California Republican primaries have a nasty habit of rendering their winners unelectable in November, and this year's contest looks like it will be no exception. To win, [Meg] Whitman and [Carly] Fiorina -- conventional conservative business Republicans both -- had to take positions so far to the right that their chances of winning a state in which Barack Obama commands a 59% approval rating are slim.
. . . the issue most damaging for Whitman and Fiorina is immigration. Pressed by their GOP primary opponents and the Republican electorate to endorse Arizona's draconian new law, Fiorina proclaimed her support for it while Whitman countered the charges from her right that she was soft on immigration by affirming that she was "100 percent against amnesty" and demanding a huge increase in border enforcement. . . Southern California's Latino-led labor movement -- the most energized and strategically savvy labor movement in the nation – [is] particularly adept at turning out Latino voters for Democratic candidates and causes.
In winning their nominations, [Whitman and Fiorina] said things deeply offensive to a fatally large swath of California voters. Their campaigns may be gold-plated, but they have ears of purest tin.
Unmarried women are the core of Democrats’ strength, nationwide. Many, many unmarried California women will vote for male Jerry Brown over female Meg Whitman, and even more will vote for Barbara Boxer over Carly Fiorina. So why do female Republican candidates (not just Sarah Palin) set off such visceral predictions of unelectability from liberal columnists like Meyerson?
I think it’s because the image of Republicans the media have fixed in our minds—and have used against Republicans with real success—is WHITE MALE, EX-FRAT BOY (AND LIKELY BIGOT). Therefore, any Republican who doesn’t look like a frat boy bashes the media’s carefully-constructed image between the eyes. That hurts.