Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
Published: Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 3A
Last Modified: Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012 – 8:49 am

BURBANK – Three weeks ago, the New York Times published what appeared to be the obituary of the California Republican Party.

The state GOP’s voter registration, the article noted, had dropped to well under a third of the electorate and, if trends continue, will be overshadowed by decline-to-state voters within a few years.

Republicans don’t hold a single statewide office for the first time in decades, and have seen their numbers dwindle in the Legislature and Congress. The party’s so strapped that it’s closing offices and cutting staff.

The Times article didn’t rely on Democrats for negative appraisals of the party; everyone quoted about its travails was a Republican.

So is the California Republican Party, which spawned two presidents and only a generation ago appeared to be in the ascendency, really dead? That’s the unspoken question in the minds of Republican activists at the party’s semi-annual convention.

The answer: Down, certainly, but not quite out.

One reason is that there’s more to the California Republican Party than the California Republican Party.

The state party structure has never been a well-oiled, professional political machine like its Democratic counterpart. It’s a collection of amateurs and volunteers such as its current chairman, Tom Del Beccaro.

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