The California Republican Party is in rough shape — and things could get even worse from here. That’s the biggest conclusion to draw from the news that moderate former Assemblyman David Hadley had withdrawn from the Feb. 24 race to succeed outgoing state GOP Chairman Jim Brulte. The two current candidates — former Assemblyman Travis Allen of Huntington Beach and Silicon Valley activist Steve Frank — are Donald Trump Republicans. The reason that two-thirds of the state Legislature and a stunning 46 of 53 House members are now Democrats is because California Republicans remain inexplicably wedded to a narrow platform from their glory years from 1983 to 1999 when they held the governorship and wielded significant power in the Assembly and Senate. A platform that fails to embrace diversity, opposes sound environmental policies and clings to anti-tax fervor may still resonate with older white voters, but not to most young and nonwhite voters. This is why Hadley said his party is “unable and seemingly unwilling to adapt to the state’s changing demographics.”

And this is bad news for the state. A moderate, constructive California Republican Party that emphasized jobs and housing creation and shed its immigration and environmental baggage would find a receptive audience and be a party smartly more akin to Ronald Reagan’s “big tent” than a pup tent.

— San Diego Union Tribune

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