California Republican Party Convention: Trump, DeSantis, and More Discuss Importance of California in Upcoming Presidential Election

The California Republican Party Convention kicked off on Friday in Anaheim with a luncheon featuring former president and current GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump.[0] While Trump was expected to receive the majority of the attention, other prominent GOP candidates such as Sen. Tim Scott, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy were also scheduled to speak throughout the weekend.[0]

One of the main topics of discussion at the convention was the importance of California in the upcoming presidential election.[1] With 169 delegates at stake, a win in California would significantly boost a Republican candidate’s chances of securing the nomination.[2] A recent rule change also gives Trump an advantage, as winning more than 50% of the vote would award him all of the state’s delegates.[3]

However, despite the potential significance of California, the state’s electorate overwhelmingly rejects Trump when it comes to the general election.[2] Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 2 to 1 margin in voter registration, and Trump’s policies and personality are widely unpopular in the state.[4]

Nevertheless, Trump remains confident that the “right Republican” can carry California in the next presidential election. He invoked the names of Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon, both Republicans who were able to win the state in the past.[5]

During his speech at the convention, Trump criticized California’s Democratic leaders for their handling of issues such as sanctuary cities, border control, and crime. He suggested that the recent rise in smash-and-grab robberies and other crimes could be immediately halted if offenders were shot on sight.[6]

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis also spoke at the convention, drawing a contrast between his state and California and highlighting his successes in office.[7] DeSantis emphasized the “Florida model” as a way to reverse American decline and revive the country.[3]

Another topic of discussion at the convention was the state party’s platform.[1] Former Orange County Supervisor and state Senator John Moorlach, who is on the platform drafting committee, revealed that there has been a lot of debate and negotiation over the past couple of months. The committee eventually came up with a four-page draft document, but some party members are expressing dissatisfaction and advocating for sticking with the old platform.

It seems that there are two controversial topics being debated within the party, namely abortion and gay marriage.[6] The draft platform states a value for protecting innocent life and a desire to see the number of abortions reduced. It also supports adoption as an alternative to abortion and calls for reducing the bureaucratic burden on adoptive couples.

Overall, the California Republican Party Convention provided a platform for prominent GOP candidates to address supporters and discuss their visions for the future. While the state’s overwhelmingly Democratic electorate presents a significant challenge for Republicans, they remain hopeful that the right candidate and message can resonate with voters and potentially carry California in the next presidential election.

0. “The State of the California GOP, with Mike Madrid” Capitol Weekly, 25 Sep. 2023,

1. “California Republicans don’t care if Trump won’t debate 2024 rivals” Washington Examiner, 2 Oct. 2023,

2. “It’s amazing how the California GOP is choosing Trump over ever being relevant again | Opinion” Fresno Bee, 30 Sep. 2023,

3. “Trump animates California Republicans with calls to shoot people who rob stores” KCRA Sacramento, 30 Sep. 2023,

4. “Trump is crushing it in California. His rivals are ‘in denial.'” POLITICO, 26 Sep. 2023,

5. “Grizzly transformation: How Reagan’s red state revolution faded into Newsom’s blue bulwark” Fox News, 23 Sep. 2023,

6. “Trump blasts California leaders at Anaheim GOP Convention” Audacy, 30 Sep. 2023,

7. “Trump in Anaheim: Former president delivers keynote speech at GOP convention” FOX 11 Los Angeles, 29 Sep. 2023,

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