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San Diego voters shift from Republican Party

 November 7, 2022 at 5:00 AM PST

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Monday, November 7th.

We take a look at what’s driving the shift away from the Republican Party..More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….


Tomorrow is election day… and there’s still time to vote!

You can cast your ballot or drop off you main in ballot at one of the more than 200 vote centers across the county.

They’re open from 8 until 5 today.

Tomorrow they’ll be open from 7 in the morning until 8 at night when the polls close.

If you plan to mail in your ballot, it must be postmarked by tomorrow.

To find the vote center closest to you, go to KPBS-DOT-ORG-SLASH-VOTER-HUB.


If you feel like the days have seemed shorter lately… you’re right.

Daylight savings time ended yesterday early in the morning.

You can expect to see roughly 10 hours of daylight each day.

And if you’re thinking, I thought we were going to stop doing this … you’re right

A push to make daylight saving time permanent was passed by the Senate earlier this year, but has been stalled in the House.

Legislative aides say they don’t expect Congress to reach an agreement before the end of the year.


Brace for some stormy weather this week.

The National Weather Service says we can expect rain, colder temperatures and gusty winds through Wednesday.

And in the mountains, it's expected to snow.

They also suggest covering your outdoor plants and bringing pets indoors during the chilly weather.


From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now. Stay with me for more of the local news you need.


It’s no secret that voter registration in the county has been trending away from the Republican Party in the last two decades.

KPBS investigative reporter Claire Trageser looked at the data to see what’s driving the shifts.

Take a look at a San Diego County voter registration map and you’ll see a county that’s become quite a bit more blue over the past two decades. And some voters who’ve left the Republican party have no problem telling you why. For Bonita resident Niki Petzoldt, it was Donald Trump’s campaign for president in 2016. Niki Petzoldt Bonita Resident “By the time it came time to vote in 2020, there was just absolutely no way I could vote for another Republican ever.” While she grew up Republican and conservative, now she votes the entire Democratic ticket. ”The entire ticket, even if I didn't know what the office was.” Petzoldt is part of a political shift in San Diego’s voter registration between 2004 and 2020. It’s transformed San Diego from a county so reliably red that it was where Ronald Reagan kicked off both his presidential campaigns to the light blue county it is today. The impacts of this sea change have been significant, says Thad Kousser, a politics professor at UC San Diego.Thad Kousser UCSD Political Scientist “We've seen this radical transformation just over the last two decades in San Diego from really a Republican stronghold to a battleground and now to an area where if you look at the county Board of Supervisors, the City Council, the legislative coalitions, Democrats have almost locked up every position.” But the move away from the Republican Party has not happened evenly across the county. Areas like Escondido, Carlsbad, Lake San Marcos and Valley Center all saw a 20% or more drop in registered Republicans between 2004 and 2020. But GOP registration actually increased in other places like El Cajon and Encinitas. California Republicans were always more moderate, with leaders like Congressman Brian Bilbray and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger – who were socially liberal and pro-environment but fiscally conservative. So the shift makes sense, Kousser says. “That's not Donald Trump. The culture wars, getting rid of reproductive choice through Roe v. Wade and pulling out of the Paris climate accords, those sorts of steps took the Republican Party sharply to the right and really too far to the right for many San Diego Republicans.” Jordan Gascon (GAS-con) is no fan of Trump … but  the executive director of the San Diego County Republican Party wants local Republicans to fight for change within the party rather than leave. Jordan Gascon San Diego Republican Party Executive Director “Staying Republican and moving the Republican Party in the direction that you want to see it I think is very important. And people should stay in the Republican Party to do that, to effect change.” Also, the data show voters fleeing today’s GOP aren’t necessarily flocking to the Democrats. Far more are becoming no party preference voters, which creates a new reality for campaigns. Ryan Clumpner, a San Diego-based campaign consultant, says the so-called independent voter used to be someone who’d checked out of politics. That’s no longer the case. Ryan Clumpner Campaign Consultant “Their affiliation as an independent is actually a reflection that they hold very specific opinions about politics, rather than that they don't want to be bothered with politics.” Clumpner says the region’s demographics and growth patterns also play a significant role. For example, areas like Mira Mesa and Mission Valley have built more dense housing in the past decade, which draws in residents who are more likely to be lower income and younger, and those voters are less likely to be Republican. “That changes the issues that they care about and how they live their lives, like their access to public transit, the proximity to jobs… In a different environment, the same voters might be behaving in a different way because they would care about different issues.”But who knows how long this new behavior will last … as experts will tell you, local politics can be like the weather – if you don’t like it, just wait awhile and it will change. CT KPBS News


In other election-related news…

No doubt by now … you’ve been inundated by political ads on every platform … from T-V to YouTube.

As KPBS reporter Alexander Nguyen tells us … businesses spent big bucks this campaign season to advance their issues.

