In California, the Republicans haven‘t even got that. Four years ago, Bill Clinton defeated Bob Dole in California by 13 percent; last week, Al Gore defeated W. by 12 percent -- though W. had spent $12 million on TV ad-buys and Gore hadn’t ponied up a nickel. Two years ago, Gray Davis defeated Dan Lungren, a Republican right-winger, by 20 points in the gubernatorial election; last week, Dianne Feinstein defeated Tom Campbell, a Republican left-winger, by 20 points in the senatorial election. The Democrats took four congressional seats from the Republicans on Election Day; they would have taken five if their national Congressional Campaign Committee had heeded their own local operatives and the AFL-CIO‘s, and sunk a little more money into Democrat Gerrie Schipske’s challenge to Long Beach Republican Congressman Steve Horn. (Schipske lost by 1 percent, though she refuses to concede until the absentees are all counted.)
One reason for the Democrats‘ success here is that Latinos in California continue to vote for Democrats at a rate roughly 8 points higher than Latinos nationally. Due to the increased Latino margins and turnout, and to the Herculean efforts of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, almost every L.A. inner-ring suburban congressional or legislative district has moved from the Republican to the Democratic column over the past four years. In the impending reapportionment, such outer-ring districts as those of Republican Congressmen Elton Gallegly (Ventura County) and David Dreier (East San Gabriel Valley) may well become Democratic, too. California -- where immigrants and nonwhites abound, and cows are few and far between -- is no land for Republicans.