WatchSonoma Watch

A one-party region

Republicans are making big gains in voter affiliation nationally, according to a report published Thursday by Gallup, but California, and especially the Bay Area, is bucking the trend in ways that could shape local legislative and congressional elections.

Gallup’s report, based on survey data, rates 10 states as solidly Republican, doubling the number rated as solidly red in 2008. Meanwhile, 12 states are rated as solidly Democratic, down from 30 in 2008.

California is still solidly blue, according to Gallup, and the latest voter registration statistics back that up. A new report from the secretary of state shows a slight registration gain over the past year for Democrats, a larger gain for independents and a continuing decline in Republican registration. Statewide, 43.6 percent of voters are registered Democrats, 30.3 percent are registered Republicans and 21.2 percent decline to state a party preference. The rest are scattered among minor parties.

The marginalization of the GOP in California is especially evident in the Bay Area, where independent voters now outnumber Republicans in five counties – Alameda, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Marin. The numbers are nearly even in Sonoma County, and also in Mendocino County.

The registration report is the first since new congressional and legislative boundaries were drawn, and two local districts are worth watching closely as California holds its first top-two primary.

In the new 2nd Congressional District, which spans the coast from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oregon border, Democrats have a 49.6 percent to 22.4 percent edge over Republicans, with 20.8 percent of voters declining to state a preference. In the new 10th Assembly District, which includes all of Marin County and much of Sonoma County, the split is 53.8 percent to 19.6 percent in favor of the Democrats with 21.5 percent declining to state.

With a crowded Democratic field, the primary vote could split, allowing a Republican to advance to the November election. But both districts could easily produce a general election featuring two Democrats.

Filing opens in about 10 days. So far, the field for the congressional seat includes Democrats Jared Huffman, Stacy Lawson, Norman Solomon, Susan Adams, Tiffany Renee and William Courtney, Republican Dan Roberts and Andy Caffrey of the Green Party. Candidates for the Assembly seat are expected to include Democrats Michael Allen, Marc Levine, H. Christian Gunderson and Alex Easton-Brown, Republican Philip Yim and independent Joseph Boswell.

– Jim Sweeney

27 Responses to “A one-party region”

  1. Fred Mangels says:

    I’m not sure Palin has any connection to Paul, Jody. I believe both Todd and Sarah said they supported Gingrich- hardly a libertarian. But Paul won’t win the nomination.

    Once Paul either loses the nomination, or drops out, you might want to consider past two- term governor of New Mexico, Gary Johnson, for your vote. He’s seeking the Libertarian Party’s nomination for president and his beliefs are along the line of Ron Paul’s.


    People commenting here are complaining of just one or two different parties to choose from. You have other choices. It would make sense to consider them if you want change.

  2. jody hampton says:

    Yes, we’ve always had a two party system, the authoritarians and the libertarians. Except for almost electing Barry Goldwater in ’64, the authoritarian party (Both Republican wing and Democratic wing) has always been in power. Although I momentarilly took a good long hard look at Weiner/Holder, it’s been pretty much Palin/Paul or not at all.

  3. BigDogatPlay says:

    California has had, legislatively, one party rule for decades. A brief period where Republicans held control of the Legislature in the 1990′s was a complete aberration to the norm.

    Couple that with us electing progressively weaker Republican governors, with an occasional Democrat thrown in, all of whom are more interested in expanding the amount of largesse the state doles out in an effort to retain and grow their own political power, and you see why California is where it is now.

    One party rule… it doesn’t work in Sonoma County, and it doesn’t work at the state level either.

    The California Republican party, which has had a series of inept leaders unable to craft a convincing message in decades, is marginalized and moribund. It promotes legislators from safely gerrymandered districts who, in large part, go along to get along once they get to Sacramento.

    As citizens it should be our job to locate,identify and support candidates who are willing to step away from the socialist induced abyss that in California’s current path. It should not matter whether those candidates are Democrats, Republicans, independents or whatever. We are on a path to ruin. Strong leadership, willing to slash unnecessary state spending to the bone… and not merely give lip service, and with the courage to look government employee unions in the eye and say ‘enough is enough’.

    Without that in a few years time we’ll be posting here lamenting how we missed our opportunity to save the state… from a computer at the library, before we go over to the soup kitchen to get our one government issued meal of the day.

