Long time officers in the CRA told me that they were astounded at the unity of purpose displayed in the campaign of Andy Vidak for State Senate.
Members of over 20 CRA units participated in this historic victory for the California GOP, and for a rare time in California Republican Party history, liberal, moderate, libertarian and conservative Republican alike unified for a common cause.
Yet, the Marin County Republican Party chose this time to make history of their own. They adopted a resolution supporting same-sex marriage and touted themselves as the first central committee in the US to support same-sex marriage.
Did their desire for headlines outweigh any consideration of the consequences?
We in the CRA are wondering if the Marin County Republican Party tested this action on the voters of the 16th Senate District? Would any of the roughly 60% Latino voters in this district have been less likely or more likely to support Andy Vidak if he supported gay marriage? Would the African-American voter concentrations in southern Fresno County and western Bakersfield have come in to the GOP fold as a result of this ground-breaking action?
The polling data is clear that this issue is a loser in both of those demographics, even more so in the Central Valley of California.
So-called moderate Republican groups constantly lecture CRA and other conservatives about “Divisive Social Issues” and that the path to victory for the California Republican Party is won by focusing on fiscal issues. Further, some say that the Government should “stay out of the marriage business”.
The Marin GOP’s actions means that these arguments are either false or arguments they don’t believe themselves, or both.
The issue is one of unity. Whenever you “break new ground” in this manner you send two messages, one to the group you’re attempting to pander to and another to the existing groups within your sphere of influence. The small number of Republicans comprising the Marin GOP have chosen to drive a wedge between themselves and the Conservative base of the GOP.
With statewide GOP registration at 28%, we are questioning the wisdom of such a move.