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Purple Wave: Independent Voters Swell, Pass Republican Registration in CA

by Jeff Powers, published

It's official... independents have passed Republicans for voter registration in California.

According to Political Data Inc., No Party Preference or independent voters are now the second largest voting bloc in the Golden State.

The latest count shows that voters registered No Party Preference outnumber Republicans by about 73,000 in California. The state has about 19 million voters.

Overall Registration

According to the data, 15 days before the June primary, there were 4,844,803 NPP or independent voters, compared with 4,771,984 Republicans. Both make up about a quarter of the California electorate, trailing 8,436,493 registered Democrats, about 44.4 percent.

IVN reached out to the Secretary of State's office seeking confirmation of the numbers. Alex Padilla's office says it plans to release its own count Friday.

A spokesman for the California Republican Party said in a statement, “This isn't surprising. But, no party preference (NPP) doesn't mean voters are becoming Democrats, and we will continue to reach out to all voters. The rise in NPP suggests that voters are fed up with the status quo in California, which, by any objective measure, is Democrat control of Sacramento."

Campaigns Fumble Opportunity

As IVN has been reporting for the last few weeks, campaigns in California, particularly for Governor, have largely missed the opportunity to target and communicate directly with independent voters.

The latest Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) poll shows very clearly that none of the campaign pros spending millions in campaigns for Republican and Democratic candidates for Governor understand independent voters or see any value in learning about them.

Some of this indifference is rooted in the partisan theory that “independents don’t vote in the primary.” That is simply not the case and how can a campaign dismiss No Party Preference (NPP) voters who represent 25% of voters in California?

Early turnout numbers so far, have independents representing 17% of the total votes cast (143,000 voters):

Independents are turning up at about 2/3 the rate of partisan voters.

A remarkably high number given that both the Republican and Democratic parties are spending millions of dollars on get out the vote programs and “member communication” that’s legally restricted to voters registered to their parties.

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