The top strategist and political consultant for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign thinks that Republicans can win elections in California.
Stuart Stevens, now a columnist for the Daily Beast website, claims that if Republicans can be more effective in delivering an alternative message to Democrats’ failed policies, they can produce results at the polls. Right now in California, claims Bill Carrick, a California Democratic political consultant, Republicans have been reduced to the role of “swing voters helping to decide which Democrat will win… and are losing the definition of a governing party.”
According to Stevens, the Republicans’ influence in the state has declined despite California suffering numerous negative events, such as the announcement that Toyota will be leaving the state and taking 3,000 jobs with it. This compelled Democrat Matt Miller to say of his opponent state Senator Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), both running to fill retiring congressman Henry Waxman’s seat for the 33rd district, “How can it be that a relocation of one of our district’s major employers caught state Sen. Ted Lieu and other public officials by surprise?”
Miller makes the point that Republicans can be making as well, according to Stevens. He wrote in his column in the Washington Post that under Obama and the Democrats “virtually every measure of a good society that progressives care about (save for expanded health coverage) will be going in the wrong direction.” Stevens points to the facts that there are fewer full time jobs, 43% more Americans on food stamps, and a decline in household income.
Stevens contends that the turnaround for Republicans may have begun. Kevin Faulconer’s win as mayor of San Diego after the resignation of disgraced Mayor Bob Filner makes him the only Republican mayor in a major city in the United States. Moreover, Republicans Pete Peterson – running for Secretary of State – and Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin – running for Controller – have both been endorsed by the dyed-in-the- wool liberal newspaper the Los Angeles Times. Stevens also believes that if Neel Kashkari can make it through the primary in June, he will give Jerry Brown problems in the general election debates.