CalWatchDog-With their presidential primary season defined by a massive generation gap, California Democrats have braced for their state to play an outsized role in the nomination process — at a time when the growth of their party appears to be leveling off.
For decades, Democrats have trusted in demographic, cultural and economic changes to propel their advantage over Republicans. Even now, the state’s relatively few urban GOP strongholds have begun to show signs of change. In Santa Clarita, outside Los Angeles, Republicans “outnumber Democrats 43,774 to 37,273,” Southern California Public Radio noted, citing a recent report on voter registrations released by the Secretary of State’s office. “But the Democrats’ general election registrations are up 52 percent between 2000 and 2014, well over the 21 percent growth for the Republican Party for the same period. If the trend holds, registered Democrats could soon overtake Republicans in their size,” the station added.
But in recent years, Democrats have seen the floor of their political support begin to crumble even as its ceiling appeared to rise. Seven presidential elections ago, “in November of 1992, there were almost 7,410,914 Democrats in the state, out of 15.1 million registered voters. And while the number of registered voters has increased by nearly 2.2 million, the number of Democrats has only grown by less than 28,000 voters,” Southern California Public Radio noted, adding that “across California today, nearly every new voter is registering nonpartisan.”