California Republicans fight extinction -- by turning to immigration

Fifteen months away from the next congressional election, Democrats have already stuck a tracker on GOP Rep. Jeff Denham, who represents a 35 percent Hispanic district and heavy agricultural communities like Ripon and the City of Modesto. As Denham held a town hall on a commuter train from San Jose to Stockton on Thursday, a young man who said he was there on behalf of his grandfather asked Denham if he supports the Senate’s immigration bill. His answer was no, but later he said he thinks it’s a major step in the right direction.

In Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s Bakersfield, 1,000 protestors — mostly union workers — held a rally to try to pressure him to support a pathway to citizenship.

Many Republicans believe their only route to survival to find a way to connect with Latinos and Asians, who have doubled their turnout in general elections in the past dozen years. In 2012, 72 percent of Latinos voted for President Barack Obama, while 77 percent of Asians helped reelect the president.

Making matters worse is internal GOP polling showing 65 percent of California voters have a negative view of the party.

That’s left the shared short-term view out here among most Republicans pretty bleak: We’re screwed.

“Republicans in California have now become experts at getting 25 percent of the Hispanic vote,” Brulte deadpanned.