Yes, the California Republican Party probably cannot sink any lower.
Despite a dismal overall performance in California this year, top Republican strategists in the state say they believe the ailing party’s congressional race prospects should improve two years from now.
However, the extent of a potential comeback could hinge in part on whether a strong challenger to Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown emerges, which is far from a given for an underfunded, dysfunctional state GOP struggling to compete statewide.
The strategists’ optimism stems from the likely scenario the party faces in 2014: lower turnout, freshman Democrats in marginal districts, President Barack Obama no longer at the top of the ticket and the political trend that the party in power traditionally underperforms in a president’s second midterm.
“There are just too many seats here that could be won in a good midterm that it just can’t be neglected,” GOP consultant Rob Stutzman said.
I agree with Rob.
There were many problems with the California GOP in 2012.
It wasn’t redistricting, but in many cases the races which were lost were not lost by much and will be competitive again in 2014.
So, what can turn things around for the California GOP?
A little recruitment of candidates, a little technology (early voting, absentee voting, registration) and some ethnic outreach could turn the tide.
Let’s face it, California is a “BLUE” state and has been the past fifty years or so. There have been some Republican Governors like Wilson and Deukmejian (note, I don’t include Schwarzenegger), but the California Legislature has been dominated by the Democratic Party.
This domination will not change. But there is hope with the new top two election system that the GOP can align with the NPP (No Party Preference) independents and win back some seats – particularly in very blue districts.
The California GOP probably cannot sink any further because of demographics – so, full speed ahead in 2014.