Sunday, April 29, 2012

Will Mitt Romney Win California? Should He Even Bother?

The short answer to question number one?
The longer answer to question number two?
Yes if only to make Team Dear Leader have to spend money here in the once Golden State.
If the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, is not going to win California, then he should save resources for a so-called battleground state, right?
People, in this election, the whole of the United States is the battleground.
Of course there are some states pretty much in either the Democrat or Republican corner, right?
I think so. I think that California is one that will be hard to crack. Since 1992, the ceiling for the Republican party in presidential contests is 45%. Last time in 2008, the bottom fell out as the Dear Leader, President Obama, scored a 61% to 37% thrashing of then GOP presidential nominee, Sen. John "F--- You" McCain. It was one of the worst Republican showings ever in California.
So, in that sense, we have more of a chance to go up to reasonable competitiveness or continue towards the relevancy of such state Republican parties as Massachusetts or New York state. In other words, irrelevant.
But how can that happen given the current state of the Cali GOP?
Clearly, there are areas of the state where the party is in control, strong and or competitive.
They are in this order.
Orange County, long the bedrock of the Republican party in California. It has gotten a bit lazy in the past few years and Democrats have made some inroads in this Republican mecca. But it can easily give a Republican candidate 60% or more of the vote.
San Diego county is another one. Although Democrats are strong in this county in recent years, the GOP is still very competitive outside of the city of San Diego. Essentially the Democrats have the city and the Republicans almost everywhere else in the county. Again, if the conditions are right, another place a GOP candidate could easily get at least 60% of the vote.
The Central Valley has become a strong Republican region. But the farm economy has taken a beating in recent years. Yet Republicans in this area are competitive to strong. In fact, it was here that the GOP hoped to wrestle a congressional seat in the 2010 mid-term election. It was very close and actually made another member of congress not stand for reelection.
The Inland Empire of Southern California. That is Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Both are the fastest-growing areas of California. These have both been what amount to swing-counties. In the 2012 governor's and United States senate race, both counties went for the Republican candidates. But not in strong numbers. If the numbers had been stronger, maybe the senate race would have been closer.
One last area where the GOP is strong is the area and counties around the state-capitol, Sacramento. In recent years these counties have been going Republican. But not as much in the last election as before. The Republicans have to work here to keep the Democrats from gaining anymore ground.
Again, how to do it with a cash-strapped party that has really no bench to speak of?
Enter the presidential candidate, Mr. Romney.
One advantage that Mr. Romney will have that Sen. "F--- You" McCain did not is that Mr. Romney is not going to take any federal money and the restrictions that come with it. And the super-PACS will be in full force anywhere they want to be in the United States.
Thus money wise, Mr. Romney will be able to go to areas that Sen. "F--- You" McCain did not even give serious thought.
California should be there not for what this election can do, but a future reelection campaign. Or the mid-terms that will take place in 2014.
In other words, Republicans and leaner's need something now and not later. We need to make this election winnable anywhere and close everywhere. And to write off any state before one even starts is foolish.
It is what Team Dear Leader did in 2008. They were every and anywhere. Even in states that they knew would not vote for Team Dear Leader. But, in a state like Wyoming, two counties voted for the Dear Leader, President Obama. And same in Utah. Texas. See, the Democrats for the first time since 1992 ran a truly nationwide campaign and won. Think about Ronald Reagan in 1980. And in both elections, the eventual winner was the underdog.
Mr. Romney needs to make sure that the base states are in his corner and then take some time and money to flirt with areas that could not be touched in previous elections.
California needs that help desperately.
If Mr. Romney puts any relatively serious effort here, it could mean a new Republican member of congress. Maybe some in the state assembly or state senate. If the result is competitive here, maybe a serious candidate can emerge to take on Gov. Jerry Brown in 2014.
We need to get the Cali GOP back. And we can not do it alone.
Mitt Romney, you probably will not win in California. But you need to help in rejuvenating a weak party at the state level. That will be a kind of victory in the long run. A competitive Republican party is needed now more than ever in the largest state in the union.

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