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East County News Service

June 1, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) - California, the state that once vaulted Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon into the White House, now has fewer registered Republicans than voters who decline to state a party affiliation.

As of last week, 44.6 percent of California’s voters are Democrats, 25.5% percent are no-party-preference voters, and 25.1% are Republicans, Politico reports.  That’s a 10% fall in Republican registrations over the past 20 years.

Despite Donald Trump’s rise to power at the national level, California voted overwhelmingly Democratic in recent elections, rejecting not only Trump, but putting Democrats in control of every statewide office such as Governor, Attorney General and Secretary of State, as well as both houses of the Legislature.

Part of the rise in no-party-preference may be attributed to auto-registration of new voters with an option to choose a political party later on.

But Democrats still have the lion’s share of voters, so part of the fall in GOP registrations may also be attributed to voter disillusionment with Republican policies such as hardline positions on immigration in our ethnically diverse state, and the Republican party’s opposition to addressing climate change, in the state that gave rise to Earth Day and a green economy.

For the GOP, the future challenge will be how to attract new voters who may hold more progressive values, without alienating their core conservative base – a daunting prospect in California.

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