When it comes to Presidential elections, Republicans in the Golden State have little to no say in deep blue California. Republican voter apathy has flourished as a result and was even listed as one of the key reasons for the record all-time low turnout that plagued the 2012 California Primary Election.
However, apathetic Republicans should take note of a new study released by GrassrootsLab, a Sacramento-based research and political data firm, which finds that Republicans have made significant inroads at the local level.
Almost half of the 2,500 local level seats (including Mayoral and Council positions) are held by registered members of the Grand Old Party.
While interesting to note, these figures should be taken with a grain of salt: most municipal elections in the state are nonpartisan. Many of the issues faced by local elected leaders are also nonpartisan in nature: it’s difficult to drum up the conservative or liberal base and advance the party platform over waste management service contracts and zoning laws.
Nonetheless, securing half of all locally-elected seats is a feat given California demographics.
According to 2012 figures released by the Secretary of State, Republicans account for only 29.3% of the electorate. Meanwhile, 43.7% of voter base is comprised of Democrats with the majority of the remaining voters registered as decline-to-state.
Based on these figures and the realities of political makeup of California’s state chambers, the study affirms that Republicans are still widely irrelevant in Sacramento.
But all hope is not lost for the GOP. As former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill said, “All politics is local.”
Read the full article at The Los Angeles Times.