1962 was when he switched, ended his acting career the same time, he was lobbied to move to GOP. He got lucky in 1966 against the sitting governor, Edmund Brown, the current CA gov's dad. Brown was extremely popular, knocked off Nixon in 1962 but the Watts riots of 1965 and Brown out of the country on vacation at the time started his downfall, he was going for a 3rd term against RR.<quoted text>
He at one time was a democrat. I know because he was asked one time about it. Paraphrasing his words he said "I never left the democrat party it left me." I can't really remember when he was a democrat but I thought it was when he ran for governor of California or President the first time and lost. I nay be wrong about when he was a democrat but like I said at one time he was.
Reagan ran on law and order and had difficulty the law was overworked with riots and anti war protesters as well, he had a rough time as governor, esp the first term.