California is looking more and more like a lost cause for the GOP.
As they face a Tuesday primary that could produce historically bad results, Republicans are grappling with the reality that they no longer have a viable party in the most populous state in the nation.
Specifically, Republicans might not be able to collect enough votes on Tuesday to even secure a GOP place on the November ballot for either the U.S. Senate or the governor races in California, which would set up all-Democrat contests for the marquee elections.
With Trump’s approval rating in the Golden State sinking to epic new lows (31 percent), the GOP appears to be paying the high price for the radical, rightward turn of the national party.
“Today, we are the Titanic after it hit the iceberg, but before the last bit of the ship submerged,” the state’s most recent Republican governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, recently warned fellow Republicans.
The GOP this year slipped behind independents, becoming California’s third-ranking voting block among registered voters.
Meanwhile, there are just 14 remaining Republican members of California’s 53-person House delegation, and nine of those 14 now find themselves bogged down in competitive races. That includes members like Rep. Devin Nunes, who won his 2016 re-election by a landslide.
But everything has changed for Republicans under Trump, and especially for partisan players like Nunes, especially after he transformed himself into Trump’s Russia errand boy.
According to recent polling, even within California’s remaining GOP-held districts, Trump’s approval rating only climbs to 41 percent, while 59 disapprove.
As the GOP fades into oblivion on the West Coast, and especially in California, it’s becoming harder to remember that, as NBC notes, “Republicans held the governor’s mansion throughout most of 20th Century and sent three of their own to the White House, including Ronald Reagan.”
Indeed, during the 1980s and 1990s California was hotbed for conservative initiatives, such as attempts to make English the state’s official language, outlaw affirmative action, and severely punish gang members.
Then, as the state became increasingly diverse, Republicans there failed to adjust their politics. And now with Trump embracing hardcore, white nationalist rhetoric as he touts radical immigration policies, California Republicans stand at the edge of a precipice.
Today, 38 percent of Californians are white, while Latinos make up the state’s largest ethnic group, according to NBC.
Trump’s entire survival revolves around him bending over backward for his right-wing political base. California Republicans may soon pay a huge price for that.