Carla Marinucci

Carla Marinucci
Updated 10:39 p.m., Saturday, November 10, 2012

Conservatives have long dismissed California, the nation’s most-populous state and the world’s ninth-largest economy, as the Left Coast, Wackyville and La-La Land.

But after Tuesday’s election, there is one thing that Republicans across the nation can no longer do – ignore it.

The GOP failed to take the White House and lost an opportunity to reclaim control of the U.S. Senate, while trends that began in California – the burgeoning numbers of Latino, Asian American and young voters – are harbingers of what’s ahead for Republican fortunes, Democratic consultant Garry South said.

“They can denigrate this state all they want,” South said. “But the future of America is what you’re seeing right now, laid out in California.”

In the minority-majority state of California, the future isn’t looking bright for the GOP, which has been reduced to rubble in the 2012 election cycle as its share of registered voters dropped below 30 percent.

The result: California Democrats hold every major statewide office, including governor, both U.S. Senate seats, nearly three-fourths of the congressional delegation, and the possibility of achieving a supermajority in both houses of the Legislature.

“It’s an amazing story,” said Simon Rosenberg, who heads the Democratic think tank NDN in Washington. “California gave us Dick Nixon and Ronald Reagan, and it’s arguably more responsible for the modern conservative movement than any other state in the country.

“And here we are, 50 years later,” Rosenberg said, with Republicans “essentially going out of business there.”

California GOP strategist Tony Quinn, in a pointed blog on the future of his party, was even more scathing.

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