Robert Wright accuses me of enjoying it when Democrats get bad news. Well, here's some! Despite the Democratic lock on both houses of the California state legislature--or maybe in part because of the Democratic lock--the Democratic percentage of the state's registered voters has been steadily declining. Steve Bartin flags Dan Walters' lede in the Sacramento Bee:
State election officials released new voter registration data late last month and they were bad news for Democrats.
The Democrats' share of the state's 15.6 million registered voters, 42.7 percent, is 2.5 percentage points lower than it was four years ago, 4.1 percentage points lower than it was eight years ago, and 6.2 percentage points lower than it was 12 years ago. There are, in fact, about 200,000 fewer registered Democrats than in 1994, even though the number of potential voters has risen by nearly 4 million since then and the number of registered voters is up by 1.5 million. [Emphasis added]
Walters thinks he knows why: "[T]he slower-growing _ but very populous _ urban counties along the coast are becoming increasingly Democratic, while the faster-growing inland counties are becoming increasingly Republican." But the urban counties are mainly filling up with immigrants--and they "are either ineligible to vote, or vote only scantily." ... The real growing group of voters--jumping from 10 to 18 percent in a decade--is independents. They're a sleeping giant! ... P.S.: Or maybe not so sleeping, as the former Democratic gubernatorial frontrunner, union favorite Phil Angelides, is about to discover. ...5:53 A.M.
poll found considerable opposition to the strict measures being pressed by conservative Republicans in the House.
About 60 percent of respondents said they favored the plan proposed by some Republicans in the Senate that would permit illegal immigrants who had worked in the United States for at least two years to keep their jobs and apply for citizenship. [Emphasis added]
But the poll did not test whether voters favored enacting the legalization plan over, say, not enacting the legalization plan. It tested the plan only against something nobody is seriously proposing, mass deportation. Here's the actual poll question that produced the 60 percent result:
If you had to choose, what do you think should happen to most illegal immigrants who have lived and worked in the United States for at leat two years: They should be given a chance to keep their jobs and eventually apply for legal status OR they should be deported back to their native country. [Emphasis added]
Note also the usual benign qualifiers applied to the Times' favored policy--"chance" and "eventually." ... 1:54 P.M. link
Pssst! Bush is still has a higher favorable rating** than Kerry! And, more surprisingly, than Gore. (At least according to the NYT poll's buried lede.) ...