Over the weekend state Democrats wrapped up their annual convention with a much anticipated endorsement of Attorney General Kamala Harris over her opponent Rep. Loretta Sanchez of Orange County for U.S. Senate.
And while many paint a rosy picture of the party’s future -- Democrats have for some time held every statewide office and controlled the state Legislature -- registration numbers tell a different story. Democrats are struggling to attract new voters and young talent to the party.
Until this election, disenchanted Democrats have had nowhere to turn, but perhaps thanks to so many young people “feeling the Bern” of this election, that playing field could be widening. By comparison to the California Republican party, which has largely imploded since the state broke its Republican streak by nominating Bill Clinton in 1992, the Democrats haven’t looked too bad.
But in November of 1992, there were almost 7,410,914 Democrats in the state, out of 15.1 million registered voters. And while the number of registered voters has increased by nearly 2.2 million, the number of Democrats has only grown by less than 28,000 voters. And across California today, nearly every new voter is registering nonpartisan.
We look at what that future could mean for both parties.
Paul Mitchell, owner of Redistricting Partners, and Vice President of Political Data Inc. a company that analyzes voter file information for campaigns and others