Calif. GOP losing ground

Thursday, November 29, 2012
Becky Yeh - California correspondent (

A public policy expert warns that California Republicans in a once-GOP stronghold are losing their grip; and despite what some may argue, he maintains their stance on immigration is not solely to blame.

Orange County has been a longtime stronghold for the GOP. But now, the number of registered Republicans in the county is below 50 percent. For example, the recent election saw more votes for Barack Obama than Mitt Romney in the city of Irvine. Republican Assemblyman Chris Norby lost his seat to Democrat Sharon Quirk-Silva, and the GOP has continued to lose mainly Latino cities to the Democratic Party.

Ellis, Ashton (CFIF)Ashton Ellis, contributing editor at the Center for Individual Freedom (CFIF) and an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University's School of Public Policy, says the party's decline has GOP leaders scrambling to change their strategy.

"Orange County is losing out, much like the rest of the GOP is here in America, with Latino voters. A lot of people seem to think that it's a matter of immigration reform .... The GOP's got a lot of problems, and they don't necessarily stem from legalizing illegal immigration," Ellis contends. "If anything, it might be something that's keeping millions of voters who would otherwise vote for bigger government away from the polls."

According to Fox News, the number of registered Republicans surpassed Democrats by roughly 20 percent in the mid-1900s. Orange County GOP chairman Scott Baugh believes the party's failure to recognize a demographic shift in the county has contributed to the party's decline.

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