Fed-up California voters relegate GOP to third-party status

Congressman Steve Knight

More Californians are now "No Party Preference" than part of the Republican Party. Democrats are still the largest political party in the state.

Californians are increasingly rejecting identifying with the the GOP and its extreme politics, according to recent voter registration totals that relegate the party of Reagan and Nixon to third-party status.

“Political Data Inc., which compiles figures from county election offices, reported this week that 4.84 million of California’s 19 million voters declared they had no party preference while 4.77 million had registered as Republican at the close of registration for the June 5 primary,” reports Mercury News.

Democrats, meanwhile, remain the dominant political party, with 8.44 million registered Californians.

Californians rejecting the Republican Party has been a trend for quite some time. According to Politico, “The ranks of Republican voters have disintegrated by 10 percentage points since 1998, when they made up 35 percent of the voter rolls.”

When it comes to why Californians are fleeing the GOP, one Republican shared some candid thoughts. “The CA GOP has eroded its appeal as a so-called ‘big tent’ party by cowardly catering to the extreme fringe of the party while ignoring the demographic realities of an evolving population that believes in climate change, women’s right to choose, gay marriage, legalization of marijuana, common-sense gun reform and comprehensive immigration reform,” said Kurt Bardella, former spokesman to Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Vista).

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) has been out in front when it comes to embracing the fringe of the Republican Party. In addition to his consistent racist and discriminatory rhetoric, Rohrabacher vehemently defends Russia, going so far as to call American intelligence officers “liars.

Congresswoman Mimi Walters’ (R-Irvine) extreme voting record is radically out of touch with the voters in her district. Her steadfast allegiance to Trump, who has a paltry 30 percent approval rating in California, may also be causing consternation among her constituents.

Now vulnerable California Republicans are seeing voter registration gaps tighten in some key congressional districts.

In 2012, Congressman Steve Knight’s northern Los Angeles County district had a 5-point Republican advantage, leading up to his election to Congress two years later. Since 2012, however, Democrats have not only closed that gap but have now overtaken Republicans, enjoying a 3-point registration advantage in February, before the latest data was released.

In Orange County, both Walters and Rohrabacher face a shrinking Republican base, with Democrats gaining ground.

Only 14 of California’s 53 congressional representatives are Republicans. Democrats are hoping to shrink that number after November, and voter registration numbers show Californians may be leaning that way too.