Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Long Beach) told a group of more than 100 Republicans on Sunday that the coming Super Tuesday presidential primaries could provide an opportunity to boost the GOP in the South.
"It means we have a chance of making the Republican Party the majority party for the first time in several generations," said Lungren, whose district includes Seal Beach and Huntington Beach.
Lungren said the March 8 primaries, which will include all southern states as well as some others, could result in conservative Democrats turning to the GOP because they don't like their own party's leading candidates.
"What that means is, as those votes and those campaigns come upon us, we will have conservative Democrats who have never admitted to even meeting a Republican in the South joining our party by voting in our primary," Lungren said. "And those in the Democratic Party who thought the primaries would help them move their party back to the center are going to be wrong."
Lungren said that could result in a rise in support for the Republican Party in the South, "where it really hasn't been totally viable for over 100 years."
Lungren, 40, a congressman for nine years, was keynote speaker at the Orange County Coordinating Assembly and Friends summerfest and auction party held at the Santa Ana Heights estate of Khosro Khaloghi, overlooking Upper Newport Bay.