For proof of the heightened polarization of American politics, one want look no additional than the latest voter registration statistics in Ventura County, compiled 60 days earlier than the upcoming midterm election.
They point out a reversal of a decades-long pattern by which voters selected to shun political events after they registered and signed up as an alternative as “no occasion choice.” Their share of the county citizens climbed from 13.7% in 2000, to 18.4% in 2010, to 24.4% in 2018.
That 2018 determine might have been the high-water mark, nonetheless. Alongside got here the divisive 2020 presidential election, and extra county voters seem to have felt a necessity to begin selecting sides. The no-party-preference share of voters dropped to 21.6% in 2020 and has now declined even additional, to twenty.7%.
Put in easy phrases, that signifies that 4 years in the past 1 out of each 4 county voters selected to not align with any political occasion. At the moment, simply 1 out of each 5 are making the identical selection.
The numbers additionally recommend that, when pressured to decide on, extra county voters are siding with Democrats. The Democratic Get together’s share of county voters has climbed 3.5 factors because the final midterm election in 2018, to 43.7%. The Republicans’ share has dropped 2 factors, to twenty-eight.2%.
By way of partisan elections, that leaves Ventura County as one thing lower than a battleground. Democratic Congresswoman Julia Brownley, who represents a lot of the county, hardly misplaced floor within the new redistricting map that added Simi Valley, the one metropolis within the county by which Republicans outnumber Democrats, to her district. Even with that change, her new district nonetheless has a virtually 15-point Democratic registration benefit. It’s an uphill climb for Republican opponent Matt Jacobs.
Brownley’s state of affairs dramatically illustrates the political change that Ventura County has undergone during the last decade. When she ran for the primary time in 2012 the district was thought of a toss-up with a slim Democratic registration edge and was focused by each main events. Ten years later, no political analyst considers the district aggressive.
The one partisan race that can happen in Ventura County that may be seen as aggressive is the forty second Meeting District, by which incumbent Democrat Jacqui Irwin is being challenged by Republican Lori Mills. Districtwide, Democrats maintain an 11-point registration benefit — however that’s solely as a result of the one-third of voters who dwell in L.A. County are overwhelmingly Democratic. The 2-thirds of voters who reside in Ventura County are narrowly divided, 37.5% Democrats, 34.3% Republicans.
One other notable shift within the Ventura County citizens has been within the age distribution. County voters are getting each youthful and older, with the share within the center dropping. Since 2016, when the state first started reporting registration by age group, the share of county voters 35 and youthful has climbed 2.5 share factors, to 29.4%. The share 66 and over has seen a 2.3-point improve, to 23.4%.
The share within the center — ages 36 to 65 — has dropped from 51% to 47.3%, with the sharpest decline within the 46-55 age group.
Demographically, that’s not a wholesome indicator of the county’s economic system, because the drop is most pronounced amongst residents of prime earnings age.
In fact, all these numbers can nonetheless shift considerably. The deadline to register for the Nov. 8 election is Oct. 24. Past that, it can nonetheless be attainable to register at a polling place, however these votes are forged conditionally and aren’t counted till eligibility might be verified. Higher to get it performed by Oct. 24.
That provides the unregistered two weeks to enroll and take part within the democratic course of. Whichever aspect you select — and, in fact, in the event you determine to decide on no aspect in any respect — you possibly can nonetheless join at registertovote.ca.gov.