Republicans searching for a new direction after Mitt Romney's defeat will inevitably examine why President Barack Obama rolled up more than 70 percent of the Hispanic and Asian vote, and 9 of 10 votes among blacks, essential ingredients in his victory. Women also supported Obama over Romney nationally and in California, where they broke for the president by 27 percentage points.
There is no better place to witness how demographic shifts have shaped elections than in California, the home turf of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan that just a generation ago was a reliably Republican state in presidential contests.
A surge in immigrants transformed the state, and its voting patterns. The number of Hispanics, blacks and Asians combined has outnumbered whites since 1998 in California, and by 2020 the Hispanic population alone is expected to top that of whites. With Latinos, for example, voter surveys show they've overwhelmingly favored Democratic presidential candidates for decades. Similar shifts are taking place across the nation.
"There are demographic changes in the American electorate that we saw significantly, first, here in California and Republicans nationally are not reacting to them," said Jim Brulte, a former Republican leader in the California Senate.
"Romney overwhelmingly carried the white vote - 20 years ago, that would have meant an electoral landslide. Instead, he lost by 2 million votes" in the state, Brulte said.
Surprisingly, Democrats continued to make gains in the state even at a time of double-digit unemployment, with polls showing that voters are unhappy with Sacramento and Washington. And it could get worse for the GOP. Republicans are trailing in two other House races in which the vote counting continues.
It remains unclear what direction Democrats, who have close ties to public employee unions, will take with their additional clout. If they achieve the supermajority in both houses of the Legislature, Democrats can pass tax increases and override gubernatorial vetoes without any Republican support.
Let the state burn, its already collapsing. Let the stupid learn the hard way.