The Future of The OC Republican and Democratic Parties

While Republicans got trounced nationally, they held their own locally this year.  By and large Republican were able to keep their seats in Orange County despite the Presidential numbers moving the Democrat’s way.  John McCain only got 50.2% to Barack Obama’s 47.6% in this supposedly “Red County.”  While much was made of all the new Democrats that got registered in Orange County, with the exception of Labor’s voter reg program, much of this was naturally occurring all over the country, and any OC group that tries to take credit for the new Democratic voters is disingenuous.   I was recently listening to a McCain staffer lament on all the money they spent on voter reg to no avail.  As an aside, the McCain staffers blamed much of their fate on Bush and the financial crisis, as well as the phenomenal ground campaign that Obama had.

Back to the OC, I have also heard from Republicans that they are definitely afraid of the demographic trends that are shifting in favor of Democrats in north and central Orange County.  White Republicans are aging and being replaced by younger Asians and Latinos who are not as politically conservative and more likely to vote Democratic.

Why were the Republicans able to survive relatively in tact the Obama wave?

And why did all the excitement for Barack Obama not translate into moving the numbers on local races?

1.  The OC GOP has a large infrastructure with the New Majority, the Lincoln Club, 7 or 8 full time staffers at the OC GOP and a network of consultants and pollsters who work with down ticket candidates.  They also have a blog in the Red County/ OC Blog that operates as a propaganda machine for their opinions and thoughts.

2.  The Orange County Democratic Party does not have the infrastructure or the talent running the show.  While they have made some progress in the past two years it is still amateur night as compared to the Republicans.   They are cash strapped and get mired in infighting instead of concentrating on their main job, which is to win elections.

3.  Infighting- Will we know all the tremendous infighing amongst Republicans, they still have the infrastructure to overcome any personal disagreements.  While it is shocking how they turn a blind eye to the shortcomings of politicians like Mike Corona, Ken Calvert, and Dana Rohrabacher they don’t have so much ground to make up as the Democrats do so they can continue to flourish.

From talking to my sources Democrats are great at infighting.

Also, the Central Labor Council despises Lou Correa, and most of the electeds think the Democratic Party of Orange County is a useless joke.   Many are upset that Frank and Melahat spent much of the summer raising money for Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi to the detriment of local candidates.   Many locals candidates found that they were on their own for their races with the exception of receiving some labor money.

Often it is “He hates that guy and wont work with him” which leads to things not getting done and blah, blah, blah………………..

4.  Culture of Losing- Democrats

Also, many of the Democratic/Labor offices are not used to winning and working hard to get things done.  I was talking to someone who has worked with a lot these groups and what they said was that laziness pervails.  During the summer when things should get going on campaigns union leaders were going home at 3 or 4 in the afternoon to beat the rush hour.  Democratic Party workers were coming in late in the morning. Coming to work late and leaving early doesn’t lead to winning.  On the other hand, my friends who worked on the Obama campaign said they would start their day at 9am and finish at 11 at night, seven days a week.

Also, my sources tell me that  there is a profound lack of sophistication in the OC Dem turnout/campaign model.   The naive lawn sign,  let’s go to a lot of meetings and read liberal blogs culture prevails in the party and amongst Democratic campaigns.  Lawn signs don’t vote.  Hanging out and talking at meetings doesn’t win elections, and reading blogs by a bunch of fellow liberals will not make your campaign a winner.  It is shocking to see what bad advice comes from people who have never won an election who are now in the party/labor decision making structure.

Additionally, what my Democratic friends have noticed is that Democratic electeds and leaders in the party tend to cozy up to Republicans quite a bit.  They endorse Republicans for office, hang out with them for lunch and go to each other’s parties.  While there is nothing wrong with being polite and working together on projects, endorsing and kowtowing to the Republicans is not what should be going on.  It is a loser’s culture that pervades the OC Democratic structure.

The Democratic/Labor leadership should get it together or step aside, as their failure to capitalize during this Democratic year is on their hands.  It may take a new generation of leaders and staff to get things done and change the culture.

5.  Yet Republicans are and should be worrying-   The demographics and the national climate appear to be going the Democrats way and the OC GOP has to stop complaining about immigrants and only being the party of angry white men.  Luckily for the Orange County Republicans, the Democrats in Orange County were not ready to capitalize in this environment, but I would not count on being lucky forever.

—The  OC Shadow—-


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