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Saturday, February 01, 2014

California is why GOP are terrified of free and fair elections

RawStory - California GOP facing unprecedented candidate drought in statewide races
Change the California GOP’s mascot from the elephant to the mastodon.
Raw Story: With only five months remaining before the primaries, the increasingly moribund California Republican Party finds itself without any viable candidates for many of the top statewide contests, The Sacramento Bee reported.

Four years after having been swept by the Democrats in all eight statewide contests, the California GOP has had trouble recruiting candidates in a state where fewer than 30 percent of voters are registered as Republican. As it stands now there are no Republican candidates for the offices of  California attorney general, lieutenant governor, treasurer, and controller.

“This is a real challenge in that we are two steps away from a nightmare scenario where the statewide ticket appears so weak that some Republicans simply give up and throw in with Jerry Brown, creating chaos for Republicans running in competitive seats around the state,” warned former chairman of the California Republican Party Ron Nehring.
"Complicating matters for the state GOP is California’s voter-approved primary system, in which the top two vote-getters regardless of party advance to the fall election, which could result in two Democrats facing each other in November," the story goes on. "This would leave the approximately 1.7 million to 1.8 million  California Republican voters without party representation on the ballot for statewide offices driving down voter participation and affecting  California US House Republicans electoral prospects."

But that’s not the only handicap that California Republicans face going into the future — if you can call leveling the playing field “handicapping.” In 2005, the state put the task of redistricting in the hands of a bipartisan board, effectively eliminating the problem of gerrymandering. In California, voters truly choose their elected officials — while in most other places in America the elected officials choose their voters, drawing district lines around the people most likely to vote for them and turning democracy into a sham.

The result of making Republicans compete on a field with no advantages? Pretty much what you’d expect for a party that only makes up 30% of the electorate: doom.

This is why Republicans everywhere resist redistricting reform and this is why they try to give themselves every advantage through voter suppression laws and gerrymandering. This is why they cheered the Supreme Court’s gutting of the Voting Rights Act. Without the cheats, the GOP is over with.

Doubt me? At 30% GOP, hippy-dippy loony liberal California is actually more Republican than America as a whole. Recent polling by Gallup shows that only 25% of Americans identify as Republican.

In a real contest, Republicans would be ruined — which is why they try to lock Democrats’ and third party candidates’ ankles to an anvil before every race.

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