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The Golden State: GOP’s Golden Key

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Republican candidates have lost the popular vote for president in five of the past six elections, going back to 1992. In each of those contests, the Democratic nominee swept California, mostly by blowout margins; Barack Obama, for instance, crushed Mitt Romney and won the state’s 55 electoral votes with a landslide victory of 60 percent to Romney’s 37 percent.

This is amazing, considering that within the memory of any adult, California was actually part of the GOP “lock” on the Electoral College. During the 10 presidential contests between Eisenhower’s victory in 1952 and George H.W. Bush’s decisive win in 1988, the Republicans won it every time save for the singular exception of Barry Goldwater’s colossal defeat in 1964. Even losing GOP candidates such as Richard Nixon in 1960 and Gerald Ford in 1976 managed to prevail in California.

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Comments (8)

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  1. American  •  Sep 3, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    It’s a result of the wrong kinds of immigration. Soon the interest payments on the rapidly mounting debt will dominate the federal budget and state budgets of states like California. Watch what happens when the government can no longer hand out money to buy peace.

  2. Everett kipp  •  Sep 3, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    The influx of poor immigrants who are promised to be medically taken care of, to be fed, clothed, sheltered, educated, only if they vote Democrat. A main reason the Left wants open borders with unfettered access. California being the example. Republicans need to appeal, not to the new immigrants, but to the next generation to have hope of influencing the political scene.

  3. long time Californian  •  Sep 5, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    As a native-born Los Angelino, I suspect there are a variety of factors in tilting CA Democratic: increased urbanization, the drift of educators to the left, the collapse of the aerospace industry in Southern California, immigration, gerrymandering, the entertainment industry, etc. But one huge factor has definitely been the unionization of state workers, including the California Teachers Association. The strength of those particular sets of union leaders in controlling legislators and now state offices has hurt both parties and left ordinary citizens outside the mix.

  4. Scott B  •  Sep 5, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    As a third generation Californian I have seen the influx of people that came here for opportunities. California boomed post WW2, the people that came did not understand that our principles of freedom is what allowed it to be that way. They’ve put our once great state on the ash heap of irrelevance.

  5. West Coast Emigre  •  Sep 5, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    The hope for CA Republicans will not come from another Reagan but from another Hayakawa.

  6. Eric  •  Sep 8, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    “Within the memory of any adult…”

    What year do you think it is?


  7. Mike A  •  Sep 17, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    I was born in California (Beale AFB), and I’ve lived in California for all but 10 years out of 46 (exception being Washington state from ages 2 – 12). If you want to know why California leans considerably left, look no further than New York State, which has also tended left for some time. When masses of people are stacked very closely together, as they are in many of CA’s huge metropolitan regions, they tend to break down views that in other, more culturally/racially homogenous areas, remain rather concretized and unmalleable. In other words, when you’re exposed to a variety of cultures and modes of thinking, you tend to orient your views in less hardened, absolute terms. This is why, for example, so-called “red states” tend to be more religious than their “blue” counterparts. Religious thinking is, by definition, a series of “absolutes”. Similarly, the minds of people who live in culturally homogenous regions, tend to be shaped by the idea that there is one “true” set of ways to live and things to think. It’s also why most coastal states are blue – living in a coastal region means you’re considerably more likely to live amongst non-WASP people. Contrast with the central, more land-locked states – they largely remain havens for the “old” America – or as Sarah Palin put it, the “real” America.

    California, like Europe, is a trendsetting place in the USA. That is not good news for the GOP. I once told my highly conservative father – for whom I have tremendous respect – “Ironically, the policies and language of your party have the combined effect of applying to fewer and fewer people.” This is because the “people” they target are the old-guard in America – white men of western European descent. As we all know, that group makes up less and less of the populace with each passing moment. I predict a breakup of your party within the next 10 years. It’s almost inevitable – you’ll have to choose whether you go with the Libertarians, Revolutionaries, or Religious Zealots. I suspect most will go Libertarian because most on the right remain, at least, sane 🙂

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