How California`s GOP Immigration Patriots Can Survive 2010`s Mid-Term Elections
Of all the thousands of readers` letters that
I have read and
edited for posting, one sticks with me the most.
Bob Turley wrote that he was so angry at the dereliction of
duty by his elected officials that he hopes the state falls into
the Pacific Ocean—after he moves out.
By November 2010, Turley may get his wish—symbolically, if in
no other form.
California Republican Party, the only wall of resistance
left to the immigration invasion that has overwhelmed the state,
is on the verge of complete insignificance. Analysts believe
that the few Republican U.S. Representatives that remain may
lose their seats in the upcoming general election.
Given the fundamental weaknesses of the GOP
Whitman and U.S. Senate contender
Fiorina who will oppose
Barbara Boxer, Republican troubles are much greater than
trying to win those key elections.
As a practical matter,
victory in the top races is out of reach.
Therefore, the Republicans most urgent concern is not to
lose further ground in the Congressional races. But because of
the erosion of the Republican base, Democrats are hopeful that
they can sweep all 53 seats in the nation`s most gerrymandered,
least competitive (in Senate and presidential races) state.
Republicans don`t have a majority of
registered voters in a single congressional or
legislative district. Democrats, by contrast, hold a
majority in 20 of the state`s 53 congressional districts,
according to the
secretary of state`s March 20 voter report. (The math
explained: Democrats have a majority—50 percent +1— in 20
Districts, Republicans don`t have more than 50 percent in any
district, and in the remaining 33 districts neither party holds
These latest registration figures show
Republicans in California at a historic low of 32.3 percent.
While Democrats are gaining voters in key districts, Republican
voters are in many cases reregistering as
Independent or “decline-to-state” [California
Dems Outpace Republicans in Voter Registration, by Edwin
Garcia, San Jose Mercury News, October 21, 2008]
Quinn, a veteran GOP analyst and co-author of the
Book which conducted extensive voter registration
surveys, found that, statewide, a general collapse of new
Republican registrations has taken place.
Gilliard, another GOP pollster who organized the 2003
then-Governor Gray Davis, confirmed Quinn`s findings when he
recently remarked that the party has been down and out for a
While the drift away from the Republican Party has been in
progress for years, two recent developments have escalated the
(bordering on disgust) with Republican
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger — particularly among rank and
overwhelming popularity. A Public
Policy Institute of California survey in March titled
Californians and Their Government, found that among all
voters Schwarzenegger had a dismal 32 percent approval rating
contrasted to Obama`s 71 percent.
Accordingly, the Democrats smell blood and sense that as many
as eight Republican-held House districts that Barack Obama won
in November may be up for grabs.
Our long-time adversary, Democratic Party
Art Torres told POLITICO.COM:
“We need to look at all those congressional districts
where we think we may have a shot.” And Democratic
Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen
recently confirmed that his party would be going for the kill.
Said Van Hollen: “California is a place that we will be
looking at this time around even more closely than before.”
Withering Away in California Heat? by Alex Isenstadt,
Politico.Com, April 14, 2009]
Among the most vulnerable Republican Congressional seats are:
A-). Her district`s GOP edge decreased from 11 percent to 4
percent. Bono Mack faces the prospect of a tough reelection
challenge from Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet. (Grade:
“Buck” McKeon`s (Grade:
A). In his Santa Clarita Valley-area district the Republican
registration margin has dropped from 9 percent to 1 percent. As
a result, McKeon has experienced a corresponding decline in his
reelection percentage, gradually shrinking from 65 percent in
2002 to 58 percent in 2008.
A), whose Sacramento-area district`s GOP registration edge
fell from 11 percent to 2 percent over the past seven years, was
held to under 50 percent of the vote by Bill Durston, an
underfunded and unknown anti-war challenger in 2008.
A) His Riverside County seat has slipped from 16 percent to
7 percent GOP registered. In 2008, Calvert narrowly defeated
Bill Hedrick, a largely unknown opponent.
What`s boxed the GOP in is that
California`s demographics have dramatically changed over the
last two decades. As more Hispanic and Asian voters become
politically involved, Republicans haven`t been able to draw up a
winning game plan that appeals to them—or, more importantly,
rallying their white base, what we at
Thus in the 2008 Presidential election, CNN
show that John McCain actually succeeded in losing the
California white vote (a.k.a. what until recently would have
been regarded as the American vote) 46%-52%. (McCain couldn`t
even carry white men in California: he got 48% vs. 44% for white
Furthermore, in California the GOP has consistently nominated
unattractive candidates who are predestined to lose either
because they avoid mentioning immigration altogether—a comically
idiotic strategy in California—or they can`t effectively sell
the message that
immigration is bad for everyone, especially recent
Rightly or wrongly, new immigrant voters in
California consider Republicans
In politics, perception is reality.
Still, a faint glimmer of hope remains. Some
of the targeted districts like Lungren`s and Calvert`s are
strongly conservative. If they didn`t lose to their Democratic
challengers in 2008 when
Obama-mania swept through California, they may not do it in
2010, especially if and when the president`s popularity slips.
More significantly, California has an amazing
record for re-electing incumbents. In 2008, every single
incumbent in the State Senate, State Assembly and Congress won
overwhelmingly. (See official results
The challenge for Republicans is both easy and hard.
Identifying the right platform is simple.
Immigration is California`s number one social issue. You don`t
have be a genius to see the inverse relationship between
continuing higher levels of uncontrolled immigration and the
state`s deteriorating quality of life as witnessed in
urban sprawl, etc ad infinitum.
I believe that`s a winning argument. But to present it
effectively to a Democratic, immigrant-dominated state
Republicans will need a well-known, well-funded candidate who
has the courage of his convictions.
Most Republican strategists encourage their
candidates to “appeal” to immigrants` interests—a big
mistake because what they really mean is pander to them.
Still, it`s a tough sell, made harder by the
hour`s lateness and the decades of
immigration folly shown by Republicans.
But for prospective Republican office seekers, in Margaret Thatcher`s
famous words, There Is No
him] is a California native
who recently fled the state because of over-immigration,
over-population and a rapidly deteriorating quality of life. He
has moved to Pittsburgh, PA where the air is clean and the
growth rate stable. A
long-time instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School,
Guzzardi has been writing a weekly column since 1988. It
currently appears in the