For the first time, California’s voter registration figures show independent voters surpassing Republicans, the culmination of a trend that has been building for decades.
Updated numbers from California’s 58 counties showed decline-to-state voters, those who don’t disclose a party preference, had reached 25.5% in the weeks before the June 5 election. Republican registration, meanwhile, was put at 25.1%.
Democrats comprised 44.4 percent of registered voters.
The figures were collected by Political Data, Inc., a campaign information firm that markets election data to candidates in both major parties. The company has been tracking the registration numbers.
The latest statewide total of registered voters was put at 19,007,806, a figure that includes the two major parties, independents and minor parties. There are about 25.1 million people eligible to vote in California; millions, however, do not register.
“This isn’t surprising. Voters have been becoming more and more independent for years. But no party preference doesn’t mean voters are becoming Democrats, and we will continue to reach out to all voters. The rise in NPP suggests that voters are fed up with the status quo in CA, which, by any objective measure, is Democrat control of Sacramento,” Matt Fleming, communications director for the state GOP, wrote in an email.
There was no immediate confirmation by the state’s election officer, which is scheduled to release the official figures on Friday.
“We are still analyzing this historic shift, but it is likely that the final push came from the new process of registration from the DMV, in which a high rate of voters are registering to vote with no party preference,” said Paul Mitchell, the vice president of Political Data.
During the past 20 years, decline-to-state registration has more than doubled, from 12.2% in 1998 to 25.;5 percent currently.
Republican registration has dropped to just over 25 percent this year from 35.9% in 1998. Democratic registration has dropped, too — from 46.8% in 1998 to 44.6 percent through April.