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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Friday, December 7, 2018

The Blue Shift in California

In Defying the Odds, we discuss state and congressional elections as well as the presidential race

Carl Marinucci at Politico:
“We have not yet been able to figure out how to effectively communicate and get significant numbers of votes from non-whites,’’ said former state Sen. Jim Brulte, who’s held the job of state GOP chair since 2013 and will retire in February.

Despite trend lines that show the “the entire country will be majority minority by 2044,’’ he said, the GOP has failed to confront the reality of those changes — or recognize the possibility that the recent "blue tsunami" midterm election in California was a harbinger of what lies ahead for the national party.
Brulte said he‘s repeatedly warned that the party’s overwhelmingly white and male candidates must “figure out how we get votes from people who don’t look like you.’’
But he said those warnings about the changing political and ethnic landscape have gone unheeded.
“And that’s why I have said that I believe California is the canary in the coal mine — not an outlier,’’ for the GOP in the coming cycles, he told POLITICO.
...

Brulte told POLITICO he categorically rejects the notion that voting irregularities may be the source of the party’s historic beating in the 2018 midterms in California, where Democrats flipped seven House seats and left the party with just seven members in the congressional delegation, the lowest number since the 1940s. He said Republicans were repeatedly informed of ways that Democrats were marshaling new and effective ways to get out the vote — but campaigns failed to take action.
...
 While Democrats used ballot harvesting with great success in a collection of key races here where mail ballots made up the margin of success, “we’ve not been able to find Republicans having a lot of success anywhere related to ballot harvesting,’’ he said.
“Would we have lost most of these races if ballot harvesting wasn’t legal?“ Brulte said.
“Yes.”
Adam Nagourney at NYT:
The California Republican Party — a once dominant power in the nation’s largest state, the party of Earl Warren, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan — is teetering on the brink of irrelevance.

The Democratic sweep of Orange County congressional seats drew national attention on Election Day. But the Republican losses there were a symptom of the broader collapse of a storied political organization.

Republicans now hold just seven seats in the state’s 53-member congressional delegation after what shaped up to be a devastating midterm for the party. There was more bad news on Thursday when Representative David Valadao, a Central Valley Republican, conceded to T.J. Cox in what had been the one still-undecided district. Democrats are now likely to take 40 seats from Republicans as they decisively capture control of Congress.

Democrats captured three-quarters of the seats in the State Assembly, the biggest margin in over 100 years. The governor, lieutenant governor, both United States senators, the attorney general and the secretary of state are all Democrats. As of September, there were fewer registered Republican voters in California than Democrats or independents.
 At The American Prospect, Kevin O'Leary provides important background on the bluing of Orange County.
When Santa Ana, located in the center of Orange County, became one of the most Latino cities in the nation, the time was ripe for the upset victory of Loretta Sanchez over Bob Dornan in 1996. Additionally, a post-industrial boom transformed the county’s economy into one of the most dynamic in the nation. For decades, wealthy real-estate developers such as Donald Bren (of The Irvine Company) had been the power behind the throne, picking and choosing who would serve on the Board of Supervisors and who would be the Republican nominee for governor. But OC also hosted the U.S. headquarters of pharmaceutical giant home Allergan and dozens of medical device companies, and was home to Quiksilver, Obey, and the surfwear industry. The bond giant PIMCO, the design teams of world’s leading automotive companies, and a growing tech industry also called Orange County their home. When then Irvine-based chipmaker Broadcom burst onto the scene in 1998 with an IPO that made its cofounders billionaires (whose wealth surpassed even Bren’s), it was clear that economic and social change was afoot. Currently home to 3.19 million people, Orange County has become one of the nation’s economic hubs; led by Costa Mesa, Irvine and Newport Beach, OC now has more commercial office space than San Francisco.
Joel Kotkin:
In my own Orange County district, Elizabeth Warren acolyte Katie Porter outspent, out-hustled and out-thought our listless Congresswoman Mimi Walters. Porter canvassers, young and enthusiastic, visited our house three times, but we never saw anyone from Walters’ campaign. Porter’s well-done ads, following the approved script of health care and opposition to Trump, appeared on popular websites and sports events, while Walters’ were virtually non-existent. In the end Walters’ addled handlers tried to win by waving the bloody shirt of potential tax returns and calling Porter a liberal; those old tactics failed miserably.