Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Californians who voted back in 1978 look a lot different than the ones who vote today. That’s the gist of a new Field Poll.
The survey released today illustrates the changing face of California’s electorate. Mark DiCamillo, the Field Poll director, said, “It’s certainly not your grandmother’s population. It’s not the same voting pool. And the future will continue to show significant changes with more and more registered voters being voters of color and that probably has the biggest impact on just the backdrop of state politics.”
The survey shows that white non-Hispanic’s share of the state’s registered voter population has plunged from 83 percent to 65 percent. That decline is offset by big increases in the proportion of Latinos and Asians.
Latinos now comprise 21 percent of the state’s registered voters, while Asians now make up 8 percent.
DiCamillo also said the Republican Party has increased its share of Hispanics, blacks and Asians since 1978, but the changes have lagged.
“Democrats have become much more ethnically diverse. But there’s been much slower change taking place among Republicans,” he said. “Right now 79 percent of Republicans are white non-Hispanic and just 21 percent are ethnic voters.”
Meanwhile, the poll shows that 55 percent of Democrats and 59 percent of non-partisans are white non-Hispanic.
The state GOP chairman says broadening the party's reach has become a top priority.
Tomorrow, the Field Poll will look at how the California electorate’s opinions on social and political issues have changed in the past 30 years.