Columnist Dan Walters has diagnosed the near demise of the Republican Party.
Like Ronald Reagan with the Democrats, one can adequately argue that the GOP has left California, as opposed to suggesting that the voters in the Golden State had abandoned the GOP.
Such was the curse of the rigorous binary primary system, which the voters thankfully scrapped for the top-two vote getting jungle primary. Still, with the growing uptick of decline-to-states, many of which who are leaving the GOP, there is growing danger that the Republicans are becoming irrelevant as well as irreverent of the policy and values climate dominating the state.
The GOP must tailor a message that is pro-immigrant yet anti-illegal immigration. Note well that the argument must focus on the behavior, not the individual. In all honesty, no member of the GOP opposes immigrants or immigration. Even the border hawk from Colorado Tom Tancredo frequently welcomed immigrants who naturalized in accordance with federal law.
Regarding other wedge issues like abortion and gay marriage, the GOP has attempted time and again to steer the platform and policies of their state and federal candidates away from these hot-button issues. A more diligent approach of presenting fiscal responsibility coupled with weening voters delicately yet diligently off the now unsustainable entitlement programs in this state can effectively reach out and turn the minds of voters.
Currently, the Republican caucus in Sacramento gladly supported Governor Brown's 12-point pension proposal, signalling to constituents their readiness to lead as oppose to opting into the same role of obstructionists, a useful foil which has served the Democratic party for some time.
The California Republican Party has no reason to despair. If a fair and fiscal conservative like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has achieved significant results pressing for less spending, lower taxes, and responsible balanced budgets in cooperation with a strong Democratic legislature, then without a doubt the California GOP can make necessary inroads to prosper the best interests of their state and her voters without alienating a core constituency.