In what can be construed as an exit interview, the outgoing chairman of the California GOP said the 2018 midterm election disaster in his state -- that saw Republicans lose almost every seat they held in the House -- should be a warning to the national party.
Speaking with Politico, retiring Jim Brulte -- who has headed the largest GOP state party in the country since 2013 -- called the devastating election a "canary in the coalmine" and explained what the GOP will face in future elections if changes aren't made.
Saying, "[We have to] figure out how we get votes from people who don’t look like you," Brulte elaborated, by stating, "We have not yet been able to figure out how to effectively communicate and get significant numbers of votes from non-whites.
“And that’s why I have said that I believe California is the canary in the coal mine — not an outlier,’’ he continued citing the seven House seats Democrats wrestled away from Republican candidates, including longtime GOP Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, leaving just seven members in the state's congressional delegation.
According to Brulte, the Democrats were just better organized and did a better job of getting voters out in addition to helping voters get their absentee ballots turned in by picking them up and delivering them to voter registrars.
"We’ve not been able to find Republicans having a lot of success anywhere related to ballot harvesting,’’ Brulte explained, adding that it will take the GOP at least six years before they can be a political force again in California.
Brulte's comments did not sit well with some of his fellow conservatives who feel the party needs to get back to core Republican principles -- as well as support President Donald Trump despite his massive unpopularity in California.
“This is the same chatter we’ve heard from the GOP establishment for the past 20 years. The concept that Republicans need to look and sound more like Democrats to be elected in California is exactly what got us into this mess,’’ said far-right conservative Travis Allen, who failed in a bid to get the 2018 GOP gubernatorial nomination. “It’s about time for the Republicans in California to stand up for our values, our ideals — and yes, even support our GOP president.”
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