Much is made during presidential election periods that the state is merely an ATM machine for candidates. As a solid blue state that has not voted for a Republican for the White House since 1988, California is considered safe for whoever the Democratic nominee will be (we’re talking to you, Hillary Clinton.)
Yet, candidates from both major parties come to the Golden State for the gold – dollars for their campaign accounts.
In this coming election, however, at least on the Republican side, the race is wide open. Before GOP candidates can hit up the California ATM machine, many need to introduce themselves to California voters and donors. And that’s been happening now.
Potential Republican candidates have been making the trek to the Left Coast to meet and greet without necessarily asking for money. There have been, and are scheduled, a number of non-fundraising events.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker recently made a number of appearances in Orange and Los Angeles Counties. On Monday of next week former Texas Governor Rick Perry will be in Los Angeles and Ventura County for gatherings. Tuesday will find Florida Senator Marco Rubio speaking to Town Hall Los Angeles and a month later at the same venue Ohio Governor John Kasich will make an appearance. Ted Cruz is expected to be back in May and Rand Paul in June.
Carly Fiorina, who should need no introduction to California Republican donors after her U.S. Senate run in 2010, is expected to make the rounds here next month.
With so many potential candidates, California donors want to get to know the candidates before they decide whom to back.
So the mating ritual is in full swing. But let’s not be fooled – in the end its all about the money.