Williams said.
“And so many folks are saying across party lines they’re not.”
As in now-Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s win in November, the well-being of their children is drawing people together in opposition to government leaders in California.
“The big unifying message is it’s not about red or blue, it’s not about Biden or Trump. It’s not about race, gender, who you went to bed with last night. This is about our kids. 2022 is a referendum on parental control,” Williams said.
“Parents should have the right to control what goes in their kids’ brains and what goes in their kids’ veins,” he added. “And that’s the reason why we can win.”
Williams’ first hurdle will be California’s “jungle primary” on June 7.
The system means only the top two vote-getters in the primary advance to the general election, regardless of party. A Republican U.S. Senate candidate has not advanced since 2012.
Williams predicts that Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla — who was California’s secretary of state prior to being appointed by Newsom in December 2020 to take now-Vice President Kamala Harris’ U.S. Senate seat — will win the top spot in the primary, but he’ll take the second one.
“And then I’m really going to be over the target at that point,” he said.
A February survey commissioned by Williams’ campaign and conducted by California-based Probolsky Research shows Williams as the leading Republican contender at 19.4 percent support, compared to Padilla’s 39.4 percent. Other GOP candidates are polling at a combined 13 percent.
If Williams were to pick up the other Republican candidates’ support, it would theoretically put him in striking distance of Padilla at 32.4 percent, and the two would have to fight to win over the undecideds.
The survey, which was provided to The Western Journal by the Williams campaign, was conducted among 900 respondents from Jan. 29 to Feb. 3. No margin of error was provided.
Williams likes his chances.
“I think people are fed up with people like Alex Padilla that literally have done nothing except ride on the coattails of people like Gavin Newsom,” he said.
Padilla has close ties to state Sen. Richard Pan, chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, who, Williams said, “has done so much for taking away personal rights and medical freedom in the state of California.”
Padilla has come out strongly in support of K-12 vaccination.
If elected, Williams said ensuring medical freedom will be a top priority.
He believes many are “mortified” at the way government officials have trampled on the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the First Amendment.
Williams would introduce legislation to address these issues along with providing a clear outline for religious medical exemptions.
“All over this country, we’ve seen people at all levels of government — they’ve disregarded and they’ve trampled over people’s personal rights and their personal freedom around their medical choices, and we need to change that,” he said.
Williams, who is a Christian, said “God is making some waves with this campaign” and that people of faith must fight for their freedom.
He argued that there is currently a battle underway in America and its outcome will determine whether the country will remain a land of freedom and opportunity or head down the road of Venezuelan-style socialism.
“We just have to wake people up to that,” Williams said.
He exhorted conservatives nationwide not to give up on California, arguing that if it surrenders to socialism it will have implications for other states in the union down the line.
“If everybody moves out of California because California is a wasteland and it’s hopeless,” Williams said, “they’re going to move to your state and your state’s going to go from red to purple to blue, and then you’re going to have a permanent minority in the House and the Senate.”