Registration edge no longer guarantees GOP victory

Nov. 11, 2012

By Chris Reed

Republican strategists for years have looked contentedly on the fast-growing Inland Empire as a future source of GOP strength, seeing all the suburban bedroom communities in San Bernardino and Riverside counties as a bulwark against Democratic strength in big cities. No more. In picking up four congressional and state legislative seats in Riverside County, Democrats underscored the increasing Latino vote in the county.

What’s more, a Riverside Press-Enterprise analysis suggests that the old rule of thumb in California politics — a GOP candidate is a lock in a district in which Republicans have more registered voters — is no longer true.

[P]reliminary precinct results suggest that Democrats received significant support from independents and some cross-over votes from Republicans.

In the county’s 31st Senate District, Democrat Richard Roth received 47 percent of the vote in precincts where registered Republicans outnumber Democrats. His Republican opponent, Jeff Miller, received 37 percent of the vote in precincts were Democrats outnumber Republicans.

In the 36th Congressional District, where Democrat Raul Ruiz defeated Rep. Mary Bono Mack, Ruiz received almost 48 percent of the vote in precincts where Republicans outnumber Democrats. Bono Mack received 43 percent of the vote in precincts where Democrats outnumber Republicans.

In San Diego, Democrats also appear to have won a congressional seat in which the GOP had a registration advantage.

This is one more bit of terrible news for California Republicans. Maybe the Mayans were right about 2012, except the doom they forecast is exclusive to one political party.

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