Tuesday, March 17, 2009

CA Conservatives Cooling Off? Not Likely

From a 50-state "Salon" assessment of the state of the GOP, the California entry:
PRESIDENTIAL VOTE 2000: Gore 53-42 2008: Obama 61-37
U.S. SENATE 2005: 2D 2009: 2D
U.S. HOUSE 2005: 33D-20 2009: 34D-19
STATE HOUSE 2005: 48D-32 2009: 51D-29
STATE SENATE 2005: 25D-15 2009: 26D-14

In the state that has always the nation's leading indicator of social trends, recent Democratic dominance has been based on the same coalition of urban liberals, suburban social moderates, and minorities that elected Barack Obama last fall. After a few wipeouts, the GOP learned how to survive in that environment and nominated Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose politics would make him a Democrat in most non-coastal states. With the voting population getting less white by the day, there's probably no turning back for California Republicans, though conservatives keep trying. The decision by six GOP lawmakers to side with the Democratic majority in the state Legislature and pass a state budget containing tax increases brought demands for censure from the party's conservative base. State chairman Ron Nehring urged conservatives to cool off and concentrate on growing the party instead. In 2010, when Arnold is termed out, expect eBay exec Meg Whitman and Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner -- both suburban, business-oriented, moderate millionaires -- to fight for the Republican gubernatorial nod.

Memorable quote: "We have to get out of the doldrums from the November election. We need to rally people." -- State GOP vice chairman Tom Del Beccaro

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