Donald Trump might win the White House, but that won't stop a collapse of the Republican Party, according to California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.
While attending the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Newsom spoke at a Politico
event Thursday morning about the GOP's poor showing in his state.
According to Quartz
, the Republican Party represents just over a quarter of California residents, barely more than the population that has no political affiliation.
"California is the leading edge of the country's demographic changes," Jim Brulte, the GOP's California chairman, told The Washington Post
in April 2015. "Frankly, Republicans in California did not react quickly enough to them, and we have paid a horrible price."
But Newsom pointed to an issue at the core of Trump's presidential primary campaign and one with deep, polarizing roots in the Golden State.
"The Republican Party [in California] was walking dead in 1994 with Proposition 187," Newsom said, referring to a controversial ballot initiative that Republican Gov. Pete Wilson supported.
The measure prohibited illegal immigrants from obtaining state services and created a way of screening for citizenship.
"That was the end of the Republican Party," Newsom said. "What Pete Wilson did with the xenophobia and the negative attitude, all this sort of anti-crime backlash," Newsom continued, saying it was "one of the most aggressive anti-immigrant propositions in American history."
A number of court cases eventually dismantled the law before the sections deemed unenforceable were repealed in 2014.
"But it was also the time of three strikes, fear, loathing, dystopia," Newsom said, drawing parallels between "the contours of that time" and the present day.
"Even if Donald Trump's successful, it's the beginning of the end if this rhetoric persists in the Republican Party."
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