Fresno County Democrats are continuing to lead rival Republicans in signing up new voters, data released Friday by the Secretary of State's Office shows.
The new voter registration numbers -- the last that will be released before Tuesday's election -- show there are 6,396 more Democrats than Republicans in Fresno County.
In raw numbers, it is 164,663 Democrats to 158,267 Republicans.
Last month, the Democrats led by 2,635, and in May, it was 2,700.
Also showing significant growth was the roll of voters who are declining to join a political party, or are registered with one that isn't recognized by the state, such as the once-relevant Reform Party.
In May, these people with "no party preference" were at 61,869. Last month, it was 62,311. And now, it is 67,417.
The latest numbers mark a continuing reversal of fortune for the local GOP. In 2000, Republicans in Fresno County overtook Democrats in voter registration totals for the first time in anyone's memory. That lead peaked in 2004 with a GOP advantage of more than 24,000 voters.
But by the middle of 2010, Democrats had retaken the lead. They haven't relinquished it since.
The city of Fresno also remains solidly Democratic, with 21,350 more registered voters than Republicans.
While Republicans lag in Fresno County, they are continuing their domination of rival Democrats in the rest of the central San Joaquin Valley -- Tulare, Kings and Madera counties.
As for the local congressional races, Democrats are dominating voter registration in the two west-side districts -- the 16th, where Fresno Democrat Jim Costa is seeking reelection, and the 21st, which is an open seat featuring a battle between Republican Assembly Member David Valadao and Fresno Democrat John Hernandez.
At the same time, Republican voters rule in the east-side districts currently held by GOP incumbents Devin Nunes, Kevin McCarthy and Tom McClintock.
Of particular interest is the Hernandez-Valadao clash, because political prognosticators have dubbed Valadao the clear favorite even though Republicans lag in registration. Hernandez has vowed to get Democrats to the polls.
The registration numbers are through Oct. 22.
-- John Ellis
Valley has presidential fundraising split
President Barack Obama has attracted more Valley donors for his reelection campaign than Republican Mitt Romney.
But when it comes to the local cash haul, Romney rules.
Take Fresno, for instance. Obama had 2,214 donors with Fresno mailing addresses, while Romney had just 696. But those 696 donors gave Romney $438,050, while Obama's more than 2,200 contributed $223,716.
The average per donor: $629.38 for Romney, $101 for Obama.
Across the region, it is a similar story -- Exeter, Visalia, Kingsburg, Hanford, Madera and Merced mailing addresses all show more Obama donors, but more total money for Romney.
It even holds true in a Republican stronghold like Clovis, where Obama had 455 donors to Romney's 259, but Romney raised $135,107 to Obama's $42,700.
Given Romney's local high-dollar fundraisers, this is hardly surprising. The biggest came in May, when Romney raked in more than $1 million at the Sanger-area home of prominent west-side rancher John Harris and his wife, Carole.
Obama, by comparison, has never held a Valley fundraiser. His campaign donations came from local people who sent a check. The only exception: if a local wealthy Democrat gave at one of Obama's Los Angeles or Bay Area fundraisers.
-- John Ellis
Will cash be difference for Whalen, Bigelow?