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California Democratic, Republican Voter Registrations Decline Sharply Post-Election


Californians who have registered to vote since the November election are increasingly turning away from both the Democratic and Republican parties.

There's been “a 10-point drop for both Democratic and Republican registrations,” says Paul Mitchell, who tracks voter activity for consulting firm Political Data, Inc.

Nearly half (48 percent) of the Californians who’ve registered in the last few months are either picking minor parties like Green or Libertarian or, more likely, registering as “No Party Preference.”

“They feel like they want to register to vote because that’s an obligation, but they want to disengage from the really polarized partisanship in this country,“ Mitchell says. “So one way of doing that that’s kind of a passive act is to (say), when you register: ‘I’m just not gonna register with one of the parties; I’m gonna kind of check out.’”

The 48 percent rate is up sharply from the 29 percent of Californians overall who are registered with a third party or without party preference.

Although total Democratic registration stands at 45 percent, just 35 percent of post-election registrants have picked the party. And GOP registration is coming in at 16 percent – down from 26 percent overall.

Mitchell says this trend has become typical in California during non-election years over the last couple decades.

Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio 

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