Do Tim Donnelly and Neel Kashkari show the GOP can't win in California?


Later tonight we'll find out which GOP candidate for California governor - Tim Donnelly or Neel Kashkari - will have been selected by voters to lose to Jerry Brown.

Expect both to receive low vote totals in a low turnout election. Also expect some pundits to use the results to claim that a Republican can't win in California except in local elections. That claim is wrong.

The GOP can win in California, the problem is that both Kashkari and Donnelly are very bad candidates for the state:

* Kashkari is an establishment Republican linked to George W Bush. He supports high immigration and would almost assuredly support amnesty. Immigration is California's most vital issue, but instead Kashkari concentrates on issues like education. That's important too, but most Californians realize that we can't fix education without first fixing immigration.

* Donnelly is a Tea Parties type crazy whose campaign might have had some great success, if only he'd have run in Alabama or Texas. As part of not realizing what state he's running in, Donnelly concentrated on issues like guns and fiscal conservatism. His oft-stated immigration stance boiled down to "[seeing] a tsunami of U-Hauls coming back from Texas" [1]. Not too many Californians have left for Texas, and those who have we don't want back. To Californians, immigration is a far more important issue than guns, and fiscal conservatism isn't something Californians tend to support. To make things even worse, Donnelly had previously concentrated on immigration when he was involved with the Minuteman movement.

A Republican like Arnold Schwarzenegger can win in California. We just need to find someone like him but smarter, more aggressive, and who can't be easily corrupted.

This post will be updated when the person who Jerry Brown will trounce has been selected.

6/4/14 UPDATE: And, the person Jerry Brown will trounce is... Kashkari. Statewide, with 100% of precincts partially reporting, he got 19% vs Donnelly's 14.8% and Brown's 54.5%. On the Peace & Freedom side of things, Cindy Sheehan got 1.2%. Kashkari got 30% vs Donnelly's 19.5% in Orange County, the largest county in the state where one might expect Donnelly's ideas to resonate. Donnelly did two points or more better than Kashkari in these counties:

* Alameda, Contra Costa, Mendocino, Napa, Santa Cruz, Sonoma (perhaps Dems trying to help Brown, or those who have their own compounds)

* San Benito (a compound-heavy county)

* Alpine (288 for Brown, 85 for Donnelly, 39 for Kashkari; those are vote totals not percentages)

* Butte, Glenn, Kern, Lake, Mariposa, Mono, San Luis Obispo, Tehama (not as small as Alpine, but still small and rural)

* Del Norte (Donnelly 24.4%, Kashkari 9.7%)

* Imperial (Donnelly 17%, Kashkari 6.2%; heavily Hispanic and on the border)

* Lassen (Donnelly 31%, Kashkari 18.9%)

* Modoc (Donnelly 36.2%, Kashkari 12.1%)

* Shasta (Donnelly 27.8%, Kashkari 15%)

* Sierra (Donnelly 25%, Kashkari 18%)

* Siskiyou (Donnelly 28.3%, Kashkari 10.2%)

* Trinity (Donnelly 22%, Kashkari 8.4%)

If California were comprised just of small, rural counties full of compounds, then Donnelly would have stood a better chance of winning. However, even that wouldn't have been a sure bet since there are several other such counties that went to Kashkari instead.

Brown only fell below 40% in 15 small counties and two large ones (San Bernardino and Orange). He only fell below 30% in one: in Modoc he only got 25.2% of the vote. That indicates a way forward for Tim Donnelly.

[1] whittierdailynews . com/government-and-politics/20140103/