CA voter rolls: Reps take bigger hit than Dems

diebold votersMarch 26, 2013

By John Seiler

Californians still are shunning political parties more than in the past. But Republicans are losing registered voters faster than Democrats. According to the new report by Secretary of State Debra Bowen:

“The percentage of California voters registered with a political party decreased from 78.9% to 77.1% since this time two years ago, according to a California Secretary of State report published today….

“In the last two years, the percentage of voters registered with the Democratic Party decreased by 0.1% and voters registered with the Republican Party decreased by 2%. The number of registered voters with no party preference has increased by more than 259,000 during the same time frame.”

The new registration numbers for Feb. 2013 are in:  Democrats 43.93 percent; Republicans 28.94 percent. No Party Preference 20.86 percent.

The news obviously is bad for Republicans, who are trying to rebuild their party under new Chairman Jim Brulte. They’re falling fast and could soon be surpassed by the No Party Preference category.

Part of the reason might be the Top Two reform, Proposition 14 from 2010, which effectively makes parties irrelevant in the primaries (except for votes for party posts, which most people don’t care about). Top Two lets voters pick any candidate, of any party or no party, in the primary. The two winners then face off in the general election.

Top Two also was supposed to hurt third parties. Curiously, most have done better on voter registration. The American Independent Party is tops with 2.64 percent of registrations, up from 2.43 percent in 2011.

Greens were down a bit, to 0.66 percent from 0.63 percent. Libertarians were up to 0.61 percent from 0.54 percent. And the Peace and Freedom Party was the same, at 0.34 percent.

Democrats didn’t benefit

Democrats also should not be too happy. They just won a major election, with President Obama trouncing Mitt Romney in California, 60 percent to 37 percent. The party also pushed through the Proposition 30 tax increase and defeated the Proposition 32 union reform measure.

The Democratic Party also conducted well-publicized voter-registration efforts at the national and state levels. Yet that effort only keep registration from falling much; it didn’t add to the rolls.

Indeed, Brulte has promised to revamp the GOP’s lackluster efforts in that area. For example, at a speech he gave before the Orange County Republican Party in February which I attended, he lamented that the party didn’t even have an online registration form.

Unless Brulte can reverse things, what seems to be happening is that voters gradually are abandoning the Republican Party, but not shifting to the Democratic camp, instead remaining aloof as independents. It’s a general trend across the country as neither party, once in power, seems able to solve the country’s endemic problems.

Especially intractable are an economic “recovery” so slow it seems like a recession, stubbornly high unemployment, schools that never seem to get better, public-employee pension liabilities that keep rising and the $17 trillion federal budget debt.

Voters want real solutions but aren’t being given them.


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  1. RT
    RT 26 March, 2013, 12:44

    The GOP in California is a mess. They have gotten in their current mess the old-fashioned way, they earned it.
    Where is the GOP on issues?
    Unless you go on a GOP website, you may have no idea. Who is the face of the GOP? I know they have one, but why are they not on TV, on the radio,and online spreading the message?
    The problem is that the GOP establishment that runs California’s GOP has no idea how to deal with the current political climate in California. They do not know how to compete against the takers and their allies. They continue to moan a little from time to time on a given issue but do little else other than fold up like a cheap lawn chair. The GOP in California needs a new framework that takes a clear stand on taxes and social programs.
    The good news for the GOP in California is that as things gets worse budget wise (and they will) they may become more popular. However, if they do not get their act together and become a force, the GOP will become much like the Green or Liberation Party, that gets the support of a few loyalists but has no ability to effect change.

    Reply this comment
  2. Mike H
    Mike H 26 March, 2013, 13:00

    I think that RT hit it out of the park. Where is the GOP on issues ? Who is the face of the GOP?
    Yes the GOP in California needs a new framework that takes a clear stand on taxes and social programs. And they need to back it up with action !!

    Reply this comment
  3. us citizen
    us citizen 26 March, 2013, 15:04

    I went to one of the GOP headquarters and asked them why they were not campaigning in CA. The answer was that they did not want to waste the money on a blue state. Excuse me! How are people suppose to find out what they stand for? Those idiots running the party are doing it to themselves.

    And why is the repub party failing? Because they continually cave into the dems on important issues. Its that simple.

    Reply this comment
  4. BobA
    BobA 26 March, 2013, 18:53

    RT, US citizen:

    The republican party is a shell of it’s former self. That’s way I abandon it in 2003. I have been a registered independent every since.

    The republican party has forgotten it’s rich history and has allowed the democrats to define them. Notice that the democrats never talks about it’s past because if minorities knew the past history of the democrat party they would never vote for a democrat again.

    Segregation, The KKK, Jim Crow laws, the Davis-Bacon act and slavery and far worse sprang forth from the democrat party. The democrats even fought civil rights legislation every time it was proposed. It took a majority republican vote to pass the civil rights legislation of the 60s.

    The republican party was originally founded as the anti-slavery party. It was the republican party that passed the 13th, 14th & 15th amendments to the constitution. It was the republican party that founded the NAACP. It was a republican president that sent troops to Arkansas to desegregate schools.

    That and much more but nary a republican today ever brings those facts up as a counter point to the claim that the republican party is racist.

    Reply this comment
  5. Bob Smith
    Bob Smith 26 March, 2013, 21:26

    It’s true that Top 2 hurts third parties, but they can’t ever be more than marginal anyway in a first past the post election system. Two dominant parties is the natural equilibrium. The real purpose of Top 2 was to kill the Republicans. Before that, they were at least on the ballot even if they lost most of the time. Now they won’t even be on the ballot in most races. Third parties have, of course, been totally eliminated from the ballot in general elections.

    Reply this comment
  6. Ted Steele, Navigator
    Ted Steele, Navigator 27 March, 2013, 16:18

    As soon as the Republicans ditch the tea party they will win again. People want to be conservative. It was astonishing to see how they lost the last 2 elections and arguably 3.

    Perception is reality in politics.

    This nation sees the tea-brewing-in-tiny-permiable-bags party as hate filled, exclusive, ignorant and dimwitted. While I know that this description does not apply to everyone in the movement, the brand still lives with the image. There is jnot a single major player in the tea party currently who does ANYthing to add value to the image of the brand. It would be funny if it were not so sad and bad for the Country.

    Reply this comment
  7. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 27 March, 2013, 19:14

    Right again, Ted. Although I’ll remain a Democrat, we need a sane opposition party with reality based proposals to compete in our political marketplace of ideas. Until the Republicans wring the tea and fundamentalist religious bigotry from their body, they will never be a viable alternative, anymore than the Randian Libertarians are.

    Reply this comment

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