Republican presidential hopefuls (L-R) Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Ron Paul, former candidate Hermain Cain and Jon Huntsman, Jr. debate in the Ronald Reagan Centennial GOP Presidential Primary Candidates Debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on September 7, 2011 in Simi Valley, California.
A poll of California Republicans is something like a prison letter. This state is home to as many Republicans as any place in the U.S. -- Texas has a few more registered Republicans -- but they have precious little representation. All nine statewide offices are held by Democrats, and Democrats hold big majorities in both houses of the legislature.
A new Field Poll offers a glimpse of California Republicans and their dominant mode: frustration.
That frustration is within their own party, notably when it comes to presidential choices. They favor former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, but only narrowly over former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (26 to 23 percent).
But only 16 percent said they were very satisfied with the field of Republican candidates to take on President Obama.
One problem for California Republicans: they're not as conservative as Republicans elsewhere. Field reported that slightly less than half of this state’s Republicans classify themselves as being strongly conservative. This group narrowly favores Gingrich; more moderate Republicans remain undecided.
If Republicans in California are undecided and frustrated, they have every right to be. They are large in numbers -- but are trapped in a state and a party that doesn't represent their views.