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June 2016 Election Analysis (May 2016)

Monday, May 9, 2016

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SAN DIEGO - With early voting beginning today in the June 7th presidential primary election, the National University System Institute for Policy Research (NUSIPR) took a closer look at the local races and voter dynamics to watch for this election cycle in San Diego County. Using data from the San Diego Registrar of Voters and Political Data Inc., NUSIPR made a number of key findings:

Key Findings

·         More than half (50-53%) of all registered voters countywide will cast a ballot. High interest and enthusiasm in the presidential race, combined with local competitive races, will raise turnout on Election Day.

·         Voter registration has soared since January 1st. These new voters are decidedly younger, more diverse, and more Democratic-leaning than the overall San Diego electorate.

·         New registrants may be a wild card in the San Diego City Attorney race. The roughly 57,000+ new San Diego City voters may play a deciding factor in the San Diego City Attorney race if the margin of vote between Attorney Gil Cabrera and Port Commissioner Rafael Castellanos is close.

·         Most of the key races this election cycle are located in the City of San Diego. NUSIPR is tracking half a dozen major local races which may require a November runoff election between the top two vote-getters.

·          More than 50% of ballots will be cast absentee this election cycle. With younger voters and new voters comprising a larger share of the voting electorate, the rate of early voting will be significantly lower than in prior election cycles (65-73%).

“The presidential race is casting a shadow over local elections, despite the high probability that both the Democratic and Republican presidential primaries are effectively over,” stated Senior Policy Analyst Vince Vasquez, author of the report. “In San Diego County, many of these new voters that have been added to the rolls fit the profile of Bernie Sanders supporters. There isn’t any evidence that their motivation is waning. It’s a good bet that they will be heard this election cycle.”

About the National University System Institute for Policy Research

The National University System Institute for Policy Research (NUSIPR) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that formulates and promotes high quality economic policy, and public opinion research so as to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of local governments in San Diego County and to improve the quality of life enjoyed by the region’s residents.