  4. J.R. Wirth says:

    The Republican party in California deserves to die off because it is completely devoid of vision. The only thing they do is offer criticism of the latest idiotic idea to come from the Democrats. That’s not hard, anyone can do that. It’s a generational problem. The CA GOP is run by fossils from the 80′s like Tom McClintock (a born loser in state politics). They can only look backwards because they’re too afraid of looking forward.

    They look at this sea of Hispanics and tattooed young people across this state and instantly write them off, which is writing off about 90% of the electorate. They’re lazy country clubbers who want the trappings of office without the responsibility. All they do is sit around talking about the good ol’ days when Reagan was around. Of course the good ol’ days will always be the days when you didn’t need to pop 16 viagras to get off.

  5. sarkyfish says:

    And speaking of lack of balance: About 85% of all online commentators to PD editorials and columnists disagree with the opinion makers at this paper. One wonders if the new owners have even read this paper. What’s their business model: “we purchase for decline.” Heck, I don’t mind the looney libs. Their words are their own demise, but have the new owners ever heard of “balance” in an editorial department? It might make them a buck.

  6. J L Anderson says:

    @Chuck Becker

    Problem is it’s a full-time job trying to find a Democrat who is “least offensive.”

    Sonoma County turned some time ago from a moderate region to a liberal bubble filled with looney fringe types. Just check out some of the city councils. It’s laughable, but the harm they have done here is very real.

    So really, the choice is to find which Democrat will do the least amount of damage? No diversity of thought here, just the thundering herd being led down the primrose path to dependency.

  7. Can It Be True says:

    The North Bay is democrat in name only. There is nothing democratic about the way politics are done north of the Golden Gate.

    It is a one party state with all of the trappings of a fascist dictatorship. Opposing views are dismissed, ignored or not address and certainly not considered by the local politicans.

    Just attend one of their meetings and see how bored, condescending and dismissive they can really be whenever someone addresses them with a view they do not agree with.

    These politicans view Republicans as stupid, and automatically reject any view they might present that differs from their dogma of the politically correct, environmently correct and union approved.

    They even have, in effect, a state run newspaper that reinforces their views and supports their causes.

    Now, what is this called in most parts of the world? Dictatorship.

  8. Follower says:

    Takes one to know one.
    DEMOCRAT Senator Diane Feinstein once said that “California is un-governable”.

    She should know, HER party is why!

    Kinda hard to blame it on the Republicans… THERE AREN’T ANY!

  9. Chuck Becker says:

    The outcome of all this will be that a moderate Democrat will be elected. If Republicans have a tactical hair on their heads, they’ll realize that since they can’t get their candidate elected, they’ll actively back the least offensive Democrat. The Democratic candidate starting out with a 22% headstart is going to win.

    The objective is, as they say, the objective. Means and methods are only to get you there. If Republicans are as smart as most people think they are, they’ll make one of the Democratic candidates a part of their chorus.

  10. Skippy says:

    As long as saying YES to illegal invaders, wastrel legislators, delusional collectivists,corporate cronyism, environmental nazis, educational indoctrinators, union thugs and judicial activists is the domain of Democrats, expect Republicans to remain the party of NO.

  11. Juvenal says:

    When the Republicans become the party of something other than “No” they may attract devotees.

  12. Steve Klausner says:

    This might shake things up. What if California granted the minority political party it’s fair share? Assign presidential Electoral College votes proportionally rather than winner take all.

  13. truth in news says:

    I am just a fleck of red, and common sense, in a sea of blue. Hopefully California will come to her senses and vote republican!

  14. Graeme Wellington says:

    The only thing that matters is results. California is controlled at every level exclusively by democrats. Do you like the results?

  15. Social Dis-Ease says:

    Democrat/Republican. Left/Right.
    This ICLEI crap is what’s REALLY goin’ on folks.
    Sonoma County is on the ‘cutting edge’ of this oppressive ideology.
    Cutting through the Constitution, our Property Rights, our town’s individual voice (sovereignty), our ability to conduct business, improve our real estate, etc..
    Creating a government within a government, incentivising our officials outside the Peoples approved, accepted framework.
    That’s why this previously desireable place to live posts the numbers it does.

    This awesome place we live should have it going on, even in this economy-
    demographically and geographically.

