1.5 million new voters have registered ahead of the June 7 California primary — and the rivalry between Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) appears to be a reason, as Sanders makes a last-ditch effort to keep Clinton from the nomination.
The Los Angeles County-based data firm Political Data Inc. reports: “This registration is already beyond what we saw in 2008 or 2012 pre-Primary registration. It is nearing the numbers we achieved in the last two General Elections.”
A staggering 200,000 new registrations occurred on May 16 and 17, when Facebook began urging users to vote — a move now shrouded in controversy, given reports that the company has suppressed stories from conservative news websites.
As Matthew Artz of the Bay Area News Group reports, many of the newly-registered are Democrats, and many of them are also young — both clues that point to enthusiasm for Sanders, who has done very well among younger primary voters:
Californians are registering to vote in breathtaking numbers not seen since the Reagan Revolution, as the no-holds-barred presidential primary season and tech-based outreach efforts have rousted more than 1 million people from their political slumber….
The new voters are trending young and Democratic — two groups more inspired by Bernie Sanders than Donald Trump.
“There is no precedent for this in California since 1980 in terms of the overall surge in voter registration,” said Paul Mitchell, the firm’s vice president. “The motivation to register is as much to vote against somebody as it is to vote for somebody.”
Political Data also noted that Democratic registration is up 218%, while Republican registration — cut short, perhaps, by the decision by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) earlier this month to quit the race — is up 78%. Latino registration, thought to be driven partly by reactions to Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, is up 123%.
The company also notes that registration tends to spike around major primary dates, when news reports focus on the overall presidential race.
The deadline for registration is Tuesday, May 23, except for new citizens, who have until primary day, June 7. Mail-in voting has already begun; Tuesday is also the deadline to request a mail-in ballot.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new e-book, Leadership Secrets of the Kings and Prophets: What the Bible’s Struggles Teach Us About Today, is on sale through Amazon Kindle Direct. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.