California Secretary of State Debra Bowen reports that California voters are abandoning both major political parties in droves–and that they are leaving the Republican Party behind even more than the Democratic Party.
The state’s 60-day report of voter registration shows that while there are about 700,000 more registered voters in the state than there were in 2010, the percentage of voters stating “no party preference” has jumped up, from 20.2% to 23.1%. Both major political parties saw declines in voter support, but Republicans fell from 30.9% to 28.2%, while Democrats declined from 44.3% to 43.4%. “Other” political parties rose from 4.6% to 5.3%.
The disaffection with both political parties is reflected in low voter turnout in the recent primary elections. It could also, however, be a sign of increasing contentment. A separate survey by the Public Policy Institute of California showed that the gap between those who think the state is heading in the right direction and those who think it is heading in the wrong direction has narrowed to within about ten points (in negative territory).
That is not a ringing endorsement of the state’s fortunes, but it is among the lowest gaps in recent years. The gap neared 50 points as recently as 2011–a dramatic improvement in voter perceptions over a short time.
Senior Editor-at-Large Joel B. Pollak edits Breitbart California and is the author of the forthcoming ebook, Wacko Birds: The Fall (and Rise) of the Tea Party, available for Amazon Kindle.
Follow Joel on Twitter: @joelpollak