Signs Of Record Democratic Primary Turnout in California
by Todd Beeton, Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 04:43:54 PM EST
Some good news coming out of California on the voter registration front that bodes well for Democratic turnout on Tuesday.
From a California Democratic Party press release:
In the final 45 days (60 days pre-election, December 7, 2008 to the January 22, 2008 15-day cut-off) prior to Election Day, the Secretary of State's report of registration shows Democrats added 150,633 voters to bring its total to 6,749,406 or 43.0 percent of registered voters statewide.
Altogether, 244,202 voters were added to the voter rolls in this period, and the Democrats' total of 150,6377 registered is 61.7% of the total - a record for California.
In comparison, in the final 45 days of the 2004 presidential primary, Democrats added only 68,007 voters, just 46.5% of the increase of 146,129.
That is really amazing. In 2004 when Democrats could not have been more motivated to defeat George W. Bush, Democratic registration was still under 50% of new registrations. It's clear that now, not only are people excited to cast the vote for the Democrat who will succeed Bush, but they're ridiculously pumped about the Democratic candidates (and really not so much about the Republicans.) This bodes well not only for Tuesday but for November as well.
The news is bittersweet, however, for while the press release touts that 43% of California voters are now Democrats, what it manages to leave out is that it is still slightly down from 2004 and well down from 1992 when Democrats made up 48.5% of registered voters (see CA SOS website HERE.) In addition, this is the third straight presidential cycle during which the percentage of the population that is registered to vote has dropped. This may speak more to the growth of the state than the apathy of its populace but I do think it shows the state parties could be doing a far better job with voter outreach.
Another factor that portends a higher than normal Democratic turnout is that the fastest growing voter bloc in California, the Decline To State voters, who have risen to 19.3% of registered voters in the state (up an impressive 3.1% from 2004) are able to vote in the Democratic primary and not the Republican primary. As I wrote HERE, there's a question as to whether these voters actually know this or not. The key: they must REQUEST a Democratic ballot. Go to Courage Campaign's FAQ page for more.
For more coverage of the California primary, be sure to head over to calitics.