As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Thursday, March 19, 2009

New Registration Numbers Show More Increases For Democrats

The latest report of registration, current up to February 2010, shows that voters have continued to register Democratic in higher numbers even since the general election. There are now 17.3 million registered voters, 74.4% of all eligible adults, and Democrats have a 2.32 million vote advantage over Republicans. By the percentages, the state consists of 44.52% Democrats, 31.14% Republicans, and 19.99% decline to state, with smaller parties rounding out the rest of the voters.

2010 is the last year before a new census and new district lines, so the district-level numbers only apply for the next election cycle. Still, a close reading makes clear where Democrats should be focusing their registration efforts and resources for the next year.

In Congress, there are two Republican-held seats where Republicans hold less than 40% of the registration share, seen as a key dividing line. Those are Dan Lungren's CA-03 (39.7% Republican-37.7% Democratic) and, surprisingly, Buck McKeon's CA-25 (39.7% Republican-39.2% Democratic), which has changed dramatically over the past few years and could be ripe for a well-funded, legitimate challenger. With only 351,421 registered voters in CA-25, there are additional non-voters waiting to be registered there to tighten up those numbers even further. CA-19 also has a shortfall of voters which could lead to a tightening of the rolls.

In the State Senate, the only even-numbered seat (the ones up for election in 2010) that deserves a focus is SD-12, where Jeff Denham is termed out. There are 47.5% registered Democrats and 33.1% registered Republicans. Democrats in that region are fairly conservative, and so there may not be a progressive coming out of that district, but there's no reason on Earth why Democrats shouldn't own that seat. Especially since there may be 100,000 unregistered voters out there.

As for the Assembly, the numbers look good in AD-05, AD-26 (Dems have a 42-39 lead in registration), AD-30 and AD-36, with a few other marginal possibilities based solely on the voter reg. numbers (AD-38, AD-63, AD-64, and AD-65 come to mind). There is absolutely a path to pick up three seats and a 2/3 majority in the Assembly, if the net is cast wide enough.

Of course, oftentimes Democratic officials focus too much, in my view, on voter registration statistics, and shoudl recruit good candidates and give them the resources they need to compete instead. But in this off-year, registration stats offer an opportunity to determine where to target. You can dig through them yourself at the Secretary of State's page.

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