Have you all been waiting for the “60 days before the election” registration report from the state of California? Is it just me?
Since May Democratic registration is up 36k, while Republicans are up 11k and independents/3rd parties are up 59k. Yes, the trend in California to independent registration is continuing. Democratic registration is down 0.06% to 43.33% and Republican registration is down 0.13% to 30.11%. Democratic registration was declining faster than Republican registration, as a percentage of the total, in 2010 and 2011, but Republican registration fell faster this year.
What should be even more of a concern is that neither party has shown a decline in registration in a Presidential election year since 1976. Both declined this year.
Let’s look at the districts that’ll be important in November.
CA-3: 2011: D+9.3% May: D+8.3% Sept: D+8.2%
John Garamendi’s district has been trending Republican, but Democratic registration declined only slighter faster than Republican registration since May. There’s enough Democratic registration edge here that Garamendi should win.
CA-7: 2011: D+0.8% May: R+0.3% Sept: D+0.8%
Well, this is unfortunate for the GOP. Since May, Democrats have added roughly 3,500 voters to their roles, while Republicans have dropped around 200. This completely reverses the entire Republican trend putting the district back where it was when it was drawn. This certainly won’t help Dan Lungren, but Republicans usually win with a slight registration disadvantage.
CA-9: 2011: D+9.5% May: D+7.3% Sept: D+9.8%
Another Northern California district that was strongly trending Republican, only to have all the GOP gains reversed. I’ve been bullish on this district for the GOP, partially due to the registration trend. I’ve had it as a toss-up, but it’s at least Lean Democratic, perhaps even Likely Democratic now. This may have saved McNerney’s skin.
CA-10: 2011: D+4.8% May: D+1.8% Sept: D+0.6%
Here’s a Northern California district that was strongly trending Republican and still is. Jeff Denham killed in June and the district is more Republicans now. Anyone thinking that Hernandez has a good shot… is wrong. [I wanted to put a bad spaceman pun there, but I’ll spare you from it.]
CA-16: 2011: D+14.9% May: D+14.5% Sept: D+14.6%
There hasn’t been a lot of change here in the last two years. In a normal district this’d be too Democratic for a Republican to win. Hispanic heavy districts tend to have lower Democratic turn-out, leaving the GOP with a shot. I don’t think it’s a good one, however.
CA-21: 2011: D+10.9% May: D+13.3% Sept: D+14.7%
This Central Valley district is turning away from Republicans at a fast pace, but many of the Democrats are also low turn-out Hispanics. I know it looks like a big difference, but this is the Central Valley, the Democrats don’t have a candidate and David Valadao is a good candidate. Eventually the Democrats should win this district.
CA-24: 2011: D+3.6% May: D+3.0% Sept: D+2.5%
Here’s a district that’s trending Republican. Considering it was so close in June the additional Republicans could make a difference for Abel Maldonado.
CA-26: 2011: D+5.6% May: D+4.5% Sept: D+4.5%
It hasn’t changed since May. Neither side has an advantage.
CA-33: 2011: 44.4%D May: 43.9%D Sept: 43.9%D
I list the Democratic percentage because for challenger Bill Bloomfield to knock off Congressmen Henry Waxman, he’ll need to win over 80% of the non-Democrats. That’s a tall order, no matter how independent he might be. Even taking 90% of Republicans would mean he’d have to grab 70% of independents. No one does that in a close race. Bloomfield would need to chip away at Waxman’s Democrats. That’d seem unlikely.
Yet Bloomfield’s hope of getting Democrats is based on that Waxman having never represented anyone south of the airport. Waxman is a Democratic icon, and fits very well with Westside progressives. The beach cities have a slight Republican lean. Democrats there lean more to families than young progressives.Bloomfield can rack up margins with Republicans on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, but he’ll have to snipe Democrats in the South Bay to have a shot.
CA-36: 2011: R+2.4% May: R+1.6% Sept: R+1.2%
The registration advantage is lessening but Republicans almost always win districts with registration advantages. This is Mary Bono Mack’s district. She’s a tough campaigner and Democrats have no history of winning outside of Palm Springs. Bono Mack might not survive the next ten years and this district should be very competitive if Bono Mack retires.
CA-39: 2011: R+8.3% May: R+7.9% Sept: R+7.8%
CA-45: 2011: R+17.1% May: R+16.9% Sept: R+16.8%
I include Ed Royce and John Campbell’s districts because Democrats have strong challengers and think they have a shot. Democrats have trouble in any district with a Republican registration advantage, let alone ones as large as this one. Both Democrats were blown out in June and will be again in November.
CA-41: 2011: D+6.6% May: D+8.3% Sept: D+3.2%
Republicans have added nearly 20,000 people to their rolls in this district. That’s remarkable, but we should remember that the GOP here is a well oiled machine and the Democrats are still waiting for their first Riverside County congressional win. The Democratic registration advantage is tiny compared to CA-3, 9, and 26 and this district has a lot of low turn-out Hispanics.
CA-47: 2011: D+10.6% May: D11.4% Sept: D+11.6%
Registration has moved a little toward the Democrats, but not enough to impact the election.
CA-52: 2011: R+3.0% May: R+3.1% Sept: R+3.1%
There really is no excuse for a Republican not winning a district with this kind of registration advantage. Republican performance in June was lackluster, however, and Scott Peters can’t be dismissed.