California Primary: Democrats Enjoy Voter Registration Surge

The CNN Democratic Presidential Debate between candidates Hillary Clinton (L) and Bernie Sanders got off to an acrimonious start

California has seen a surge in voter registration ahead of the June 7 primary — not only among Republicans, but even more so among Democrats and Latino voters.

“In a traditional election year, a 65% growth from the same period of last year would be remarkable. But this year we are seeing a doubling of registration growth among Latinos, and a more than 150% increase for some young voters, and a near-tripling for Democrats,” Sacramento-based political data guru and regular contributor to Capitol Weekly Paul Mitchell wrote in his latest analysis.

He said 850,000 new voters have registered between January and March; a surge he largely attributes to both positive and negative feelings about Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump.

Speaking with Sacramento-based Capitol Public Radio, Mitchell said  “At first, there was a lot of Republican registration around this primary. But as we got into the later months and the greatest conversation about Donald Trump, it seems as though there’s a reflexive turnout boom among Democrats and Latinos because of the national conversation.” He said there has been a “doubling of registration growth among Latinos, and a more than 150% increase for some young voters, and a near-tripling for Democrats.”

Mitchell pointed out that this year has seen double the number of registrants than was seen during the 2012 presidential election year. The greatest percentage of new registrants were under the age of 30 (41%), followed by those between the ages of 30-49 (32%), showing a surprising level of involvement from millennials.

He also noted that the biggest surges for voter registration came during high-profile election days like Super Tuesday. There have been a number of Democrats of “no party preference” voters who are registering in the Republican primary, either switching party loyalty, or in an attempt to vote for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) or Ohio Gov. John Kasich in order to stop Trump.

However, Mitchell said the number of individuals doing this is minute when compared to total number of eligible GOP voters.

A recent poll suggested that Cruz is nearly doubling Trump’s support among first-time Republican voters.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz.


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