2016 Presidential Election

For Democrats in California, a generational shift pulls the party left, with danger and opportunity ahead

For Democrats in California, a generational shift pulls the party left, with danger and opportunity ahead

For decades, Democratic politics in the nation’s most populous state has been overseen by a quintet of leaders who helped propel California from reliably Republican to dominantly Democratic.

To outsiders, they were the West Coast liberals whom conservatives love to hate — stereotyped as chardonnay-sipping, tree-hugging, near-socialists who, were it geologically possible, would push the state so far left it would plunk into the Pacific. In truth, they have exerted a moderating force on Democrats here.

Their reign effectively ended at this weekend’s state party convention, part of a shift both generational and ideological that is altering power across the country and in the...

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