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New California registration numbers show GOP shrinkage

May 30, 2008 |  7:57 pm

The surge in the ranks of affiliated Democrats seen of late in several other states is not evident in California, at least when the current numbers of party members is compared to four years ago. Still, the party posted an increase over that period -- unlike the state's GOP.

Indeed, updated voter registration figures released today by Secretary of State Debra Bowen's office underscore the challenge faced by presumptive Republican presidential candidate John McCain in trying to wage a competitive fight for California's 55 electoral votes -- his party's base is shrinking.

The registration report shows that in February, 2004, Republicans accounted for 35.55% of the voters on the state's roll. Now -- 32.53% (i.e., less than a third).

The tally for Democrats rose from 43.20% four years ago to 43.75% now. Party officials can be expected to revel in having acheived a double-digit percentage point edge over the Republicans.

In raw numbers, Democrats total ...

7,053,860 in the Golden State; Republicans 5,244,394.

Overall, 16,123,787 Californians are registered to vote. And the big uptick in terms of affiliation over the last four years has been in ... unaffiliated.

The "decline to state" category (commonly termed independents) has grown from 16.34% of the total four years ago to 19.40% now. Note that the increase almost exactly mirrors the decrease in Republicans.

The complete report, which contains the figures for minor parties and more historical data, can be studied here.

-- Don Frederick