Stellar GOP performance in California shows Republicans can turn blue to red when they talk to — not at — voters
California last week delivered a lesson that should reassure anxious Republicans and cause confident Democrats to keep their guard up: despite what the punditry say about the doomed demographic future of the GOP, good Republican candidates who run smart campaigns can win. The latest example of this truism came from California’s Central Valley, where Republican Andy Vidak bested his Democratic opponent by more than 5 points on May 23rd in the special election primary for the 16th Senate District. Vidak received 49.8 percent of the vote, less than 1 percent below the 50 percent threshold necessary to avoid a runoff under California election law. Regardless, the fact remains that the Republican candidate won a near-majority of the vote in a district that boasts a 20-point Democratic advantage in voter registration and a majority Latino population, and that has been kept blue for more than a decade.