Republicans prepare for midterm elections at state convention in San Diego

California Republicans have been disappointed by the failure of the governors’ recall, but the expanded volunteer base and voter data gathered during this campaign may come in handy in next year’s midterm election. speakers said at the California GOP Fall Convention in San Diego on Friday.

“Our infrastructure is even stronger now,” said Republican Party of California President Jessica Millan Patterson, addressing lunch guests at the convention at the Manchester Grand Hyatt.

She said the state party had recruited 73,000 volunteers by the end of the September 14 recall vote, up from 42,000 in the 2020 presidential election cycle.

“We will continue to lead the fight against the Democrats and do the necessary work to help our candidates win the election,” she said. “We’re already training volunteers and improving their data to make sure we’re ready to compete and win the ticket from top to bottom. “

The three-day event includes sessions on leadership, fundraising, political advice, religious engagement, data, campaign management and other topics.

The luncheon focused on using poll data to target voters and refine messages, while taking into account the changing demographics of the Republican Party.

Ten years ago, 50% of Republican voters were non-educated whites, 40% were educated whites and 10% were from minority groups, said George Nassar, partner of Public Opinion Strategies.

Those numbers have changed over the past decade, with white non-college graduates now making up 58% of Republican voters and minorities comprising 14% of Republican voters, with white college-educated voters dropping to 28%.

“So our party is becoming a lot more blue collar, so there are opportunities and concerns about that, part of the concern being that college voters are moving away from the Republican Party,” Nassar said. “It disproportionately affects California because California has a well educated electorate.”

He said, however, that the opportunity is that “our party is becoming more diverse” and can work to build its share of minority voters.

“I think these demographic shifts, especially with Latino voters, present a huge opportunity for California to change the whole game,” Patterson said.

Blaise Hazelwood, founder and CEO of Grassroots Targeting, said Republicans must use voter registration as a tool to gain new supporters.

She said survey data can also determine what factors could move the needle on voter registration.

In Arizona, her organization surveyed unregistered adults to find out what messages would encourage them to vote. They found the invocation of civic duty to be compelling to potential voters, while protecting Second Amendment gun rights.

Guests at the lunch said they found food for thought in the discussion of survey data and demographic trends.

“The message was that Latinos are moving more and more towards the Republican Party,” said delegate Bill Evers, former US assistant secretary for education under George W. Bush and delegate to the Orange County convention.

He said persuading new voters to register Republican is important since registration preference helps establish party loyalty, he said.

Democrats and Republicans are losing their registration in the name of ‘no party preference’,” he said.

Evers said he believes California Democrats have become complacent without effective competition and are losing touch with voters’ concerns about the quality of education and other essential government functions.

Anna Bryson, also an Orange County delegate, said she relies on women to turn to the party for portfolio issues such as inflation.

“They see the prices going up at the grocery store, the gas prices alarming,” she said. “Inflation will push women into the Republican Party.

The convention will run through Sunday and will feature national figures such as New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu; representing Ronny Jackson, R-Texas; and representing Burgess Owens, R-Utah.

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