In Defying the Odds, we discuss state and congressional elections as well as the presidential race. California is an important part of the story.
At The Hill, California Republican chair Jim Brulte writes that demographics are driving the state party's decline -- and could portend growing problems for the party elsewhere.
In 1996, the white, non-Hispanic population in California was approximately 51 percent, and GOP registration statewide was 37 percent. Today, the white, non-Hispanic population is under 37 percent and GOP registration has dropped to 25 percent. And given our party’s inability to generate significant voter registration in the rapidly-growing Hispanic and Asian voting groups, this decline in voter registration is actually accelerating.
It is easy to forget it was not always like this. California has a long and rich history of thriving under Republican stewardship. We are the party of Earl Warren and Ronald Reagan. Since 1862, California has elected successive Democrats to be governor just twice — once was in 1886 and the other was last month when Gavin Newsom was elected to succeed Jerry Brown.
What changed? The quick answer is the voting population: Our party and our candidates have yet to figure out how to consistently attract support from Hispanics and Asians.
California is one of five majority-minority states. Another of those five states, Hawaii, is solidly Democratic. New Mexico just elected a Democratic governor and added to its legislative majorities that include a two-thirds majority in the lower House. Nevada elected a Democratic governor, flipped a Republican-held U.S. Senate seat and increased Democrats’ numbers in the state legislature, which brought about a two-thirds majority in the lower house. And in Texas, long held as an example of Republican excellence, Republicans managed to win all statewide races, but lost two congressional seats, two state Senate seats and 12 lower House seats.
By the end of next year, a majority of children in this country under age 18 will be non-white. And by 2044, a majority of the population of our country will made up of individuals from current minority groups.