Monday, August 11, 2008

Voter Registration Reversals Killing California GOP In Their Own Strongholds


Between January 22 and May 19, over 400,000 new voters registered in California. 75% of them registered as Democrats. The news gets much worse for Republicans; almost all the rest registered as independents (Decline-to-State). The GOP picked up less than 15,000 of those new voters (3.6%). Nor was this all happening in San Francisco and Los Angeles. The fastest growing area of the state, the heavily Republican Inland Empire is trending away from Republicans as well. Riverside County is growing faster than any other part of the state but the GOP has lost close to 34,000 there since the last presidential election.

And in the Fresno Valley-- Fresno, Tulare, Kings, Madera, Mariposa and Merced counties-- Republicans are feeling very threatened. Four very conservative congressmen represent the Fresno Valley, two far right extremist Republicans (George Radanovich and Devin Nunes) and two Blue Dogs from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party (Dennis Cardoza and Jim Costa). McCain is likely to lose this former solidly Republican stronghold but there is no chance for any changes in Congress from the area. Although the 4 congressmen are all too right for the area, none had any primary opponents and neither the Blue Dog Cardoza nor the neo-fascist Radanovich faces an opponent in November. Nunes is certainly one of the worst representatives the state of California has ever sent to Congress-- half a step above out-and-out crooks like John Doolittle, Jerry Lewis, Dick Pombo and Gary Miller-- but he hasn't drawn effective opposition. Democrat Larry Johnson has raised $32,919 to Nunes' $961,183. And the Republican running against Blue Dog Jim Costa, James Lopez, is in even worse shape, having raised, as of June 30, nothing at all. The most important issue, in his mind, is to attack Costa for voting against Bush's highly unpopular trade policies (CAFTA)... a dead dog issue, even in an agricultural area like the Valley. Largely because f Lou Dobbs, people have a good understanding of how the Republican trade policies have helped wreck the middle class.
The GOP's decline is most obvious in Fresno County, where the losses have turned into an avalanche, even as the party gears up its efforts to keep the White House in GOP hands by electing Arizona Sen. John McCain as president.

The most recent voter registration numbers show the Democrats are closing the gap and are now fewer than 9,000 voters behind the Republicans.

At the peak in 2004, GOP registrations were ahead by more than 23,500 voters.

"We are concerned," said Fred Vanderhoof, chairman of the Fresno County Republican Party. "We're looking back, and we see they're gaining on us."

But the party seems unable to put its finger on how it lost almost 13,000 Fresno County voters in less than four years.

They acknowledge that some voters-- likely moderates younger than 35-- have migrated to the Democratic Party or have become independents, known in California as "decline-to-state" voters.
They think some fiscal conservatives also have left the party in disgust as the national debt soared under President Bush and, for most of his two terms, a Republican Congress.

At the same time, the cash-strapped state party organization has been unable to mount an aggressive registration drive to woo new voters.

Democrats most likely to gain from collapsing support for the GOP brand and for increased Democratic registration are Jerry McNerney, just north of the Fresno Valley, whose defeat was once a big GOP priority but looks more and more unlikely by the day, plus two southern California candidates, Debbie Cook and Russ Warner. Cook's and Warner's opponents, respectively Dana Rohrabacher and David Dreier, are being looked at seriously by dissatisfied voters for the first time in their careers. In fact Russ Warner's campaign just finished polling and discovered that almost 80% of respondents were unhappy with the direction of the country and two-thirds disapprove of the job Bush is doing (in a district that Bush took in 2004 with 55%). Even more encouraging is that Dreier’s favorability rating is below 50% and when participants were given unbiased info on each candidate they are in a statistical dead heat.

Florida has also had a tremendous upsurge in Democratic registrations. Since January, 2008, the Florida Democratic Party has gained 286,901 new members, including 236,214 newly registered voters and 49,575 former Republican who have switched to become Democrats. During this time, Democrats have seen huge gains in new registrations in all age and demographic groups-- 131,400 voters under the age of 35 (compared to just 63,392 who joined the GOP); 87,154 voters between 35 and 65 years old (compared to the Republicans 48,012); 49,381 new Hispanic Democrats (compared to just 19,759 Republicans); and 75,155 African Americans (compared to just 3,442 new African American Republicans). This is going to be a good year to be Annette Taddeo, Joe Garcia, Alan Grayson and Doug Tudor.

National registration figures: 27% of Americans are registered Republicans. 37% are registered Democrats. 31% of Americans are registered independents. The remaining 5% are classified as “other.” Seems to be that "independents" need some representation.

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At 9:16 AM, Blogger Cliffs Blogger Profile said...

Thank you for keep us informed with important news we will never hear in the coporate controlled media.

Keep up the great work!

Cliff -

At 12:01 AM, Blogger GOPnot4me said...

I anxiously read through hoping to see that my Congress-thing Darrel Issa was on the endangered list.

No such luck. Damn. See you in 2010 Mr. Issa.


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