As far as the Republican primaries are concerned, California is a state that isn’t exactly on anyone’s mind right now. There’s a good few months before the candidates move to the state for the final leg of the race, but that’ll come amongst news that Republican party support in California is shrinking and shrinking fast.
The news came earlier this week, with the California Secretary of State releasing figures showing that registered Republican voters in the state have shrunk by around 400,000, which equates to around 8 percent. That isn’t to say that those voters have switched over to the Democratic side, however, as their support base in the state has stayed flat, with a growth in the number of unaffiliated voters.
The current figures show that there’s now approximately 4.76 million California voters registered as Republicans, which is compared to around 5.17 million back in 2012. Put into percentages, Republicans are now believed to comprise around 27.6 percent of voters in the state, which has seen a fall from 30.4 percent a few years back.
When it comes to individual counties, statistics show that no county in the state now has a majority of Republican party voters, which says something about the party’s falling support across the entirety of the state.
Democratic support, on the other hand, still remains higher than support for the Republican party, but hasn’t exactly grown by a noticeable amount since figures were last released. There’s currently about 7.44 million registered Democratic voters in the state, taking around 43.15 percent of the vote. The party’s lack of growth is thought to be largely attributed to the fact that the voter base isn’t growing as fast as the population.
That being said, real growth has been seen amongst California’s unaffiliated voters. There’s now around 500,000 more voters registering as independent in the state than there was in 2012. That puts around 24 percent of voters in the state identifying as having no political preference, which could mean that there’s soon more voters with no political affiliation than there are Republican party voters in the state.
This new insight into voter support bases comes a good while before the Republican primary in the state of California is held. California will be, as usual, one of the last states to hold primary elections on June 7. At that point, we should already have a good idea of which candidate is headed to secure the Republican nomination, and there’s a good chance that the leading candidate won’t exactly need support from California’s Republican base.
Either way, the Republican party is ultimately going to need votes from California come November if it wants its candidate to win the race for President of the United States. Especially if that candidate is Donald Trump, who many believe might just struggle to pick up support in metropolitan areas of California.
The state as a whole is currently very Democrat leaning, it would be fair to say. That’s especially the case when you take into consideration the state is represented by two Democratic Senators with also a Democratic Governor, Jerry Brown. With that taken into consideration, it’s no surprise that Republican support is falling in the state.
In all, the recently released figures around the fall of Republican party support in California only makes the 2016 Presidential race even more exciting. California is becoming less and a less a state that could easily swing either way and could just provide either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders with the push they need when the general election comes later this year.
It’ll be interesting to see how the shape of the Republican party changes over the course of the next few months, and what the party will do to claw back support in the state.
[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]