This should be highlighted. As folks undoubtedly know, California bucked the national trend in the 2010 elections. Democrats swept all the statewide offices -- governor, attorney general, treasurer, etc. -- and held on to all the Congressional seats they already occupied. Here's part of the reason:
When more people vote, progressives do better. It's still true, Tea Party or no Tea Party. Campaigns can increase turnout, though that effort is both labor and dollar intensive.