California is seeing a surge in voter registration ahead of the state’s June 7 presidential primary election. But it's not necessarily the way you might expect.
Throughout the presidential race and all across the country, Republican voter registration has exploded. It's a sign, perhaps, of the strong feelings provoked by GOP frontrunner Donald Trump.
But California is kind of an island, says Sacramento-based political data guru Paul Mitchell: It’s not as driven by national trends. Yes, 850,000 new voters registered between January and March – twice as many as the last presidential election year. But the party breakdown might surprise you.
“At first, there was a lot of Republican registration around this primary,“ Mitchell says. “But as we got into the later months and the greatest conversation about Donald Trump, it seems as though there’s a reflexive turnout boom among Democrats and Latinos because of the national conversation.”
Mitchell says the biggest surges came on high-profile election days like Super Tuesday. He also says the number of Democrats or “no party preference” voters re-registering to vote in the Republican primary is miniscule when compared to total number of eligible GOP voters.