Thursday, May 11, 2006

California: Dan Walters -- Independents gaining, Dems losing

California Dems can't ignore declining registration

By DAN WALTERS Sacramento Bee 11-MAY-06 -- State election officials released new voter registration data late last month and they were bad news for Democrats.
The Democrats' share of the state's 15.6 million registered voters, 42.7 percent, is 2.5 percentage points lower than it was four years ago, 4.1 percentage points lower than it was eight years ago, and 6.2 percentage points lower than it was 12 years ago. There are, in fact, about 200,000 fewer registered Democrats than in 1994, even though the number of potential voters has risen by nearly 4 million since then and the number of registered voters is up by 1.5 million..... If, however, Democrats don't staunch the hemorrhage of voters and the gap between the two parties' registration continues to narrow, someday they will simply not have enough core voters to continue their political hold _ just as General Motors saw its dominance wither _ especially if the Republican Party continues its recent drift to the middle.(Distributed by Scripps-McClatchy Western Service, more

Related article:
Dan Walters: Schwarzenegger savors good news while rivals trade invective By Dan Walters -- Bee Columnist Thursday, May 11, 2006 SAN FRANCISCO - Phil Angelides and Steve Westly, the two Democrats who aspire to the governorship, chose an inauspicious moment to stage their final face-to-face verbal confrontation - a week in which their common foe, Arnold Schwarzenegger, was wallowing in positive events that pump up his re-election prospects.Republican Schwarzenegger has spent the week crowing about a $37 billion bipartisan infrastructure bond deal in a multistop victory lap around the state, making a deal with educators on school finance that ends two years of bitter political warfare, and finalizing a new state budget that may be deficit-free, at least temporarily, thanks to billions of extra revenue dollars.
All in all, the developments give Schwarzenegger a much stronger claim on first-term achievement that he hopes will dispel the doubts of voters - especially all-important independent voters - about their 2003 decision to recall Democrat Gray Davis and install an untested movie star in the Capitol.....

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