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 â€” less than a third of the electorate â€” 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 â€” in fact, most aspirants for partisan office in California â€” 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:Â “Political parties are defined by office-holders and candidates,” he says.Â “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.Â 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.Â
Â 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.Â To be a force in California politics again, perhaps there need to be more Republicans like Abel Maldonado than ones like Chuck DeVore.