CA Democrats nearly double state Republicans

 

Donald Trump CAGOPCalifornia Republicans hit a new low in statewide registration relative to Democrats, whose ranks have surged in the Golden State despite a sour public mood and a less charismatic presidential nominee than in recent election cycles. “The California Democratic Party added about 700,000 voters between January and July of this year, a 10 percent increase,” the Sacramento Bee reported, citing new data from the California Secretary of State. “The Republican Party in California added about 130,000 voters, a 3 percent increase, between January and July. The number of voters not stating a party preference rose by about 70,000, or 2 percent. The number of third-party voters fell by about 90,000, or 10 percent.”

That widened the gap between the parties to a distance not seen in over 10 years — 45 percent for Democrats to 27 percent for the GOP. And though Republicans nationwide have feared that Donald Trump’s anti-establishment campaign could de-register some party faithful, in California, at least, the upsurge in Democrats could not be attributed to switches in affiliation. “Much of the increase in party registration seems to have come from the ranks of those not already registered to vote,” the Bee noted. “Overall, the number of Californians registered to vote increased by about 825,000 between January and July to 18.1 million. That equates to 73 percent of California adults eligible to vote.”

Incumbent problems

Yet in the face of such numbers, the Trump campaign’s unpopularity in California has forced some in-state Republican incumbents into a delicate balancing act. To hedge against Trump’s high-profile spat earlier this month with the Muslim parents of Humyun Khan, an Army captain killed in the Iraq War, Rep. Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, “called Trump’s comments about Khan’s parents ‘deplorable,'” the Los Angeles Times recalled. Meanwhile, “Republican Assemblyman David Hadley of Manhattan Beach penned an opinion piece in the Daily Breeze saying he won’t vote for Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton. Both are locked in tough re-election fights and were called out by Democratic rivals to denounce Trump.”

But the Trump factor has ratcheted up the local stakes most in the race against Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove, who unseated leading Republican Rep. Dan Lungren in 2012. Bera’s challenger this year, Sacramento county sheriff Scott Jones, “stepped into the public spotlight in 2014 when he decried President Obama for the nation’s immigration problems shortly after a twice-deported Mexican national killed two police officers during a Northern California shooting rampage,” the Times noted. But his endorsement of Trump gave Bera an opportunity to hold his feet to the fire on the Khan controversy — a dynamic which has yet to let up.

Farther right

At the same time that they face pressure from the left, California Republicans have also had to contend with a small but growing alternative to their right. While some voters have simply dropped their party affiliation — the state’s 4.2 million “no preference” bloc now amounts to over 23 percent of voters, as CBS San Francisco observed — disaffected Californians on the right have pushed the American Independent registration into a commanding position in the second political tier. “Among third parties, officials said 454,946 voters are registered American Independent, 78,604 voters are registered with the Green Party, 116,628 voters are registered Libertarians and 70,695 voters are registered with the Peace and Freedom party,” according to the station. 

And the American Independents have nominated Donald Trump for president despite Trump not actively campaigning for their support. “The American Independent Party is best known for supporting segregationist George Wallace in the 1968 election where he won five states, a feat that has not been replicated by any third party candidate since,” TPM noted. Despite a periodic insistence that Trump will change California’s political dynamic to the advantage of Republicans, few analysts think the effort will help the state GOP shift its numbers toward greater support.

7 comments

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  1. Fred Mangels
    Fred Mangels 30 August, 2016, 13:08

    CW wrote, “…disaffected Californians on the right have pushed the American Independent registration into a commanding position in the second political tier.”

    Only because people mistakenly believe they’re registering “independent” when they check the American Independent box on the registration form. As CW points out, American Independents are not “independent”.

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  2. Richard Rider
    Richard Rider 30 August, 2016, 18:53

    While interesting (and discouraging) information, the author’s comments are sometimes somewhat misleading. For instance, he says that “disaffected Californians on the right have pushed the American Independent registration into a commanding position in the second political tier.”

    But the AIP registration ins May of 2012 was 477,000 — AIP voter registration has DROPPED somewhat since that time to 455,000. Moreover, as Fred Mangels points out, MOST people registered AIP mistakenly thought that they were registering “independent.” Until recently, to register independent in this state you had to check the secretive-sounding “decline to state” box. Indeed, that’s why the Wallace campaign came up with the BRILLIANT party name that they choose.

    BTW, in 2012 the Libertarian Party registration was 109,000. Today it’s up modestly to about 117,000.

    Given that since “top two” was put in place, no AIP or LP candidate (except President) can even be on the November ballot (except where only one candidate ran from one of the two major parties), it’s amazing the their registration figures have held as high as they have.

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  3. Bill - San Jose
    Bill - San Jose 31 August, 2016, 11:48

    I like that it is 2 to 1.

    When the state goes blue but only by a margin, it’ll show just how badly the blue candidate is. I hope that folks realize that the color of the avatar next to a candidate isn’t a sign of success. Vote for less taxation at all levels, at all times. Government, as we all know here in CA, is out of control and only voters can change that.

    Cheers =)

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  4. Fred Mangels
    Fred Mangels 31 August, 2016, 12:37

    Voters are what ran this state into the ground in the first place. I see no indication they’re inclined to change their ways.

    Reply this comment
  5. Wiley E. Cuyote
    Wiley E. Cuyote 31 August, 2016, 14:22

    California is irretrievably broken….

    I first voted (PROUDLY) for Reagan in 1980 and I will AGAIN proudly vote for Trump in 2016, and then exit this formerly great state for greener, rainier, pastures that are at least purple…

    We will endeavor to turn that state back to Red, but unfortunately, this toxic US culture encourages “Get yours for free” thinking and a mentality that is almost 100% opposed to that which my parents inculcated into me…

    Hasta la vista, folks…enjoy your multi-cultural stew, high taxes, hot weather, overcrowded freeways, cold, dirty beaches and everything else that California has metastasized into….not to mention the ever-growing seismic risk…

    We are OUT in 2017, and that cannot get here soon enough….

    On to the next chapter…it was a great run, but I don’t see things turning around for at least 20 years, and I’m getting old enough that I don’t want to stick around to experience it firsthand…we’ll watch from the safety of another state…..

    Good luck….

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  6. Art
    Art 31 August, 2016, 21:14

    The reason why California is turning bluer is because it has achieved a minority majority status in which 40% are Latino voters with 20% being blacks and Asians. As a result, the Republican brand is casted as being toxic because they don’t like immigrants, don’t like the poor, or is in favor of more wars. The only way that can ensure the sucess of Republicans in the future is to hedge on some issues. The message on taxes and spending can still stay on track but it does not have to adhere to ideological purity. As usual, this balance is tricky, go to the left on this issue to appease moderates you upset social conservatives. But go the right on another issue, you again upset the moderates. As California moves forward, people can only hope that this uptick of Democrats don’t vote often or else we’ll be ending up with a Democrat supermajority.

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  7. Dr. Nork
    Dr. Nork 6 September, 2016, 14:35

    The number of democrats will multiply. Subtle war is coming between the moochers and the high achieving people of color from Asia. The low IQ, high breeders want their share, free college for their inbred Peace and Conflict major(that is legit) UC bound spawn. Can t wait to see Ginsu knives slicing off the manhoods of the least deserving and feeding them to their pets. Bring new meaning to Fuzzy the cat eating Mexican tonight.

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