California

See the California cities where Republicans, Democrats are gaining – and losing – voters

California democrats tell us their favorite presidential candidates and why

Californians who attended the democratic convention share their favorite presidential candidates for the 2020 election at Moscone Center in San Francisco on Saturday, June 1, 2019.
Up Next
Californians who attended the democratic convention share their favorite presidential candidates for the 2020 election at Moscone Center in San Francisco on Saturday, June 1, 2019.

The political makeup of California’s cities has changed dramatically in the last decade: Far more residents decline to state a party preference and fewer identify as Republicans..

Among the roughly 300 California cities with at least 10,000 registered voters, the number of voters declining to state a party preference grew by about 1.8 million, or 64 percent, from 2009 to 2019, according to the California Secretary of State.

Republicans were hit hard by the shift. The proportion of voters registered as Republicans dropped in all of the state’s 300 largest cities. All told, Republican registration in those cities dropped from about 29.4 percent of the electorate in 2009 to 21.7 percent of the electorate in 2019. That translates to about 560,000 fewer Republicans.

The largest percentage point drops in Republican registration mostly took place in towns in the Inland Empire and in Orange County.

The proportion of voters registered as Democrats dropped in about 210 of the state’s 300 largest cities. All told, Democratic registration in those 300 cities dropped slightly, going from 45.7 percent of the electorate in 2009 to 44.5 percent of the electorate in 2019. Because of population growth and increased voter registration, the number of Democrats statewide grew by about 845,000 during that period.



Democrats also gained ground in several cities, including several in Riverside and Orange counties where Republicans lost the most ground.

But the biggest growth, by far, came among voters declining to state a party preference. About 70 of the state’s largest cities saw the proportion of No Party Preference voters rise by at least 10 percentage points.

In the Sacramento region, Republicans lost the most ground in Folsom and Rocklin, where Republican registration fell by about 10 percentage points from 2009 to 2019. Democrats lost the most ground in Galt and West Sacramento, where Democratic registration fell by about 5 percentage points. And the biggest growth among voters declining to state a party preference occurred in West Sacramento, Woodland and Elk Grove, where no party preference voters gained between 8.5 and 10 percentage points.

In the city of Sacramento, Republican registration fell by 5 percentage points (20% to 15%) from 2009 to 2019; Democrats lost 4 percentage points (55% to 51%) and no party preference voters gained 8 percentage points (20% to 28%).

Phillip Reese is a data specialist at The Sacramento Bee and an assistant professor of journalism at Sacramento State. His journalism has won the George Polk and Worth Bingham awards, and he was a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting.
  Comments