Third District remains bastion in county

The number of registered Republican voters continues to decline in California. Last week, the Secretary of State released the final registration numbers before Tuesday’s primary election.

Statewide, 44.4 percent or 8.4 million voters registered as Democrats. But surprisingly, the number two choice is no longer “Republican.” As of May 21, 25.5 percent of registered voters declared “No Party Preference.” This is almost 85,000 more voters than the 4.8 million selecting Republican.

The number of “No Party Preference” voters has been growing for the past 20 years. In 1998, only 12.4 percent or 1.8 million declined to choose a party. During this period, the Democratic party has remained the first choice of about 45 percent of voters.

However, Republican registered voters has fallen from 35.8 to 25.1 percent of registration.

In the last four years, total voter registration has grown from 17.7 million to 19 million, a 7.3 percent increase. The Secretary of State’s Office reported that 75.7 percent of eligible voters have registered, which “… is the highest percentage of eligible citizens registered to vote heading into a California Gubernatorial primary in the past 64 years.”

In Riverside County, 373,367 voters have registered as Democratic. Republicans number 337,550. The third-largest contingent is “No Party Preference” with 220,898 registrants. No other party has more than 35,000 registered voters.

Since the November 2016 presidential election, total Riverside County registration has declined about 35,000 voters. Both major parties have incurred a decline in registration, while the NPP has gained 6,000 voters.

Within Riverside County, the 3rd District has the fewest registered Democrats. About 62,000 of the district voters are Democrats, compared to 86,700 in the 5th District.

However, the 3rd District is home to more Republican (86,600) and NPP voters (51,200) than any of the other four districts.