California's Republican Party has hit on hard times—even as the Democrats preside over a nearly 11% unemployment rate. Not one Republican holds statewide office, and the party is at risk of falling behind both Democrats and independents in the state's electoral makeup within six years. Right now, Dems account for 43% of voters, Republicans 30%, and independents 21%, the New York Times reports. "We are at a lower point than we’ve ever been," says US Rep. Kevin McCarthy. "It’s rebuilding time."
That 30% figure "makes it impossible to win a statewide election," says a former GOP consultant. "It's no longer a statewide party," and that's because, he says, members "have become too doctrinaire on the social issues. It’s become a cult." In fact, the party has been struggling since 1994, when it embraced a tough illegal immigration stance that drove away the booming Hispanic vote. But state party chairman Tom Beccaro is hopeful that Republican economic positions will pave the way to a brighter future in a state where "the budget is way out of balance" and unemployment is the country's third-highest. Click through for the full piece.