Originally at iepolitics.com
Recently the Riverside County Republican Party decided to play to their fringe by slamming one of the candidates with a very tasteless accusation which helped get a liberal Democratic Party member Scott Hines elected.
Yes, Rancho Mirage may be conservative in nature, but the Coachella Valley has a sizable lesbian and gay population. Upsetting the gay and lesbian population and their straight allies can be very dangerous in an age where each vote counts. Assembly District 80 could have been won for example if the Republican Party nominated a socially inclusive candidate as an example. Perhaps the individual who was only 71 votes ahead of Scott Hines on Election Day would have still won if the party’s tasteless advertising campaign was never done.
Yes, the Riverside County Republican Party and its affiliates were right to call him a fiscal liberal, but there was a key word that led to the Republicans losing this election with the slogan “Don’t let Palm Springs politics infect Rancho Mirage.” Where the word infects was in red letters and italicized where it alluded to HIV. Gay baiting has no place in a political campaign, in particular in a constituency with a sizable gay population.
Even though gay baiting Riverside Community College Trustee Mark Takano may have won an election for Congressman Calvert in 1994, it will no longer win elections for the Riverside County Republican Party.
Republicans are going through a period of declining voter registration, and if we alienate more demographic groups who might be receptive to the party message then this will lead towards a longer dominance by the Democratic Party.