California GOP leaders think they have a shot at winning a statewide election next year. According to the Chron, Republicans are particularly excited about the prospects of wealthy candidates Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner, who are running for governor, and Carly Fiorina, who is preparing a campaign for the US Senate. The state GOP optimism follows predictions by the pundit class who see large Republican gains in next year’s national election. The pundits point to Obama’s allegedly shrinking poll numbers and the supposed opposition to health-care reform. But are the pundits and Republicans right? Are California and the country about to embrace the party of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Tea Baggers, and gun-toting racists? It’s possible, but is it likely?