A statistical snapshot of California's primary
California has more than 17 million registered voters and 21,993 places to cast a ballot in Tuesday’s primary. Across the state there are 604 certified federal and state candidates competing for 154 seats in the California Legislature and the U.S. Congress.
But none of those statistics from the California secretary of state’s office are likely to quicken the pulse of the average Golden State voter. A new Field Poll estimates that Tuesday will see voter turnout hit a record low for a primary in a presidential election year.
The poll predicts that under 6 million Californians will cast ballots, about 35% of registered voters. Four years ago, nearly 58% of registered voters participated in the primary.
The last record low was 41.9% in 1996.
State statistics suggest voters are less willing to claim membership in either the Democratic or Republican party. Democrats have continued their slide from 47% of registered voters in 1996 to 43.4% this year. Republicans have fallen even more steeply in the same time period, from 37% to 30.2%.
Meanwhile, voters who don’t claim a party affiliation increased from 10.7% in 1996 to 21.3% this year.
Photo: Voters casting ballots in Venice in 2010. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times