California Republican Party Nears Extinction—Can It Be Saved?

California Republican Party Nears Extinction—Can It Be Saved?

People attend the 2023 California GOP convention in Anaheim, Calif., on Sept. 29, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

James Breslo
James Breslo


Updated: 12/6/2023


California has effectively become a one-party state, where political races more and more are no longer between a Democrat and a Republican, but between a “normal” Democrat and a socialist Democratic.
Almost 80 percent of California’s state and federal representatives are Democrats. Only 24 percent of voters identify as Republican. Not a single statewide office is held by a Republican. The last person to do so was Arnold Schwarzenegger 13 years ago, though even he was arguably a Republican in name only. In Los Angeles, America’s second-largest city, there is not a single Republican on the city council, and only 13 percent of voters are Republican.
Running as a Republican in most races in California is a death sentence. Billionaire real estate developer Rick Caruso was so afraid of being branded a Republican in the Los Angeles mayor race that he decided that his switch from Republican to Independent years earlier was not enough. Just before announcing his run for mayor, he announced he had become a Democrat.
The Democratic Party has taken full advantage of its complete takeover of the state. Just as the Soviet Union, China, and Cuba implemented communism via single party rule, California Democrats are implementing socialism the same way. There is virtually no check on the party in its path to the “fundamental transformation” of California. The full-time state legislature steamrolls through each year a panoply of woke, anti-business, income redistribution, government housing, and green new deal policies with nary a debate. Only leftist Governor Gavin Newsom stands as the gatekeeper, occasionally vetoing only the most bizarre measures. But even his veto can be overridden due to their legislative super-majority.
While Marx taught that socialism requires a workers’ revolution to implement, California is proving it can be done through democracy. But the problem for them with democracy is that it allows the people to respond to new policies and vote for change if they do not like them.
For the first time in its history, due solely to the effect of these far left policies, more people are moving out of the state than moving in. Surely Californians will soon realize the disastrous effect of these policies and vote in new leaders. It has not happened yet. If it does not happen soon, there may be no Republican party candidates to vote for.
The Republican party in California has been decimated by the Democrats. The party has gone from a having a Republican running the state in 32 of 44 years from 1967 to 2011, to today where Republicans for statewide office are simply unelectable. The last four governor races were won by the Democrat by 13-, 20-, 24-, and 18.5-point margins, respectively.
Democrats achieved this primarily by smearing the Republican brand, effectively labeling Republicans as racist, sexist, homophobes. Who wants to be that? As a result, Republicans stay in the closet.
When making new acquaintances, many California Republicans are careful not to show their political views for fear of being outed. We have to test the waters first. For instance, we may say to someone we do not know, “Sure has been some warm weather lately.” If the person responds with a comment about the environment, we know to be cautious.
In Los Angeles where I live, you would not dare display a Republican lawn sign or bumper sticker, and certainly never, ever one with Trump’s name on it. They simply do not exist. We covertly display our party affiliation by flying or displaying an American flag. It is code in these parts for Republican. In my neighborhood, only about one in five homes will fly a flag on Independence Day. This is likely because the Democrat neighbors know what it now means.
California has a statewide race next year for U.S. Senate. No normal Republican stands a chance. The party’s only hope is to run a celebrity, as it did the last time it had a statewide “win.” So it is running former Dodger Steve Garvey. Garvey is no Schwarzenegger. To dig out of this hole, the party requires a mega celebrity. Think Elon Musk.
Without a celebrity, the party’s only hope may be to trash the Democratic Party brand as payback. It certainly is ripe for trashing. It just takes a concerted marketing effort, and the right messaging. I propose billboards placed throughout the state with new messaging for Democrats. Here are some ideas:
  • Citizenship for Migrants! Vote Democrat!
  • Shoplifting as Reparations. Vote Democrat!
  • Government Housing for All. Vote Democrat!
  • Abolish Borders! Vote Democrat!
  • Affirmative Action Works! Vote Democrat!
  • Tax the Rich! Vote Democrat!
  • Defund Police. Vote Democrat!
  • Gender is Fluid. Vote Democrat!
  • Grow Government. Vote Democrat!
  • Welfare for All! Vote Democrat.
Unlike the Democrats’ empty name calling, these labels are provably accurate. All are positions held by the party, but not favored by most voters. Tying these unpopular polices to the party may finally wake people up to stop voting for them. While it may not resurrect the Republican party, at least it may become a fair fight.

James Breslo is an attorney and host of the “Hidden Truth Show” podcast. He is a former partner at the international law firm Seyfarth Shaw and public company president. He has appeared numerous times as a legal expert on Fox News and CNN, and serves on the Heritage Foundation's Project 2025 Public Diplomacy committee.

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