Political Notebook

This heated Valley race isn’t exactly lighting up partisan voter registration

Nunes and Janz among campaign signs in north Fresno

Campaign signs for Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Tulare, and Democratic challenger Andrew Janz compete for the attention of north Fresno voters prior to the June 2018 primary.
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Campaign signs for Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Tulare, and Democratic challenger Andrew Janz compete for the attention of north Fresno voters prior to the June 2018 primary.

Despite a contest that seems hotter than a bonfire, the race between Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Tulare, and Democratic challenger Andrew Janz does not seem to be generating any major shift in partisan voter registration in the 22nd Congressional District.

Since the June primary, overall registration in the district covering part of Fresno County and all of Tulare County has grown to nearly 353,000. That’s the highest it’s been since the district boundaries were redrawn through reapportionment before the 2012 election cycle, and it’s an increase of more than 5,100 voters, or about 1.5 percent, since the primary.

But neither the Republican nor Democratic parties have been able to take any substantial registration advantage of the heightened interest in the district race. The California Secretary of State’s latest report shows that Democrats have gained fewer than 200 voters, and the Republicans – who still outnumber Democrats by more than 32,000 in the district – have lost about 815 voters since the primary.

The largest gain in registration has been among voters who decline to state a preference for any political party. The “no party preference” voters grew from 72,380 in June to 78,009 in September, a gain of more than 5,600.

In the June primary, only 121,803 voters – about 35 percent of those registered – cast ballots for the six candidates in the field.

The increased registration in the 22nd aligns with the state trend. More people than ever are registered so far for the Nov. 6 midterm election – more than 19 million – than for any other midterm in California history.

Tim Sheehan: 559-441-6319; Twitter: @TimSheehanNews.
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