Nearly five years ago, then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger smacked his own party for being out of sync with California voters. “We’re dying at the box office,” he told delegates at the California Republican Convention. And little has changed since then. In fact, things have gotten even worse for the California GOP.
According to new party registration statistics released this week by California Secretary of State Deborah Bowen http://www.sos.ca.gov/admin/press-releases/2012/db12-025.pdf, the number of Californians registering as Republicans fell from 33.45 percent of all voters in January 2008 to just 30.36 percent in January 2012. Meanwhile, the number of Democrats jumped from 42.71% to 43.63%.
Why the decline? California Republicans continue to pursue policies far to the right of California values. Legislative Republicans have no policy agenda other to say “no” to whatever the Governor or Democrats propose — even when it’s smart public policy.
Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown tried his level best to engage Republicans in the budget and policy process. He met with them repeatedly, had them at the table for budget discussions, tried to negotiate compromises on issues like pensions and streamlining the state’s environmental quality act. But Republicans stuck to their extremist positions rather than participate in the governing process in a productive way.
No wonder the California GOP continues to circle the drain.