See where Republican Party is shrinking fastest in California

The Sacramento BeeMay 29, 2014 

Former President Ronald Reagan, left, shakes hands with then-California Gov. George Deukmejian in 1989 at Reagan's private office in Century City.

BILL HORMELL — United Press International file, 1989

California Republicans are struggling this year to find a candidate who can beat Gov. Jerry Brown, state polls show. That's partly due to Brown's popularity and partly due to the shrinking proportion of the state's voters registered as Republicans.

About 28.6% of the state's voters are registered as Republicans, down from 35.7% a decade ago, according to the latest figures from the California Secretary of State. The proportion of voters registered as Democrats -- 43.5% -- has fluctuated during that period but today stands equal to where it was in 2004.

The percentage of voters declining to state a party preference -- 21.1% -- has grown significantly. If the trends of the next decade mirror the last, "no party preference" voters will outnumber Republicans in California by 2024.

Traditionally Democratic areas like San Francisco and Marin counties saw the largest proportional drop in Republican voters. No county in the state is now majority Republican.

See The Sacramento Bee's map of the change

The reporter can be reached at preese@sacbee.com.

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