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California Republicans struggle to reclaim relevance

Schwarzenegger throws his hands in the air at a victory party
Arnold Schwarzenegger sailed to re-election in 2006. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

The California Republican Party might not have candidates on the ballot for this November's Senate and gubernatorial elections, reports The New York Times' Adam Nagourney.

Why it matters: The Republican Party's presence has sharply declined in the state that produced Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon and — just 12 years ago — re-elected Arnold Schwarzenegger by a wide margin.

What's happening: "Under the California election system, candidates compete in an open, nonpartisan primary on June 5. The two candidates who get the most votes — regardless of party — advance to the November general election," Nagourney writes. Republican candidates might not make the cut.

What they're doing, per the Times:

  • "A group of Republicans led by Arnold Schwarzenegger, the former Republican governor, and Chad Mayes, the former Republican Assembly leader, have launched a campaign to move the party to the center, arguing that would make it more competitive by increasing its appeal to independent voters and disaffected Democrats."
  • "But that effort has run-up against Republican candidates and elected officials who have tied their success to Mr. Trump and his administration’s policies."

Go deeper: The bad blood between Trump and California.

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