Bluer Than Blue

The LA Times George Skelton has a terrific column in today’s paper if you’re a lefty looking for a silver lining to the last election.  The state GOP is in huge trouble.

From the column, citing a poll by the Public Policy Institute of California, that “found ‘Republican’ to be a bad brand name in this left-leaning state.

The voters’ impressions of the Republican Party were 2 to 1 negative: 31% favorable, 62% unfavorable. Even among registered Republicans — less than a third of the electorate — only 55% had a favorable impression of the GOP; 39% looked on it unfavorably.

Those numbers were basically reaffirmed in election day exit polling conducted for news organizations. The voters’ opinions of the Republican Party were 33% favorable, 61% unfavorable. For the Democratic Party: 50% favorable, 45% unfavorable.

Even a quarter of Whitman’s voters had an unfavorable view of the GOP.

Call it an anchor or an albatross, statewide candidates — in fact, most aspirants for partisan office in California — are burdened by the Republican label.”

Skelton’s column goes on to quote OC’s own Jon Fleischman about that state of the Golden State’s GOP. And Fleischman says:  “Political parties are defined by office-holders and candidates,” he says.  “We have been defined by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Meg Whitman. And I don’t know that anyone could tell you what the California Republican Party stands for anymore….

“We’ve watched our brand name get ruined and the party destroyed by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Hopefully we can develop a better brand once he’s gone.”

What a different tune Fleischman was singing just a few years ago. All this talk about “My Governor…” and such.

The fact of the matter is the Republicans in California are hedging their bets on redistricting as a means of gaining seats.  The only way for the California Republican party to gain a greater foothold here is a move to the center and become more moderate, not more conservative. 

 There will always be bastions of conservatives in the state like there are bastions of liberalism in Texas, but California went further to the left in a historically right election cycle.  To be a force in California politics again, perhaps there need to be more Republicans like Abel Maldonado than ones like Chuck DeVore.

  10 comments for “Bluer Than Blue

  1. junior
    November 22, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    “The state GOP is in huge trouble.”
    Dan – If you hadn’t noticed, .. the whole f++king state of California is in HUGE trouble.

    Have you stoped to consider that perhaps the giant mess we are in was caused by the dem majority? Let me say it before you do – “all of the Golden State’s problems will be fixed by raising taxes.”

  2. junior
    November 22, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    “Bluer Than Blue”

    … and drowning in red ink.

  3. Steve
    November 22, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    “all of the Golden State’s problems will be fixed by raising taxes.”

    No, not all of them. But some of them. Along with spending cuts.

    It’s exactly the kind of thinking that’s coming out of the Debt Commission report…a mix of about 75% spending cuts and 25% tax increases.

  4. junior
    November 23, 2010 at 6:47 am

    A recent Los Angeles Times/USC poll found that voters want the Legislature and governor to fix the state budget through spending cuts, not tax increases.

  5. Steve
    November 23, 2010 at 9:06 am


    Yeah, that’s what the voters want, but what the voters want isn’t always the best course of action. The voters also don’t want to see many of the programs that benefit them cut. The voters are schizo on the issue. So what legislators need to do, both on the State and National level, is LEAD on the issue of deficit reduction. And you simply can’t do it in a way that makes sense without a degree of tax increases.

    Are you honestly going to sit there and suggest that there is no way, ever ever ever, no matter how big a deficit gets and how much harm it could do to the state or country, that taxes should ever be raised?

    That’s not common sense…it’s rank ideology. What we need now is common sense.

  6. junior
    November 23, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Will taxes never be high enough for dems/progressives?

    How high do the taxes need to be before we kill the goose that lays the eggs?

    Taxpayers and tax paying businesses are fleeing this state in droves – soon all that will be left are the takers – who will be left to pay the taxes?

    The trouble is we tax payers don’t have the handle to the spending brake – the only way to stop the spending beast is to starve it, taxpayers know this.

  7. Steve
    November 23, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    Cool, junior…that’s a very nice recipe for inaction and lack of results. Well done!

  8. junior
    November 23, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    Yes, very cool Steve. Sometimes inaction is required in order to obtain the desired results.

    Dan & Steve – Don’t be concerned about conservative Republicans – we will be around to pick up the pieces of a busted former Golden State.

  9. Matt Filler
    November 24, 2010 at 12:23 am

    With Prop 25 and a Governor of the same party as the Legislative majority, at least we will have a budget that has a chance at solving the problems – and of being on time. Sadly, props 22 and 26 made the budget several billion dollars further out of balance by preventing borrowing from special interest portions of the budget at the expense of the general fund, and by preventing and repealing fees on polluters and other corrections of externalities. Ultimately, job growth is the key to restoring the economy and balancing the budget.

  10. Dan Chmielewski
    November 24, 2010 at 9:28 am

    we’ll need a combination of tax increases and spending cuts. We’ll need to reform a number of things from how we pay for prisons, schools and transportation. It’s really time to come together and solve common problems

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