California’s zany voters

April 23, 2012

By Brian Calle

Disillusionment with the two dominant political parties in California should come as no surprise given the economic malaise, massive regulatory bureaucracy and climbing unemployment numbers plaguing the state.

“Decline to state” voters now make up one in five of all registered voters in the Golden State according to a report released by the Secretary of State in January. In fact, “decline to state” voter registrations continue to grow while Democrats and Republicans have seen drops in voter registrations over the last year.

This new trend in California, coupled with the new top-two primary system, may lend itself to the election of candidates not affiliated with either major political party. As the Sacramento Bee notes there are “36 candidates with ‘no party preference’ running for state and federal office in California this year.”

While voters are rightfully disenchanted with the Republican and Democratic parties in California, some of the candidates running without traditional party affiliations have their own baggage.

For example, former Republican Assemblyman Anthony Adams, one of the few Republican legislators persuaded by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to vote for massive tax increases, is now running for California’s 8th congressional district without a partisan label.

California’s electorate is unpredictable, if not altogether zany, so it’s perfectly feasible that a few “decline to state” or other third party candidates could be elected to office this November. It serves Democrats and Republicans right to lose elected seats in California but the jury is still out as to whether or not these  so-called non-partisan alternatives would be any better.

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