Registered Republicans decline statewide, but not locally

Interest in the November 2018 election is high. In terms of registered voters, 19.7 million Californians have registered to vote in this election. Nearly 78.2 percent of eligible voters are registered. That is almost 11 percent or 1.9 million more registered voters than for the 2014 gubernatorial election and 200,000 more registered voters than for the 2016 presidential election.

This is the highest percentage of eligible citizens registered to vote heading into a gubernatorial election since 1950, according to the Secretary of State’s office. More than 80 percent of eligible voters registered in 1996, but the total registration was still 4 million fewer voters than this year.

Since the September report, 600,000 more people registered to vote this week. Nearly half of the new registrants declared “No Party Preference.” The Democratic Party added about 200,000 more voters and the Republican party saw its total increase about 60,000 and its share of total registered voters is now 24 percent.

The number of registered Republicans has fallen 11.5 percent in 20 years and 4.1 percent in just the past four years. During these periods, no-preference voters has grown from 12.7 percent in 1998 and from 23.3 percent in 2014 to 27.5 percent this year, representing the second most popular “party” in the state.

Of the total registered voters, about one-fifth are ages 66 or older. Youth between ages 18 and 25 represent 12.7 percent of the electorate. The other age groups range from 15 to 18 percent. In Riverside County, a slightly greater percent (14.4) of registered voters are in the youngest category and seniors (ages 66 and older) are 21.5 percent.

A total of 70 percent (1 million) of eligible voters have registered in Riverside County. The total is only 16,000 more than October 2016. “No Party Preference” voters increased 40,000 from 21 percent to 24.7 percent of county voters.

Both the Democratic and Republican parties have fewer registered voters this year. The Democratic decline was 2,000 voters and the 385,000 Democrats are still the largest single number of registered party-preference voters. This year, there are nearly 22,000 fewer Republicans, although in Riverside County, they still outnumber the choice of no preference.

However, in the local state Senate District 28, Republicans have the greatest registration with 163,000 voters. Registered Democrats total 153,400 voters and 101,000 voters declined to select a party. The total of registered voters within the 28th District is about 450,000.

In contrast, the Hill’s Congressional District 36 has 323,500 registered voters of which 39 percent are Democrats and 32 percent are Republicans.

More locally, Supervisorial District 3, which Chuck Washington represents and includes all of the Hill areas, has 223,500 registered voters, more than any of the other four supervisor districts. Since September, the district has about 10,000 more voters.

Of the total voters in District 3, 87,300 are registered Republicans, the most of any supervisorial district and 40 percent of the county’s total registered Republicans.

Democrats represent 28.5 percent of the district’s registered voters; but these 63,600 voters are only one-sixth of the county’s total Democrats. “No Party Preference” voters total 58,600 (also the greatest number of the five districts), only 5,000 fewer than registered Democrats in District 3.