    We want an ANSWER to THE QUESTION.

  16. sarkyfish says:

    Postscript from Sarky. Beware! If one posts a negative opinion on the PD’s daily editorial page or Cris Coursey’s Marxist blog the PD net minder promptly recycles the page and your opinion disappears. I don’t care if they’re progressive preachers, but intellectual cowardice in another matter.

  17. sarkyfish says:

    And…a one party newspaper.

  18. The Oracle says:

    Thanks to another PD gatekeeper for propping up my favorite candidate, Stacey Lawson. She has little grassroots organization and even less likely voter support, but she’s good at raising money from business interests outside the district. Again, I like Lawson better than the others; and so I’m thankful the continues to list her second based on her fundraising. We all know that’s what’s most important.

  19. Sitting By the Intersection says:

    Conservatives are as rare as Christians in Saudi Arabia in the North Bay. It was not always so. In the 1960′s the hippies and left wingers found Sonoma and Marin counties and many moved out of San Francisco for the fresh air and too tolerate residents living here.

    It’s been downhill since.

  20. GAJ says:

    They don’t call it the “Sonoma Coma” for nothing!

  21. Money Grubber says:

    Steve is absolutely correct on this one.

    BOTH parties are self serving. Period. Thats all.

    The entire government is one big playground for them to manipulate to their own advantage.

  22. Money Grubber says:

    Political party really only matters to the uninitiated and young people without observational experience.

    The problems in local, state, and federal government boil down to one thing: government is greedy, power hungry, and arrogant. The only concern it has about the American public is how to keep stealing money from the taxpayers to fund their cozy lifestyle and criminally excessive public pensions.

    Remember: government employees get to retire 17 years before the rest of you.
    THEM: age 50. You: 65.

  23. Anderson says:

    Funny how liberals always talk about diversity and minority rights, but when it comes to REAL diversity of thought and ideas, they become monolithic.

    What phonies.

  24. sarkyfish says:

    Yippee! “California is still solidly blue,…” Our road to ruin is insured.

  25. Repubs in Dem Clothing says:

    Yes, and this is also why many Republicans running for local races attempt to conceal their party identity when they run for office…even paying to be have their names put on phony “Democratic Election Guides” that feature prominent state and federal level Democrats, along with a space for anyone who wants to pay….leaving the impression those too are Democrats. Others actually switch party affiliation, or simply tell people they are really Democrats…even though they stated they were Republicans during an unsuccessful race. Funny how that is. One does the math and pretends to be something they aren’t. It means those who really are Democrats need to ensure people are aware of the Republicans in Democratic clothing….”DINO”s (Democrats in name only). A good hint is who the Democratic part endorses….be careful and double check with your local official party before buying into phonies trying to trick you into a vote.

  26. Kirstin says:

    Those statistics considered, we all know that party affiliation does not necessarily accurately ascertain whether someone really agrees with the platform/leadership of his party. Some people remain inside a party because it is a family tradition even though they don’t agree with candidates who run under that party’s flag. I.e., Democrats are not all liberal/progressive and Republicans are not all conservative — by a long shot. As for the Decline to State people, it would be really interesting to see how many of them consider themselves more conservative or liberal overall. And how many inside a party or out consider themselves moderates and don’t want much to do with either “wing”?

    And besides, just because the Democrats enjoy a sizable percentage lead over either the Republicans or the Declines does not mean that the others can be marginalized and/or ignored and repressed. We live in a republic which is governed by law and our state and U.S. constitutions. There must be respect for all.

    Furthermore, to enable the political process to work properly, we must have a free press that acts responsibly to disseminate the views of all sides. Dominant media that is clearly biased and that aligns itself too closely with the majority or the in-power politicians put in office by that majority does itself and the people a grave disservice. Only when all sides may speak and be heard can the truth come out and the people make informed decisions at the ballot box.

    We will see whether the new redistricting and new elections rules harm or help the health of our representative democracy. Perhaps if the Democrats do get a super majority in Sacramento, the party affiliations will not be so skewed in favor of the Democrats at the NEXT election. Often when one party (either/any) obtains control of both houses of the legislative branch and the executive branch, voters decide they don’t like that monopoly and break it up.

  27. Steve Klausner says:

    Let’s face it, Republicans are awful and Democrats are worthless.