SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Democrats saw a big victory at the polls Tuesday after voters gave the party a supermajority in the state.
Democrats will control at least 27 seats in the 40-member senate, and in the assembly, they will control at least 54 of 80 seats.
Former Ronald Reagan White House staffer Doug Elmets, whose walls are lined with Reagan photos, makes a startling claim about today’s Republican Party.
“People want to wrap themselves in the Ronald Reagan flag, but the reality is Reagan probably wouldn’t be able to get the nomination for the Republican Party today, let alone get elected,” said Elmets.
Elmets says Reagan, who was conservative in his day, would be portrayed as too moderate by current Republican standards, a party, Elmets says, has isolated its very own members
“The party has managed to narrow its base,” said Elmets.
He calls the imprint that the Tea Party has left as part of the problem. Elmets calls it a barnacle on the Republican platform.
“Literally, that barnacle is dragging down the party,” said Elmets.
In California, 41 percent of voters are now registered Democrats and less than a third are Republicans. The party is now in danger of slipping to third in the state behind the growing independents that make up 21 percent of voters.
Inside the capitol, Democratic lawmakers now hold a supermajority in the legislature, which is capable of passing any bill into law. It’s a gift from Republicans, but UC Davis’ Political Science Professor Bob Huckfeldt says it will need to be treated carefully.
“You’re always glad to have more votes; on the other hand, sometimes when you get more votes, more interest inside the party, it becomes hard to hold the whole thing together,” said Huckfledt.
It is becoming clearer inside the senate and assembly chambers Republican lawmakers are becoming scarcer.