Secretary of State Debra Bowen today released the statewide report of voter registration as of 60 days before the February presidential primary election, and the data show that Democrats in Ventura County have continued their slow march toward parity.
Between Sept. 4 and Dec. 7, Democrats gained 2,132 new registered voters in the county while Republicans picked up just 824. That means that Democrats reduced the Republican advantage by about a third. As of Dec. 7, the GOP numerical advantage stood at 2,403. Just two months earlier, that advantage was 3,711.
More significantly, Democrats made slight gains in the area where it will likely count the most next fall -- in the 19th Senate District, where a contentious and potentially competitive race is expected. In that district, the Republican advantage is greater (18,501) and the Democratic gains were smaller (748). Still, the trend is going in the right direction for Democrats, and the movement will likely encourage state party leaders to spend resources in what, on paper, ought to remain a Republican district.
Some Democrats in the county are planning a July 4 celebration to mark the date they hope to catch and surpass Republican registration, thereby "turning Ventura County blue."
It's far too early to say whether that will happen.