Tag Archives: Jim Brulte

Demographic Doom for California Republicans

Former California Assembly & Senate Republican leader Jim Brulte at Modern Direct DemocracyLA Times poll has dire warnings for the minority party

by Brian Leubitz

If you look at the composition of the legislature, or the voter registration numbers, you’ll quickly see that we are in a pretty gloomy era for Republicans. But, wait, darker days are just around the corner: a LA Times poll shows just how poorly the CRP is situated in front of the demographic wave.

Already those younger and minority voters – 38% of the voter pool – are propping up Democrats in California. Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown has a positive job approval rating of 55% overall. Among white voters the rating is 51%. Among black voters, it is 61%, Among Latinos, it is 67%.

Other poll findings suggest no end to that imbalance. Asked their political ideology, 52% of those ages 49 and younger describe themselves as liberal, to 40% who say conservative. That is close to the opposite of those over 50, only 47% of whom say they are liberal to 58% conservative. (LA Times)

As the Times points out, there is hope for the GOP that younger voters will gradually shift to the right, a process that has occurred in previous generations. But if you look at who today’s Republicans are, here is what you get: a middle aged, upper middle class, white man.

These are not the demographics for future electoral success. Minorities continue to grow as a percentage of voters, and broader participation in statewide elections could simply exacerbate these problems for the CRP.

But the CRP isn’t alone, this is the same problem generally facing the entire Republican Party.  And Gov. Chris Christie is an excellent example of this. He is considered a moderate Republican, and gains a strong majority of support among Northeastern Republicans. But he only gets 27% of Southern GOP support in a recent poll. And head to head against Hillary Clinton, no Republican candidate can really claim to have an electability argument in their favor.

If the Republicans are to move forward as a viable party, they need to consider whether they will stick to the ideological guns on social and immigration issues. As it stands, even a solid political tactician like Jim Brulte won’t be able to swing the party’s fate without a major shift in their overall goals as a party.

Registration Numbers: GOP Continues to Dwindle

Feb. 10,2011 Feb. 10,2013
Political Party # Registered % of Total # Registered % of Total
American Independent 417,567 2.43 % 476,157 2.64 %
Americans Elect N/A  N/A 3,417 0.02 %
Democratic 7,569,581  44.04 % 7,932,373   43.93 %
Green 113,118 0.66 % 112,973 0.63 %
Libertarian 92,246 0.54 % 109,636 0.61 %
Peace and Freedom 58,470 0.34 % 61,612 0.34 %
Republican 5,307,411  30.88 % 5,225,675   28.94 %
No Party Preference 3,507,119   20.41 % 3,766,457   20.86 %
Miscellaneous 121,019 0.70 % 367,483 2.04 %
TOTAL  17,186,531 100 % 18,055,783 100 %
GOP drops nearly 2 percentage points in two years.

by Brian Leubitz

The Secretary of State’s office has released their off-year registration report, and the numbers are not good for the Republicans. Well, to be honest, most political parties don’t do well in these numbers you can check out to the right. While the bigger jump, percentage-wise, in voters declining to state their party came in the middle part of the last decade, those trends continue into this decade as well. DTS continues upward, as does the famous “Miscellaneous.”

More than a fifth of all registered voters, or 20.9 percent, declined to state a preference with any political party, reflecting a steady increase in the number of decline-to-state voters in recent years, or about 259,000 more during the past two years. In 2005, decline-to-state registration totaled 17.9 percent. (CapWeekly)

But for the GOP, the news that they have fallen below 30% can’t be anything but discordant music to the ears of new CRP Chair Jim Brulte. It only serves to put an emphasis on how far the GOP has fallen, and the big changes they’ll need to make in the state to return to relevance. Now, that is not to say that is an impossible task. Perhaps the top-2 primary system can result in a revitalized moderate wing of the California Republican Party, a wing that has been quite moribund in recent history.

In other news from the report, over a million people used the new registration website to register before the last election. That helped boost the total registration to 75.68% of all eligible voters, the highest such percentage in the past ten years or so. And with a little more time, perhaps we can hope for even higher numbers. As we make registering to vote easier, and the actual process of voting less time-consuming, let’s hope we can bring that number much higher. The more Californians vote, and express the will of the people, the better our democracy becomes.

As Brulte Eyes Local Races, Burton Pledges to Continue Support for Down Ballot Races

Will continue to foster development of so-called “farm team”

by Brian Leubitz

In case you hadn’t noticed, the Democratic Party is doing pretty well in the Legislature and our Congressional delegation.  However, the new CRP chair, Jim Brulte, is looking to start small, as you can hear in the video to the right if you care to wade through some shaky camera work and uninspiring Republican anecdotes.

