Home > California Politics, Political Campaigns > The Vanishing California Republican Party?

The Vanishing California Republican Party?

Buckle up California. The state Republican Party is flirting with complete irrelevancy this election. If the current returns hold, Democrats will control 2/3 of both the State Senate and the State Assembly, giving them complete freedom in Sacramento. The one lever that the Republican Party has held in California politics–especially after Prop. 25 (2010) lowered the threshold for passing a budget to a simple majority–is that a 2/3 vote is required to raise revenue. They may not have that lever any more.

There are 40 State Senators, and 27 votes (2/3*40=26.8) are required to pass a revenue increase. The Democrats already control 14 seats, and appear to be winning 14 more. There are no close contests here. Democrats should have the 2/3 supermajority required in the State Senate.

There are 80 Assembly members, and 54 votes (2/3*80=53.6) are required to pass a revenue increase. The Democrats appear to have won 54 seats. The two closest contests are AD-65 (Anaheim), where Sharon Quirk-Silva (D) leads Chris Norby (R) by just 1,004 votes, and AD-32 (Hanford), where Rudy Salas (D) leads Pedro Rios (R) by an even more minuscule 268 votes. Expect some lawsuits over the recount here, because right now 268 votes are all that stand between Republican relevance and Republican irrelevance.

Of course, all these numbers are provisional. That said, if the results hold after the various recounts, the Republican minority won’t even need to bother to show up in Sacramento. The Democrats won’t need them to do anything.

Update [11/8 at 5:00 PM]: Both Salas and Quirk Silva still lead. Salas’s margin is still at 268 votes. Quirk-Silva’s has gone up to 1,043 (up 39).

Update [11/13 at 11:30 AM]: Salas is now way ahead, having built a 2,500 vote lead. Given the low number of votes in the district, the difference is enough to move it off the Secretary of State’s “close contest” list. Quirk-Silva’s lead is now the smallest (at least in those contests where a Democrat is facing a Republican) at a little more than 2,200 votes.

  1. Jordyn Doyle
    November 8, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Is this our post? Hope so!
    That’s crazy the democrats have two thirds of the seats in our state senate and assembly. It reminds me of the UNSC and how the communist powers, China and Russia, would cancel out votes because a veto required all of the P5 to agree. So in a way, the republicans are kind of helpless, unless some of the democrats are more moderate and may sometimes side with moderate republicans.

    • Prof. Keith Smith
      November 8, 2012 at 10:36 am

      I’m sorry. Did you just use the words “moderate” and “Republican” in the same sentence. There is no such thing in the California legislature, which is part of the reason the Republican Party now holds a trivial position in the state. Anyone who tries to be a moderate Republican is met with a well-funded, conservative primary challenger in the next election.

  2. Jesus Hernandez
    November 8, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    I’d say this is an accurate depiction of California’s deflating Republican support.

  3. bklunk
    November 8, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    I’m not sure how communist Russia and China are anymore. Authoritarian, yes. Especially China, You are correct that the two-thirds requirement to do anything about revenue is like the veto. It allows a minority to determine policy and as such is undemocratic (according to Locke anyway).

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