The latest tabulations from the Public Policy Institute of California demonstrate the enormous challenges facing the California Republican Party. The problem is not just that the share of Republicans has declined to 29% from 35% over the last decade, while the proportion of Democrats has remained the same (44%) and the percentage of “independents” has grown to 21% (up from 15%).
Nor is there comfort for the GOP in PPIC’s calculation that among those most likely to vote, 45% are Democrats, 32% are Republicans and 19% are independents – especially when those independents lean toward the Democrats 4-3 as compared to Republicans.
For example, here’s a PPIC nugget worth knowing:
Although 44% of the state’s adult population is non-Hispanic white and 33% is Latino, our surveys indicate that 62% of those most likely to vote are white and only 17% are Latino. Asians and blacks comprise a smaller share of both the state’s adult population (14% Asian, 6% black) and likely voters (11% Asian, 7% black). Among Democrats, 49% of likely voters are white, 25% are Latino, 12% are Asian, and 12% are black. An overwhelming majority of Republicans are white (81%); 9% are Latino, 7% are Asian, and 1% are black. Among independents, 58% are white, 15% are Latino, 17% are Asian, and 5% are black.
Independent likely voters are more likely to be men (55%) than women (45%), while Democrats are more likely to be women (57%) than men (43%). Republican likely voters are more evenly split (52% men, 48% women).
There’s lots more in the PPIC tabulations.
The more you dig, the worse it gets
Calbuzz had another question and PPIC graciously ran the crosstabs to answer it for us: Of the likely voter population, what percentage of men and women, whites, Latinos, Asians and blacks are Democrats, Republicans and independents?
This is the question that underscores the huge problem facing the California GOP.
Turns out that men who are likely to vote are fairly closely divided: 39% are Democrats, 34% are Republicans and 21% are independents. But among women, it’s not even close: 50% are Democrats, 30% are Republicans and 16% are independents.
And since party identification is the most reliable predictor of a person’s vote . . . well, you get the point.
Worse, if you look at California’s racial and ethnic strata, the GOP’s problem is compounded. Among whites, 42% are Republicans, 36% Democrats and 17% independents. That’s the good news for the GOP (except for the declining proportion of whites in California and the tendency of independents to lean Democrat).
But among Asian likely voters, 49% are Democrats, 28% are independents and 21% are Republicans. Of course, among blacks, 79% are Democrats, 14% and independents and a paltry 5% are Republicans.
The real worry for the GOP, however, is that among Latino likely voters, 65% are Democrats, 17% are Republicans and 16% are independents. This is the fastest-growing cohort in the voting population and a group among whom the California Republican party – 70% of whose members consider themselves conservative – has no chance of reaching as long as it stands against a pathway to citizenship.
If half the women and more than six in 10 Latinos say they’re Democrats, what is the GOP in California to do?
As Calbuzz has argued here and here (and plenty of other places as well), it’s time for the California Republican Party to make some serious changes. What they’re doing is further marginalizing themselves.
At this rate, won’t be long before Republicans are outnumbered by “independents.”