There is a California Republican Party, but soon it may need to be put on a ventilator.
The Los Angeles Times reports that a California think tank has now determined that the 14 out of 53 Congressional districts that are still in GOP hands no longer have GOP majorities— and the numbers only get worse from there.
The Times reports that last month’s party registration stats “reveals an accelerated erosion of GOP strength”:
The GOP’s statewide brand was once lustrous enough to carry six straight presidential elections, from 1968 to 1988. Compare that with last November, when President Trump lost half of the Republican congressional districts. In eight of the nominally Republican districts, Democratic voter registration has risen since 2013. How many of those saw an uptick in Republicans? Zero.
The Sacramento Bee reported in February that the numbers are “shrinking fast”:
The California Republican party shrunk by about 400,000 registered voters, or 8 percent, during the last four years, even as the number of Democrats stayed flat and unaffiliated voters grew, according to figures ... by the California Secretary of State.
The GOP is red:
After the election, the Public Policy Institute of California reported some abysmal numbers for Republicans. The numbers were so bad that the Times declared that the Republican brand was “radioactive”:
- 72% of likely voters have unfavorable opinion of GOP
- 50% of Republicans have unfavorable opinion of GOP
- 66% of Millennials have unfavorable opinion of GOP
- 80% of Latinos have unfavorable opinion of GOP
In the words of The Times:
If demographics truly are destiny, the Grand Old Party has work to do. And fast.
California has one of the “most diverse” populations in the world. Hispanics outnumber all other groups. According to the Public Policy Institute of California, the state is a “minority majority” state. The state is the largest in population at 39 million, and ten million of its residents are immigrants.
The Orange County Register reports that 1.4 million illegal aliens live in Southern California alone.
And, indeed, Fox News host Tucker Carlson reported that the huge influx of immigrants — illegal and legal — ally with Democrats and not with the GOP:
"Sixty-five percent of Hispanic immigrants vote Democrat. That’s not the same [viewpoint] as the people who live here. [Immigrants] change the balance of the state.
[ ... ]
[California] is overwhelmingly a one party state because of the Latin American immigration. And it’s a boon to the Democrats period."
Former California GOP chair and U.S. Senate candidate Tom Del Beccaro told Independent Journal Review that one reason the GOP is losing is due to migration of a natural constituency out of the state:
“It’s true that many middle class voters that would have been with Republicans have left the state for greener pastures – literally.”
But he indicated that the problem has more to do with relevancy. He told IJR that the GOP needs to pick a relevant issue and run to voters all over the state to tell them what their solutions are:
“Minority parties become relevant by choosing an issue and pushing it. I’ve been after them to do that with the water issue for a decade. They should have had seven or eight water bills around the state and gotten everyone on the same page. It could have been easy because it’s a relevant, important issue.”
But the northern California attorney said that Republicans don’t have a message in California:
“They think our messaging should be better. What message? Republicans will never make a comeback unless they give voters are reason to vote for them. Instead of being loyal opposition, they need to be the plausible alternative.”
The Times reports that the “Republican wall could crumble” in the next round of political map drawing in 2020.
Del Beccaro said that, for now, California Republicans need to look at how Trump switched Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin and then get to work.