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San Diego A Political Battleground

Audio

Aired 11/1/10

Several major candidates are campaigning in San Diego today in a last bid for support the day before the election. There’s a reason why all the major candidates have spent a lot of time in San Diego over the last few months.

Several major candidates are campaigning in San Diego today in a last bid for support the day before the election. There’s a reason why all the major candidates have sopent a lot of time in San Diego over the last few months.

San Diego was traditionally seen as a reliably Republican county. Back in 2002, more than 40 percent of San Diegans were registered Republicans, compared to 35 percent Democrats.

Then in the fall of 2008, Democrats overtook Republicans. They held a slim majority until this fall, when Republicans took back the lead -- but only by a few thousand votes.

San Diego political strategist Tom Shephard says, unlike counties where candidates know where the political advantage lies, San Diego is still up for grabs.

“San Diego has become, in recent years, much more of a battle ground county,” he said. “The one major population concentration in the state that is effectively a toss up, and I think we’re seeing the results of that. That both the senatorial and gubernatorial candidates are spending a good deal of time here.”

Shephard says Democrats and Republicans may still tussle for the majority of registered voters in San Diego, but the candidates are most focused on the growing group of voters who decline to state their affiliation.

The number of “decline to state” registered voters in San Diego has risen from 17 percent in 2020 to 23 percent now.

That increase mirrors the decline in the share of Republican voters - from 41 percent to 36 percent.

Meanwhile, Democrats have maintained a fairly steady 35 or 36 percent of all voters registered in San Diego County.

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