California Republicans are Convening. What to Know As the State GOP Tries to Flip Its Fortunes

The Republican Party has a storied history in California. The launching pad for Presidents Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon, the state remains home to many of the party’s wealthiest donors as well as nearly 5.3 million registered GOP voters (more than the population of 28 states). But the party has been in decline for many years, both in membership and ballot box success.

As California Republicans prepare to gather for their convention in Anaheim, here’s a look at the GOP, its upcoming electoral prospects and the stakes this weekend:

What’s the state of the GOP in California?

By the numbers, it’s dire.

Democrats had a nearly 23-percentage point voter registration edge over Republicans as of March. Voters who express no party preference have nearly caught up with the GOP in voter registration.

The Republican Party last elected statewide candidates in 2006 (Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner). It currently holds less than a quarter of state legislative seats and less than a fifth of the state’s congressional delegation. Last year’s effort to recall Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, which drew great enthusiasm among conservatives because enough voters signed petitions to qualify it for the ballot, failed by nearly 24 points.

Do conservative voters have any reasons for hope?

Despite its overwhelmingly Democratic tilt, the state is home to many conservatives. Former President Trump received more than 6 million votes in California in 2020 — the most of any state.

Republicans are hopeful because the GOP is widely expected to retake control of Congress due to President Biden’s low approval ratings, rising inflation and the historic trend that the party that controls the White House typically loses seats in the first midterm election during its tenure.

That means that Bakersfield’s Kevin McCarthy, the current House GOP leader and a devoted Trump ally, has a strong shot of becoming the next speaker of the House — second in line for the presidency after the vice president. He would also take the speaker’s gavel from San Francisco Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who is reviled among conservatives.

However, his prospects may have dimmed in the aftermath of audio released Thursday night that shows that four days after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the nation’s Capitol, McCarthy told top Republican House leaders that he planned to call President Trump.

“The only discussion I would have with him is I think [an impeachment resolution] would pass and it would be my recommendation you should resign,” McCarthy says in the audio recording provided to MSNBC by the New York Times reporters who wrote a book that contains those details. “I mean that would be my take, but I don’t think he would take it. But I don’t know.”

The New York Times first reported the remark Thursday; McCarthyissued a statement saying the reporting was “totally false.”

McCarthy is scheduled to address delegates on Saturday.

Click here to read the full article at LA Times


  1. No. McCarthy is in trouble.
    He has been in politics too long and he has been recorded to be against Trump with conversation with Cheney.

    He is not a sure thing at all. Why do you say this? Did you know hear the audio release?

  2. JimNorCal says

    Agree. Party Chair Patterson, McCarthy and others seem to hate much of the base.
    No progress possible until that is resolved.

  3. Really??? says

    Until the RINO leadership of the state party is removed there will be little pro-active moves by them.

    They are so involved with who’s back can be scratched they have forgotten what the Republican Label stands for.

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