Editor’s note: From a column in this morning’s Los Angeles Times. “The party needs to look and think more like the rest of California,” it concludes:
‘”Too white, too right and too uptight,’ says a veteran political consultant. “That’s why the Republican Party can’t come back in California.’
“Strategist David Townsend is a Democrat, so that’s the sort of comment you would expect from the likes of him.
“But there were top Republicans at the party’s state convention in Sacramento over the weekend making similar observations, in softer tones and absent the negativity. They realize that to survive, the California GOP must broaden its ethnic and ideological bases and be less rigid on social issues.
“Karl Rove, former President George W. Bush’s chief strategist, told a luncheon of about 500 delegates Saturday that the GOP needs to reflect the diversity of America. ‘If we do, we’ll succeed’
“U.S. House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, California’s highest-ranking Republican, told the Sacramento Press Club on Friday that the party ‘should embrace a little bit of libertarianism.’
“It’s hard to argue with the numbers.
“The Republican Party in this state is 82% white, according to the Public Policy Institute of California. That compares with 56% white for both Democrats and independents. This matters because white views on key issues sometimes are rejected by the rest of the electorate in this ethnically diverse state.
“For example, the Field Poll found last week that only 41% of whites favor granting driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. But enough Latinos, blacks and Asian Americans favor it so that, overall, 52% of California voters support the idea.
“Among Republicans, according to the policy institute, 72% call themselves conservative. But only 17% of Democrats and 32% of independents do.
“This pushes the GOP far to the right of the rest of California in its opposition to gun control, same-sex marriage, legalizing marijuana and taking action against global warming, the Field Poll reports.
‘”We’ve got to figure out our highest priorities — such as the economy and jobs, public safety, efficient government, quality education — and focus on those,” state Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff of Diamond Bar told me. “Talking about other things turns people off.”
The rest of the article is here.