Democrats seeking to register more Latino voters
The state party fired off a breathless announcement on Friday saying that the Democrats will “take the fight into one of the GOP’s final remaining strongholds in California: the Inland Empire.”
“Part of the reason the Inland Empire has traditionally been so hostile to Democrats is that, for so long, people have only been hearing about Democrats from what Republicans say,” party field director Christopher Guerrero said in the announcement.
Never mind that Democrats already hold a slight edge in voter registration in San Bernardino County as of February — with 38.9% of registered voters compared with the GOP’s 38.2%. In Riverside County, the GOP holds the lead, 41.6% to the Democrats’ 36.4%, state election figures show.
Ken Minesinger, chairman of the Riverside County GOP, said that unlike the Democrats, the Republican Party is well-established in the Inland Empire, which offers his party a clear advantage.
“What they don’t have is an extremely active and strong party organization. We have a very deep bench and farm team,” he said. “We also have a very deep and active donor base. Democrats don’t have that.”
The Riverside County GOP plans to launch an aggressive voter registration drive this year, focusing on the Riverside, Moreno Valley and Perris areas, where Democrats hold a slight edge in registration in newly drawn congressional and assembly seats, Minesinger said.
Clearly, the Democrats hope to take advantage of the enormous growth of Latinos, a group that in the past has swayed toward the Democratic Party. The 2010 Census showed that Riverside County’s population was 46% Latino, up from 36% a decade ago. San Bernardino County was 49% Latino, compared to 39% a decade ago.