California: Republican voters didn't show up at the polls

Disillusionment with the GOP shows

California's Republican voters stayed home in droves on election day, as preliminary figures show voter turnout falling well below the state average in some of the most reliably GOP parts of the state. Although the final totals won't be known for weeks, election day turnout in Fresno, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and SanDiego counties, which all have Republican pluralities, ran as much as 10 percentage points below the state's 44 percent average turnout. "The turnout in Republican counties was low compared to the turnout in counties where Democrats hold the edge,'' said Patrick Dorinson, a spokesman for the state Republican Party. "The conservative Republican base didn't show up.''

Without that anticipated flood of votes from places such as Orange County and the Inland Empire, Tuesday was a long night for most of the statewide Republican candidates not named Arnold Schwarzenegger. "It came as a surprise,'' admitted Stan Devereaux, a spokesman for Republican state Sen. Tom McClintock, who lost the lieutenant governor's race to Democratic Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi. "We kept looking at the returns through the night and thought we had a chance, but when the returns (from Republican counties) came in, we didn't get the turnout we expected.''

Of course, there were exceptions. Schwarzenegger easily won re-election over Democratic state Treasurer Phil Angelides, and Republican businessman Steve Poizner, who put more than $9 million of his own money into the campaign for insurance commissioner, rolled over Democratic Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante. According to exit polls, Schwarzenegger attracted 93 percent of the Republican votes, 59 percent of independent voters, and a strong 22 percent of Democratic votes. "Angelides' collapse was a huge contributing factor to Schwarzenegger's victory,'' said Kevin Spillane, a GOP consultant. The governor "not only got near-unanimous support from Republicans, but drew a huge crossover vote from independents and Democrats.''

But Schwarzenegger did little campaigning for the other candidates on the GOP ticket, which meant those Republicans had to depend on their traditional strategy of running up big enough margins in the conservative parts of the state to overcome the flood of Democratic votes in Los Angeles County and the Bay Area. But with the 34 percent turnout in Riverside County and only 37 percent in Orange County, those Republican candidates couldn't find enough votes. "Our people just chose to stay home,'' said Beth Miller, a spokeswoman for Republican Bruce McPherson, who lost his job as secretary of state to Democratic state Sen. Debra Bowen of Marina Del Rey (Los Angeles County), 48 percent to 44 percent. "Republican turnout definitely had an effect on our race.''

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1 comment:

  1. As a former Californian (I recently moved to Oregon), I was happy to see Schwarzenegger’s overwhelming victory over Angelides. I think Republicans everywhere can learn from Schwarzenegger. When he was down in the polls, he stepped back and admitted where he went wrong.

    This is my opinion what the Republicans need to change:

    • Lose the arrogance.
    To often Republican leaders lose touch with little guy, my local State Representative just stepped down, but while in office he had an attitude of arrogance when disagreed with on issues and would attack the source rather than truly discuss the issue. He also really looked down on the youth in our community. Thankfully he is being replaced by a more humble Republican man.

    • Image is not everything, in fact it should be number 3 or less:
    Often politicians and businesses put image first (real common in our area). Truth should come first; People should come second (or first); Then maybe image (yes image does sell, politically and professionally).
    Voters (and consumers) also need to honor those who do put truth and people above image. In my business, I have dropped major accounts do to poor treatment of my employees I have sent out in the field, I also have tried to sell only what I know works based on my testing in my maintenance business. But sadly I see politicians and businesses get rewarded for image and not honesty.

    • Stand up for the Truth:
    Sadly many politicians will not take a stand for the truth or at least what they believe is right. Joe Lieberman stood his ground against his own party and paid for it in the primary, but not in the general election. I do not agree on the majority of his views, but I have to give him credit here. What happens in my opinion is far left leaning politicians such as Nancy Pelosi get in power when no one Democrat or Republican stands up to them.

    • Admit to not always being right:
    Unfortunately Republicans are not always right (I sure make mistakes, wish I didn’t). Admit to mistakes.

    • You cannot have it all:
    This is where the Christian right gets into trouble, they will insist on 100% or nothing, such as no abortion-ever. Start with what you can get, such as a ban on partial birth abortion.
    Governor Schwarzenegger is a good example of this, many Republican would not back him do to some more liberal views, but in my opinion, he was vastly better than the alternative.

    Carl Strohmeyer


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