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Rising number of independents could be good news for open primary

by Ryan Jaroncyk, published

For the first time, slightly over 20% of the state's registered voters are officially classified as 'Decline to State'.  Some political analysts also posit that this statistic is underreported, since those voters who check off the American Independent Party, likely consider themselves to be independents.  Democrats comprise nearly 45% of the electorate, while Republicans come in at almost 31%.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat predicts that the steady rise of independent voters across the golden state bodes well for the upcoming Top Two Open Primary initiative, which if passed, would establish an open primary system for state and congressional offices.  It writes that the open primary could generate more moderate candidates, though it forbids write-ins.

Mirroring the nationwide trend, California independents continue to increase their numbers.  Years of rancorous, ineffective partisanship have begun to wear voters thin, and more and more of them are looking for fresh alternatives and novel solutions.  As the independent percentage steadily climbs, politicians will be forced to address this crucial element of the electorate, instead of chronically catering to their narrow partisan base. 

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