Thursday, April 24, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

State GOP lowers its expectations

TomEliasW

By
From page A12 | February 16, 2014 | 1 Comment

As the California Republican Party enters the 2014 election year, its tone is considerably more restrained than we’ve heard in quite a while. With good reason.

Generally, at year’s beginning, the GOP touts the large gains it plans to make in both legislative and congressional races, while also feeling optimistic about its statewide candidates.

That’s natural when candidates have millions of their own dollars to throw into campaigns, as Meg Whitman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Simon, Carly Fiorina and others have done. In that group, only Schwarzenegger got anywhere, though, and many Republicans came away from his seven years in office completely dissatisfied, his environmental interests leaving them convinced he is a “RINO,” Republican in name only.

No one with a bankroll like theirs is vying for anything this year. Nor does the GOP say it has great expectations of cutting into big Democratic margins among Latinos, the fastest growing voter bloc in both the state and nation.

“I’ve never overstated our case,” says state party chairman Jim Brulte. “We have a shot at picking up some competitive congressional seats in California, but we also have to defend some.” It’s the same in the Legislature.

Republicans, then, are no longer whistling past the graveyard. This time they’re barely whistling at all.

Part of the reason is ideological. Conservative activists have lost some enthusiasm for the GOP because several of its relatively few California members of Congress have taken moderate stances on whether illegal immigrants deserve a pathway to citizenship, however arduous. Those politicians are acting on their survival instincts, realizing their districts are steadily becoming more filled with Latinos. Prime examples are Jeff Denham, whose district centers around Merced, and David Valadao, with a Visalia-based district.

“Would you join a political party that proclaims itself to be the party of law and order … that has Congress members willing to give citizenship to criminals from foreign countries, illegal aliens?” wrote Stephen Frank, former president of the California Republican Assembly and an ultra-conservative blogger.

Frank implies this kind of ideological impurity is why registered Republicans are a fast-diminishing species in California. But a mid-2013 report from the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California suggests the reverse as the reason for the GOP’s steep slide.

Once near parity with Democrats, the state GOP late last year was down to 28.9 percent of registered voters, compared with 43.9 percent for Democrats. Ten years ago, Democrats were at right about the same level as today, while the GOP had more than 35 percent of state voters. In fact, there are about 100,000 fewer registered Republicans today than 10 years ago, even though the overall registered voter roll is up about 2.9 million.

While Democratic Party registration efforts have held its percentage steady, the GOP has lost ground. The non-party that’s grown spectacularly is “decline to state” or “no party preference.” Those voters are up from 15.3 percent 10 years ago to 20.9 percent — which means almost all recent ex-Republicans have migrated to the ranks of the noncommitted.

That might not seem such horrible news for the GOP — at least its former adherents have not become Democrats. Except in
many cases, their voting habits have become pretty Democratic, the PPIC found. Four out of 10 decline-to-state voters in the poll viewed themselves as more likely to vote Democratic, while 30 percent lean Republican and the rest admit to no particular leaning.

So as they lose voters to the no-party-preference column, Republicans will be lucky if as many as 35 percent of decline-to-
states vote GOP.

This is not merely because of Latinos. There’s also an enormous gender gap, with 57 percent of registered Democrats being female compared with 48 percent of Republicans.

The PPIC report shows one common GOP lament is mostly correct: Democrats tend to dominate in the coastal counties from
Los Angeles northward, with the GOP doing best inland. About 56 percent of all Democrats live either in Los Angeles County or the San Francisco Bay area, while the GOP dominates in Orange and San Diego counties and the Central Valley. Those findings pretty much square with election results.

They explain why Republicans are making no grandiose predictions these days, a sharp contrast to their fancy rhetoric in many past election years.

— Reach syndicated columnist Tom Elias at tdelias@aol.com

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • greg johnsonFebruary 16, 2014 - 10:15 am

    Republicans have probably written off any chance of much influence in California. The state will keep bleeding the diminishing share of those that pay the tolls, and it will eventually fail. Maybe the nation is headed the same way. Tragic!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

News

 
Will city move forward on public power review?

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

 
4-H members get ready for Spring Show

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Obama to Russia: More sanctions are ‘teed up’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
2 pursuits, 2 arrests keep Woodland officers busy

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
 
Youth sports in focus on radio program

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Rummage sale will benefit preschool

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Concert benefits South Korea exchange

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Conference puts focus on Arab studies

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Volkssporting Club plans North Davis walks

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Hotel/conference center info meeting set

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Davis honors ‘green’ citizens

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Water rate assistance bill advances

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Program explores STEM careers for girls

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Embroiderers plan a hands-on project

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Central Park Gardens to host Volunteer Orientation Day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
MOMS Club plans open house

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
Cycle de Mayo benefits Center for Families

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

Author to read ‘The Cat Who Chose to Dream’

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A12

 
.

Forum

Things are turning sour

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

 
Ortiz is the right choice for Yolo

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

 
The high cost of employment

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

High-five to Union Bank

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Broken sprinklers waste water

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Three more administrators?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Neustadt has experience for the job

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Here’s a plan to save big on employee costs

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

 
Davis is fair, thoughtful

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

.

Sports

DHS/Franklin II is a close loss for Devil softballers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
DHS tracksters sweep another DVC meet

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Another DVC blowout for DHS girls soccer

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Young reinvents his game to help Aggies improve on the diamond

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

DHS boys shuffle the deck to beat Cards

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Baseball roundup: Giants slam Rockies in the 11th

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
UCD roundup: Aggies lose a softball game at Pacific

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

Jahn jumps to Sacramento Republic FC

By Evan Ream | From Page: B8

 
.

Features

.

Arts

Emerson, Da Vinci to present ‘Once Upon a Mattress’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Winters Plein Air Festival begins Friday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Bach Soloists wrap up season on April 28

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A11

 
Congressional art competition open to high school students

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Thursday, April 24, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6