WALTERS: Turnout showed big changes in electorate
Published: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 5:47 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 5:47 p.m.
This wasn’t your father’s electorate, much less your grandfather’s.
California’s new electorate, derived from exit polling data, is multiracial, younger, more liberal, not very religious and less likely to be married with children.
The Field Poll
A late-blooming surge of voter registration that was largely young and Democratic hinted at the Election Day shift. It happened so late and so suddenly, thanks to a new Internet registration system, that Field and other pollsters could not adjust their survey samples.
Among its other effects, the registration surge dropped the Republican share to below 30 percent for the first time in the state’s history
The result was more-than-expected Democratic victories in key legislative and congressional races and in ballot measure contests, including passage of Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax measure.
Thus, the intensity of what happened in California this year may fade in future elections, but there’s no doubt that the long reign of older white voters is coming to an end and that voters in future elections will more closely approximate the state’s diverse socioeconomic and demographic makeup.
Dan Walters is a columnist for the Sacramento Bee.
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