“Only one proposition supports tribes like ours ..” On the airwaves … voters are flooded with hundreds of political ads this midterm election. San Diego State economist Miro Copic says … more than 300 million has been spent on ads for Propositions 26 and 27 … which would legalize sports betting. Prop 27 … in particular … is supported by out-of-state booking companies. Copic says a lot of money is on the line. “there's a lot of business on the line for either initiative that voters have to think about and that will either impact tribes or out-of-state gambling organizations. And that's going to be one that has significant business impact.” Locally voters will weigh in on Measures C and D … to raise the height of buildings in the Midway District and to lift the ban on project labor agreements. Copic says Both will have a significant impact on the business community. AN/KPBS


Governor Gavin Newsom is telling cities across California to “do better” with their plans to deal with homelessness.

Until they do… he’s halted state funding for those projects.

San Diego is one of the affected cities.

KPBS reporter Kitty Alvarado has reactions from San Diego’s city council president.

San Diego Council President Sean Elo-Rivera shared some good news on homelessness … San Diego housed 12,000 people who were experiencing homelessness over the past year, 12,000 that doesn’t mean moved them into shelter that means moved them into permanent housing  Then in the next breath, he gives the reason that isn’t making an impact on the streets of California’s second largest city: However in that same amount of time about 15,000 people fell into homelessness This comes on the heels of some tough news for San Diego, and every city relying on state funding to deal with homelessness: Governor Gavin Newsom has stopped payment on those grants… saying in a statement that Californians demand accountability, not status quo, and the cities’ plans collectively would only reduce homelessness by 2 percent statewide by 2024. Newsom said this approach is unacceptable … and everyone has to do better. So far the state has given over $1.5 billion dollars and the third round would dole out another billion. I think the governor’s response is the same  response that so many of us have which is that the status quo is unacceptable that we’re not making progress fast enough and in too many places we’re slipping backwards Elo-Rivera says he gets it and the city leadership is committed to solving this crisis I  think that the governor's challenge to us yesterday should be if we needed any additional motivation that should be it, that we’ve got to take a different approach to what we’re currently doing now He says the state withholding those funds will not put any of the city’s programs in jeopardy this year… but makes it more urgent to update their plans. we don’t want to see any interruptions obviously I think we can maintain continuity now while also adapting and ensuring that we make the changes necessary to make real progress And in order to make real progress, Elo-Rivera says one of the critical steps the city must take is to pass tenant protections. we are acting with urgency to stem the tide of people who are becoming homeless so that San Diegans can see some progress on this issue that is I think is having huge huge impact on our community, on our psyche as a community and is a humanitarian crisis Kitty Alvarado KPBS News 


President Joe Biden continued his visit to San Diego’s north county Friday… promoting the recently passed CHIPS and science act.

KPBS reporter Jacob Aere was there.

President Joe Biden came to Carlsbad to talk about microchip and semiconductor production…. at the headquarters of ViaSat… a broadband satellite company. He said companies like Viasat will get an economic boost from the CHIPS and science act that he signed in August. “Instead of relying on chips made overseas, that could be delayed because of the pandemic or some global disruption, now they're going to be able to have those chips available on the spot.” Biden says the act includes a historic investment of 50 billion dollars to try and surge production of American-made semiconductors and tackle supply chain issues to make more goods in the U.S. Jacob Aere, KPBS News.


Coming up.... We chat about the first U-S-A Blind Soccer National team’s tryouts that were held in Chula Vista. We’ll have that and more, just after the break.


2-hundred-50 thousand dollars in matching funds are now available to San Diego County teachers trying to pay for their classroom projects.

KPBS Education reporter M.G. Perez has more on how teachers can apply.

Any teacher within the San Diego Gas and Electric service area, who raises money for classroom projects can apply for the power company to match the money. A quarter of a million dollars is now available to supplement learning in science, technology, engineering, math…and…racial equality education. The annual campaign is funded by SD G and E shareholders. Tamara Muhammad is principal of Lemon Grove Academy Middle School…which has  received matching funds… “When our teacher can add some extra pieces…I say the ‘sprinkles’ that helps keep our children engaged and keeps them loving school. So, this is extremely helpful because it provides resources.” Applications for matching funds are being taken through DONORSCHOOSE-dot-ORG…until the money runs out. MGP KPBS News. 


The U.S. now has its first Blind Soccer National team. 

Tryouts for the team were held  in Chula Vista last week. 

Thirteen players with visual impairments and three sighted goalkeepers tried out.

KPBS videojournalist Mike Damron was at the tryouts and is here to talk to us.

Mike, thanks for being here.


That’s it for the podcast today. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening and have a great day.

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Voter registration in San Diego County has been trending away from the Republican Party over the last two decades. KPBS looks at the data to see what is driving the shift. In other news, President Joe Biden continued his visit to San Diego Friday.