LOS ANGELES — Despite the presence of Republican presidential contenders in the Golden State this weekend, a pair of Field Polls released late last week look grim for the GOP.
One shows President Barack Obama’s approval rating among likely voters in the Golden State rising to 57%, “the best appraisal of Obama in over two years by Californians.” The other shows that fewer than one in five Californians approve of Congress, and a near-majority say that Republican control of both houses of Congress after the November election is a bad thing. Only 37% disagree.
To some extent, these polls reflect broader nationwide trends. President Obama’s overall approval rating has risen in spite of severe voter disapproval of his foreign policy, and Congress’s polls remain hamstrung not only by disapproval among Democrat voters but also by frustration among Republican voters that their leaders are not doing enough to oppose the president. Yet California remains an outlier, a state seemingly convinced that no Republican can or should hold power.
The consequence, on a state level, is one-party rule in Sacramento. And, just like one-party-rule everywhere, that means greater levels of corruption, inefficiency, and mismanagement. The state’s politics are locked up by an elite group of left-wing insiders: Attorney General Kamala Harris is already closing in on Barbara Boxer’s Senate spot, while Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom has declared his intention to run for governor nearly four years in advance of the 2018 vote.
It is tough to imagine a Republican winning statewide in the near future. Not even Condoleezza Rice–who actually leads Harris in that latest poll for U.S. Senate–would be likely to win. A long-shot candidacy by a libertarian, perhaps a celebrity like Vince Vaughn, is still a pipe dream. The state’s media march in lockstep, hiding many of the state’s problems, as well as their causes. And with newly-amnestied immigrants casting votes for Democrats, the GOP faces an even tougher challenge.
Senior Editor-at-Large Joel B. Pollak edits Breitbart California and is the author of the forthcoming ebook, Wacko Birds: The Fall (and Rise) of the Tea Party, available for Amazon Kindle.
Follow Joel on Twitter: @joelpollak