GOP Voter Dominance Shrinks in Issa’s North County District

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Republican Darrell Issa, the 49th District incumbent congressman. Photo by Chris Stone

Democrats have tripled their voter registration advantage over Republicans in San Diego County since the first of the year, according to a report released Wednesday by the county registrar of voters.

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As of Tuesday, 609,427 people were registered to vote in the region as Democrats and 501,569 as Republicans, a margin of about 108,000.

The GOP slipped in the North County congressional district represented by Republican Darrell Issa.

In the most recent report, 100,113 Republicans were registered in the 49th District, compared to 95,297 Democrats. The spread had been around 15,000 at the beginning of this year.

Issa is locked in a close race with Democrat Doug Applegate. The registration figures do not include a portion of the district that extends into Orange County.

In January, county Democrats outnumbered Republicans 490,159 to 462,417, a spread of around 28,000. The current number reflects a gain of around 119,000 for Democrats, compared to 40,000 for the GOP.

An additional 457,607 San Diegans declined to state a party affiliation.

“We’re really thrilled with the enormous surge in voter registration that we’ve seen for Democrats in the county,” Francine Busby, chairwoman of the San Diego County Democratic Party, told City News Service. “It reflects the fact that voters are identifying with Democratic values and priorities in San Diego County.”

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A local Republican Party leader did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The change was most pronounced in the makeup of the Third Supervisorial District, where incumbent Dave Roberts, a Democrat, is being challenged by Republican Kristin Gaspar, the mayor of Encinitas.

In January, the district had almost 13,000 more registered Republican voters than Democrats. Now, Democrats lead by more than 2,600, according to the registrar’s statistics.

Roberts collected just under 39 percent of the vote in the June primary election, in which Gaspar split the rest with another Republican, Escondido Mayor Sam Abed.

— City News Service

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