California’s GOP Is Near Collapse

According to a report in the New York Times, California’s Republican Party is on its way to becoming a minor party. Only 30% of the State’s electorate is Republican, compared to 43% who are Democrats and 21% who are independents. A consultant to the GOP, Allan Hoffenblum, pointed out that the 30% figure means Republicans can’t win a statewide election. “You just can’t get enough crossover voters. They have alienated large swaths of voters. They have become too doctrinaire on the social issues. It’s become a cult.? Wow! And this is a guy who works for the party!

In spite of the fact that the state is embroiled in economic turmoil while all three branches of its government are controlled by Democrats, not a single Republican holds statewide office. The prognosis for change isn’t good, either. Another Republican consultant, Steve Schmidt, said, “The institution of the California Republican Party, I would argue, has effectively collapsed. It doesn’t do any of the things that a political party should do. It doesn’t register voters. It doesn’t recruit candidates. It doesn’t raise money. The Republican Party in the state institutionally has become a small ideological club that is basically in the business of hunting out heretics…When you look at the population growth, the actual party is shrinking. It’s becoming more white. It’s becoming older.”

On Sunday, the GOP’s presumptive presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, told a crowd at a San Francisco fundraiser that, “Boy, somebody’s got to do something for California…the right leadership would make a difference here.” Not only doesn’t the ‘right’ Republican leadership exist in the state, but 30% of the electorate can’t even come close to delivering the California vote to Romney.

Instead of indulging in pipe dreams, Romney and his GOP boosters ought to be worried about this old saying: “As California goes, so goes the nation.” Hunting out heretics…shrinking…becoming more white…aging? Could California be signaling not only the demise of the Republican Party in the state but also (gulp) sounding its death knell nationwide?

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