California Republicans gather for their state party convention starting Friday, with new leadership and nowhere to go but up after losing virtually every competitive race in last year’s midterms.
But the party faces a tough balancing act ahead of next year’s presidential election.
Weighed down at least in part by President Donald Trump — who’s deeply unpopular in the Golden State — the California Republican Party now holds zero statewide offices, 7 of 53 congressional seats, a quarter of state legislative districts and 23.6 percent of registered voters.
Jessica Patterson vowed to change that when she was elected as the state GOP’s first ever female and Latina party chair earlier this year.
Yet the party’s convention this weekend features speakers likely to appeal to the GOP’s base: Trump national campaign manager Brad Parscale, Energy Secretary and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, a moderate, is also scheduled to speak.
The convention site is Indian Wells, near Palm Springs — in the height of summer with temperatures forecast to top 110 degrees. That prompted this tweet from conservative activist Jon Fleischman: “It’s an allegory for the political state of the party. We’ve gone to hell.”
It’s an allegory for the political state of the party. We’ve gone to hell.— Jon Fleischman (@FlashReport) September 5, 2019