John Burton, who is running for re-election to CDP chair and who worked relatively effectively with Brulte during their Leadership days in the State Senate, says that he doesn’t plan on ceding any ground:

“They’ve got to start at the bottom because they can’t elect anybody at the top,” Burton told Calbuzz. “They have to carry the burden of those fucking idiots in Washington . . . On the big picture, they’re pissing against the wind. … {but} We’re not going to abandon local races to the Republicans.” (CalBuzz)

Burton pointed to the election of San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, but there are many more examples of Democrats moving into nonpartisan offices, even in Republican areas. Brulte, if he is to have a modicum of success, must make big gains in that area. But it requires a lot of infrastructure that is really not present for the Republicans in California, infrastructure that Burton has helped to make possible for Democrats.

Jim Brulte has a lot of work to do

Former California Assembly & Senate Republican leader Jim Brulte at Modern Direct DemocracyIncoming CRP leader needs to raise a lot of cash

by Brian Leubitz

The California Republican Party (CRP) is in a cash deficit, that much is clear. How much exactly would take a lot more digging, and perhaps a psychic connection to some of their vendors. And apparently ESP is not one of former Sen. Jim Brulte’s skills.

Brulte, who is uncontested in his bid for the CRP chairmanship, estimated that the debt might be the better part of a million dollars:

The former GOP Senate leader, who is expected to take helm of the embattled party next month, said Wednesday that the CRP is between $500,000 and $800,000 in the red, a figure he says could vary based on the potential for legal battles with former vendors.

“This is more like a bankruptcy workout,” Brulte said of setting up party infrastructure as chairman. “First of all you have to pay off your debt, hopefully while you’re doing programs simultaneously. We have to increase our income and reduce our expenses, that’s just prudent.”


The irony of the party that touts itself as “fiscally conservative” in a fiscal mess is, well, funny. But the problem for Brulte is really far deeper than some cash.

But, starting with the cash, how exactly is he supposed to raise it? The party is basically irrelevant, Democrats have or will have supermajorities in both chambers of the Legislature, and all of the state constitutional offices. Brulte will have to get contributions despite all of that.  On the other hand, if you look at the efforts to restore the financial situation of the CDP in 2009, they had a strong wind at their backs. Brulte has none of that.

Brulte is also facing the big schism in the GOP, that is, the party is tearing itself up over “electability.” The grassroots right-wing base has been creating havoc, nominating characters like Todd Akin. Top-2 somewhat distorts that here, but there is still much of that grassroots vs establishment angst in the CRP here. That Karl Rove, who is currently launching a war against the most unelectable of the extremists, is the featured speaker of the upcoming convention does not help that point.

Brulte faces an enormous task: make the CRP relevant again. One wonders if even the biggest legends of the CRP could take that on. Maybe a multi-headed monster of Hiram Johnson (yes, he was a Republican), Pete Wilson and Arnold Schwarzenegger?

Wednesday Random Thoughts

Oh how I love bullet points:

  • The LA Times launched a cute little interactive primary calendar along with a presidential primary blog. Oh, and a message to Rudy. If there's a story about how you're arguing with Alan-freaking-Keyes, well, you might as well fold up shop.
  • Anthony Wright is one of the most astute observers of the health care industry. The dude just understands it in ways that I'm pretty sure I never will. Well, yesterday he had a great post on the topic of the individual mandate at the national level.  Edwards and Clinton include one in their health care plans, and Obama has recently indicated that he'd be willing to include one. Although I suggest you mosey on over there to read the whole thing in its entirety, the post centers around the concept of a mandate as a challenge not to just the citizenry but also to the government to ensure affordability. But if the government fails, as is happening in Massachusetts, what then?

    Wright sums the argument up concisely: “The mandate muddle masks the real question: how much actual help does the health plan provide people?”

  • For the time being, the Arnold Prison Papers are being held back from our prying eyes. The 3 judge panel stayed the order to the Governator to relase the papers pending a hearing tomorrow. These papers could be quite interesting.
  • You want more words from smart people? Well, Peter Schrag fits that mold. In his column today he talks about the real story behind the PPIC forum in Sacramento with Willie Brown, Pete Wilson, Jim Brulte, and Fabian Nunez. Read it. He's smart.
  • Somehow I forgot to mention that Warren Furutani won the special election to replace Laura Richardson in the Assembly. However he missed the 50% by 134 votes. That's actually a bigger number than it sounds as only 17507 votes were cast. That's just about 10% turnout. He'll face the American Independent Party winner and the Libertarian winner in the February 5 runoff whereupon he will become the next Assemblyman from the 55th District.