Elias: The California GOP doesn’t have to be that irrelevant

Is the Republican Party in California dead?  Two past Assembly Minority Leaders believe so.  The Party lost 5 seats in the Assembly, 7 in Congress, 3 in the State Senate and a Board of Equalization seat.  In six years it went from one million more registrants than Decline to State to 700,000 LESS than Decline to State—the GOP is now the Third Party Party in California behind Democrats and Decline to State.

“Republicans have plenty of potential targets for 2020, if they take even a cursory look. They might go after districts where GOP candidates led in Election Night counts, but lost when late mail and provisional ballots were counted.

Those include three Orange County districts that went Democratic this year after decades of Republican representation. The GOP also could examine districts like those of Democrats Ami Bera and Jerry McNerney, perpetual targets for them in the northern San Joaquin Valley where the incumbent Democrats rarely pull more than 53 percent of the vote, even in big Democratic years like 2018.

There is definite potential for Republican recovery. But only if the GOP adopts some of the tactics outlined in a post-election memo sent to reporters by Drew Godinich, regional press secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The DCCC, Godinich reported, started by making sure it had solid candidates. It then spent big money on primary campaigns to get those candidates into the fall runoff. Democrats also put local organizers into target districts just two weeks after Trump’s inauguration, while he was embroiled in feckless and false arguments over whether his inauguration crowd matched Barack Obama’s.

When reading the Democrat memo, recognize they did not discover anything new—they went back to the basics.  They did what political parties should do.  Now the question is, can the GOP go back to the basics to win those seats again?

Photo courtesy of DonkeyHotey, flickr

The California GOP doesn’t have to be that irrelevant

 

By Thomas D. Elias, Daily News,  11/29/18

 

From across California, the obituaries for the California Republican Party have come thick and fast ever since the November election. After all, the GOP’s onetime national stronghold in Orange County now lacks even a single Republican in Congress.

All statewide officeholders also are Democrats, from the governor right through the nominally nonpartisan state school superintendent. Democrats hold majorities of more than two-thirds in both houses of the Legislature, allowing them to pass any tax increase they like.

So the eulogies now being read over the seemingly dead body of the onetime Grand Old Party amount to piling on after Republicans’ worst defeat ever in California.

One veteran conservative commentator suggests the GOP should stop calling itself Republican and adopt some other label because the present one was poisonous for so many candidates. The party’s former leader in the state Assembly, Kristin Olson, opined in print that her party “is dead.”

But it doesn’t have to be that way. And a major Democratic operative has now outlined just how Republicans can recover in this state. A potential GOP recovery, though, would probably require its candidates to divorce themselves as much as possible from President Trump and his brand of government by insult, belittlement, braggadocio, whim and tweet.

If Republicans in California do as the Democrats did after their 2016 losses, they have a shot at making a significant comeback. But so far, the GOP is so enmeshed in feeling sorry for itself that there is little sign it will make the kind of effort Democrats did starting at the end of 2016 and carrying right through this fall’s election.

The first thing Democrats did then was select the Republican congressional seats they had a chance of winning. In the end, they took virtually all of those.

Their chief criterion was simple: Target districts where Hillary Clinton beat Trump, but which elected Republicans to Congress. Those included all the Orange County areas they flipped this fall, and three in the Central Valley. They also made a strong, successful effort to ensure they didn’t lose any of the 39 congressional seats they already held in California.

Republicans have plenty of potential targets for 2020, if they take even a cursory look. They might go after districts where GOP candidates led in Election Night counts, but lost when late mail and provisional ballots were counted.

Those include three Orange County districts that went Democratic this year after decades of Republican representation. The GOP also could examine districts like those of Democrats Ami Bera and Jerry McNerney, perpetual targets for them in the northern San Joaquin Valley where the incumbent Democrats rarely pull more than 53 percent of the vote, even in big Democratic years like 2018.

There is definite potential for Republican recovery. But only if the GOP adopts some of the tactics outlined in a post-election memo sent to reporters by Drew Godinich, regional press secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The DCCC, Godinich reported, started by making sure it had solid candidates. It then spent big money on primary campaigns to get those candidates into the fall runoff. Democrats also put local organizers into target districts just two weeks after Trump’s inauguration, while he was embroiled in feckless and false arguments over whether his inauguration crowd matched Barack Obama’s.

The DCCC then invested $30 million to register and turn out new voters from diverse ethnicities, women and younger voters known as millennials. It hired 11 full-time organizers to expand Latino and African-American voting, one reason those groups came out in larger numbers than almost any prior mid-term election.

And it made sure each target voter heard from Democrats more than 100 times in the 60 days prior to Nov. 6.

Still, it’s likely none of those things would have won for the Democrats if not for the negative presence of Trump, who loomed over the entire election.

So far, Republicans aren’t following up on any of this and show no signs of learning from the Democrats, while Trump appears unready to go away.

All of which means recovery is possible for the GOP. But only if it cleans up its act, and very soon.

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.

Comments

  1. Dr. Trent Saxton says

    Democrats (Socialist) own California and that won’t change for many years to come; if ever…. Republicans have zero power in California and nothing to offer the “majority” of the Socialist voters. The Elite Socialists at the top… are in power and control both state houses and the governors mansion. They will vote to increase middle class tax dollars and there is nothing but a “revolt” that can stop them.(think about Paris but with guns) Prop 13 may even be in danger for those that own a commercial business. They will give that money to the Unions, the poor and their friends in Silicon Valley. They will remain in power. No one votes Santa Clause out of office. Do not retire in California, get out if you are the last of the conservatives. You might visit on a vacation and for Gods sake, stay away from LA and Frisco.

    • James STEELE says

      We escaped the poophole Kaly and what a relief it is… While were we are is still controlled by the same party, the government here seems to works.. for now.. and it’s much cheaper and when you sell your kaly home, you can buy a triple sized home for half price.. Consider leaving soon and let the poophole become the new kalyfornzuela with out your money..

    • James STEELE says

      Hence the reason they want those guns Sarah Brady said in the early 90’s that unless we find were the guns are kept and who owns them, we can never bring Socialism to America as these people will resist us.. CRPA posted it. She tried to sue them and they produced the speech from an obscure leftist college in on the east coast. She dropped the law suit.. This alone should give you pause about staying armed. The common man and woman with a firearm is seen as a direct threat to their power structure.

  2. James STEELE says

    Unless the GOp cleans house and dumps the guy the guy they continually put back in charge of the CA GOP nothing will change.. No debates, No Guest Editorials, No challenging the asinine corrupt democrats and NO voter outreach for 4 years now… They could have jumped on the Voter Fraud Harvesting and did what the corrupt demorats did.. Hire vote harvesters.. ZIP.. Unless they stop bitching about Trump and get in the mud and play rough.. nothing will change.. Why do the Repubs even show up at the Capital building.. Just stay in your district and answer the phone. There isn’t any reason for them to be there except to collect a nice fat government check and pension.

  3. Too bad the Trump Administration has soooo many problems to deal with, or I think more attention would be focused on California. Really, there are things that could be done from the Federal end to facilitate a change here, but only if time and attention is paid to this state.
    I urge everyone to contact the WH COMMENT line as much as you want to vent what we are stating/feeling on this site about all these issues. That just might win us the attention that we need from the Feds.

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