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.

Related Articles

People I don’t want to hear from in 2013

Jan. 1, 2012 By Katy Grimes As I was reflecting back on 2012 last evening right before midnight, I realized

Senate leader’s endorsement of Prop. 63 ammo measure lacks backstory

When Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de Leon endorsed Proposition 63 last week, he didn’t mention the endorsement was conditional.

Prop. 30: If it fails, then it holds teacher pay hostage, not kids

Oct. 30, 2012 By Chris Reed Proposition 30’s fading poll prospects have led to redoubled efforts by Gov. Jerry Brown