I wrote a column last week in which I thought I was pretty realistic about the very poor chances of a Republican succeeding Barbara Boxer in the United States Senate.
Just consider the massive voter registration deficit, the lack of a single current Republican in statewide office, and a moribund GOP infrastructure for fundraising. You can throw into the mix that national Republicans would have to spend what it would otherwise take to hold or pick up three or four other Senate seats just to throw a Hail Mary pass here in a reliably blue state.
So when we start to see Republicans putting their hands up to run who we think couldn’t win if the state were competitive, you needed a reminder: the bar is a lot lower. Perhaps we are looking for someone who will stand tall for GOP principles? Someone that can make the runoff so the California GOP doesn’t suffer the humiliation of having no nominee at all? Or making sure that our nominee isn’t some “Birther” type?
There’s an obscure theory that if a bunch if Dems all run but only a couple of Republicans do that perhaps the atrocious top-two election system we now have will send two Republicans through to the general. Very unlikely.
I guess even to flirt with viability, a GOP candidate would have to start with disposable personal wealth. Maybe that wealthy Republican “buys” a birth in the runoff and prays that the Democrat battle produces an embarrassingly leftist nominee on their side. But even then…
What needs to happen for the GOP to “come back” in the once-Golden State is the subject of much debate. But that cuts through to the current depressing state of affairs in this state for a party that nationally is on the rise.