In an article last week, I argued that an endorsement for governor at the state GOP convention could have a serious impact on the entire party strategy in November. But there was no endorsement for either businessman John Cox or Assemblyman Travis Allen, thus no impact on that race and possibly down ticket races if the lack of a Republican at the top of the ticket means Republican voters will not bother to vote.

You have to assume one happy camper is Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa who still hopes to take the second spot in the top two primary with the wind of Independent Expenditure money filling his sails.

The lack of an endorsed GOP candidate and the IE money gives some momentum to Villaraigosa’s quest, with the big donations having the potential to separate him from another Democratic candidate who eyes that number two spot, Treasurer, John Chiang.

The larger question coming out of the convention is how relevant the Republicans will be in the coming election in which a number of observers project a Democratic wave. In fact, Republican congresswoman Mimi Walters, one of the GOP members targeted by the Democrats, even told the reporters at the convention, “You see an energy and an enthusiasm on the left that I have not seen as a 22-year elected official.”

Republicans hope to ride the issues of gas tax repeal and resistance to the state’s sanctuary laws to connect with the voters.

The Republicans do have issues that they can use if they couple the state’s problems with solutions. The GOP must not rely on just a strategy of repeals.

The Republican playbook can focus on California becoming a state of the rich and the poor but abandoning the middle class. Silicon Valley and Hollywood players can afford the taxes and offer support for policies that make it harder for manufacturer workers to maintain jobs. Housing costs are prohibitive for most. So the middle class worker leaves as many Californians have over the last decade with out domestic migration topping a million residents more than incoming domestic migrants, many who fall in the rich and poor camps. As this happens, Republican support craters.

Republicans also can rally around crime and tax issues, which worked before for them, as I wrote about for the Hoover Institution Eureka website last year.

Democratic infighting as the center-left battles the extreme left could also benefit Republicans.

But the GOP must show unity of purpose and unity of support for solutions to compel voters. Yet, without an endorsement for a gubernatorial candidate the attempt at one aspect of a united front did not come to pass and could prove costly.