Over the past eight years, the Republican Party has gone from having about half of Orange County’s 1.5 million registered voters to just over 43 percent, according to a report from the California Secretary of State’s office.
Meanwhile, the numbers of registered Democrats and voters who decline to state a party affiliation continue to inch up.
For the record, Republican registration stands at 43.36 percent heading into the June primary. This is more than 5 percentage points less than the 48.47 percent of voters the party had in 2006, and the 49.08 percent it had in 2002.
Registered Democrats make up 32.19 percent of Orange County voters this year, according to the report, up from 29.78 percent in 2006 and about the same as the 32.09 percent they recorded in 2002.
And so-called “decline-to-state” voters now account for 20.33 percent of the county’s electorate. That’s up from 17.8 percent in 2006 and 14.60 percent in 2002.
The number of decline-to-state voters is particularly significant because both the Republican and Democratic parties will allow them to cast ballots in partisan races. With 20 percent of the total registration, independent voters could be a decisive bloc if they swing to one candidate.
The statewide numbers are as follows: Democrats, 44.6 percent; Republicans, 30.8 percent and decline to state, 20.1 percent
The figures were released in the 60-day Report of Registration, which the Secretary of State is required to file before each statewide election. 44.6 percent.
— TRACY WOOD