Donnelly’s claim to fame is a Minuteman leader who has called for a war with Latinos over immigration. “We are in a war. You may not want to accept it, but the other side has declared war on us”, Donnelly told a Minuteman rally at the Mexican border in 2006.
So there is no doubt that Donnelly would bring out a huge turnout of straight ticket voting Latino Democrats. There is almost no ticket splitting left in California so even the strongest Republican candidates would simply be swamped by Democratic votes. Four GOP-held Congressional districts are on the Democratic radar, those of GOP Reps. Jeff Denham and David Valadeo, and the open Buck McKeon and Gary Miller districts – all four would be lost as the Latino base in those districts is large. Republican challengers to newly elected Democratic congressmen and legislators all would fail, and the GOP would lose more of its own incumbents, opening the way for massive Democratic tax increases in 2015.
Donnelly had no ability to raise funds, an absolute prerequisite to campaign effectively in California. In fact, his campaign manager quit in disgust last spring; and he had no media operation, no formal campaign organization, no nothing. Were he to end up running against Gov. Jerry Brown, Democrats would just pick him apart while tying every GOP candidate to his hopeless cause.
But the worst thing for California Republicans is that the donor class would just walk away – they pretty much already have. Business now spends its money trying to elect pro-business Democrats. If Donnelly gets the runoff spot to go up against Brown, donors will just kick the last remaining bit of the GOP carcass over the cliff.