39. Jim Brulte
On May 21, the Secretary of State’s office made it official: The Republican Party’s registration had fallen below that of voters who decline to state a party preference. It was Republicans at 25.1% of registered voters, and decline-to-state at 25.5%. Democrats continued their overwhelming registration advantage with 44.4%. It was not unexpected, but it still had to be a bitter pill for California Republican Party Chair Jim Brulte, who is one of the best political strategists in California. He helped push a gas-tax repeal onto the November ballot, which may help Republican candidates across the state, and he helped engineer the recall of Sen. Josh Newman over his vote supporting raising taxes to pay for road repairs. Brulte contends with Donald Trump, perhaps the single most despised political figure in the state, and he keeps a low profile in relation to other races with high-profile incumbents, such as Devin Nunes. Brulte is soldiering on, hoping to get some good news this November by foiling Democrats’ dreams of dumping seven Republicans from Congress and taking over the House. We’ll see.
Updated Aug. 15, 2018