‘No Party Preference’ gains in CA voter registrations
“No Party Preference” continues its gradual rise in voter registrations according to new data released today by California Secretary of State Debra Bowen.
As of Dec. 31, 2013, registration was:
- Democratic: 43.6 percent, down from 46.8 percent in 1997;
- Republican: 28.7 percent, down from 36.2 percent in 1997;
- No Party Preference: 20.9 percent, up from 11.9 percent in 1997;
- Other parties: 6.8 percent, up from 5.1 percent in 1997.
The most dramatic change was the increase in No Party Preference, which nearly doubled in the 16-year period. And most of that increase came out of Republicans.
No Party Preference now is just 7.8 percentage points below Republican registration.
However, the dramatic increase in No Party Preference has slowed somewhat in recent years, rising to 20.9 percent in 2013 from 20.2 percent in 2010, or 0.23 percentage points per year.
Moreover, with new Republican Party Chairman Jim Brulte now emphasizing a “ground game” of registering more GOP voters and reaching out to Hispanics, African Americans and Asians, the Republican slide could be halted, or even reversed. As Joel B. Pollak noted of Republican Kevin Faulconer’s victory for San Diego mayor:
“Ground game, for the win. The unions helped [Democrat David] Alvarez outspend Faulconer, and it was presumed by many that the cash would go into building an unstoppable ground game for the Democrat. But it was the GOP that turned in the superior performance, using motivated volunteers to make sure the next mayor after Filner would not be a close ally from the same party. The time to build that machine is now–not 2016.”
Another factor was cited by Scott Lewis in Voice of San Diego:
“political science professor Vladimir Kogan … compared voter data from November 2012′s election to the one last week.
“According to Kogan’s analysis, 64 percent of voters who supported President Obama in San Diego in 2012 did not come out to vote in the special 2014 runoff election for mayor last week. In the same analysis, only 23 percent of people who supported Mitt Romney failed to vote in this special election.
“And that’s at the heart of Alvarez’s loss. The coalition behind Alvarez spent millions trying to avoid this and failed.”
It’s as old as the Jefferson-Adams presidential campaign of 1800: get-out-the vote campaigns usually are the key to victory.
Other highlights from the Secretary of State’s report, comparing this snapshot of voters today with those four years ago at the beginning of the last gubernatorial election:
- The total voter registration in the state increased from 16,909,574 to 17,660,257, or 4.4 percent. The increase is keeping pace with the state’s increase in population, which is about 1 percent per year.
- The percentage of the total number of registered voters compared to the number of people who are eligible to register to vote increased from 72.6 percent to 73.4 percent.
- The percentage of people registered with a qualified political party decreased from 79.1 percent to 76.7 percent.
Not surprisingly, the top county for Democratic registration is San Francisco at 56.4 percent (home of Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi), followed by Alameda 56.2 percent, Santa Cruz 54.6, Marin 54.3 (home of Democratic U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer), Sonoma 51.8 percent and Monterey 51.1 percent.
Top Republican registration countries are Modoc 49.1 percent, Lassen 47.9 percent, Placer 46.7 percent and Shasta 46.2 percent. Curiously, Orange County didn’t make the top 10. It’s GOP registration now is only 41.3 percent, compared to 31.6 percent Democratic and 22.7 percent No Party Preference.
The GOP’s lowest registration was in San Francisco, at 8.6 percent.
No Party Preference scored the highest in San Francisco at 30.5 percent, Santa Clara 28 percent, San Diego 26.3 percent and San Mateo 26.1 percent.
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