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Never Before Have Independents Had The Power Over an Election Like They Do Right Now in California

Author: Steve Peace
Created: 10 October, 2018
Updated: 14 August, 2022
1 min read

SAN DIEGO, CALIF. - It’s simple math. The Kavanaugh confirmation has calcified partisan voters like no event in recent history.

The result? It’s all up to California’s second-largest group of voters, over 5 million NPPs. (NPP stands for “No Party Preference.”) These are voters who are saying “No to Partisan Politics” by registering independent.

Now, thanks to unprecedented polarization between the Republicans and Democrats, these NPP voters hold the keys to every statewide race.

GET THE FULL COVERAGE: 2018 California Independent Election Roundup

In particular, the US Senate race in California puts 2 Democrats, including Diane Feinstein, who played a key role in the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, against the author of California’s controversial sanctuary state law.

Then, there’s the governor’s race that some polls show a Republican closing on a Democratic front-runner once believed to be a shoe-in.


And it's possible Steve Poizner (NPP), running for insurance commissioner, could become the first independent elected statewide in California.

That we are even talking about these races borders on amazing. If any upsets this year were to occur in California, it will be the biggest political news since ... well Trump winning in 2016.

Fact is, NPP voters now outnumber Republicans in California and despite the state’s “blue” reputation, no Democrat can win without the support of NPP voters.

Steve Poizner’s consistent lead in multiple polls, in particular, suggests that being an NPP candidate is viable, if not game-changing. But regardless of how these races end, the growing base of independent voters will inject incredible uncertainty into the traditional political narrative going into 2020.