Monday, May 15, 2006

Dan Walters on CA Democrats shrinking share

>Dan Walters: Democrats' shrinking share of voters may threaten their dominance
>By Dan Walters -- Bee Columnist

Orval Osborne responds:
Dan Walters is a relentlessly Republican pundit, so if there is something negative to say about Democrats, you can count on Walters to say it. I think this analysis is right, especially since it sticks closely to the facts, and not much to judgement. So the main trends are towards not voting or towards "Decline to state," which is less identification with Parties.

The Green Party is for some a last hope against total cynicism and dropping out of voting altogether. But this way (at least currently) only appeals to a small percentage of people. People know the system is broken, and voting does not work. The challenge is to persuade them voting *could* work if only enough people would trust us to fix it.

Identification with the Green Party is going against the large current of non-Party identification. However, this is the likely source of many of our votes. Consider an election where we get 3% of the vote, the Greens are 1% and we have a 33% voter turnout among
registered Greens. 8 out of 9 Green voters are not registered Green. Hard to say how many are Democrats and how many are decline to state. How do we appeal to the decline to state voter to register Green Party? How do we appeal to voters in rural and inland California? Perhaps we could take lessons from Greens in Texas or other "inland" areas on that score.


Wes said...

Orvall, this week, I talked politics with a neighbor. I have access to the full precinct list for my precinct and noted that she was registered for the American Independent Party while her husband was registered Democratic. Yes, she had intended to register DTS but was confused. However, she agreed that my short description of the Green Party closely matched what she believed:

- stronger on issues of social justice than the Democrats.
- stronger on issues of limited government and fiscal accountability than the Republicans.
- stronger on issues of environmental impact than either.

What we lack is the ability to demonstrate that Greens can be trusted with the reigns of government. Maybe we need to replicate the successful experience in Pasadena all over California.

Orval Osborne said...

The Green Party could win over at least a million registrants if we a) developed excellent ways to frame our message, based on research, and b) we persuaded thousands of Greens to go out and register voters. People will sign on if we ask them. The better we express our message, the easier it will be for people to accept it. Doing both is necessary to move our Party to the next level.

Roger, Gone Green said...

Yes to both of you -- But:

The msg. needs to be of the positive Green values not just against X or Y.

The demonstration of competence starts from the Grassroots (imagine that!) commissioners and local electeds, participants in town politics -- bringing, again, specific, positive proposals not just gripes. (And proposals that show an understanding of governance, not just dark-Green proposals.)

Also, in the Pasadena area we are about to kick off a "double up" election campaign, asking each Green in our region to register one new Green, someone who has been thinking about it, and needs to register, or someone who "really is Green, but just doesn't know it yet." According to a press release from a local candidate, overall voter reg is down 1.5% since January; Green Party reg in the same area same time period is up 10% . . .