Whites a California Minority, but a Voting Majority

Martin Wisckol, OC Register, August 4, 2009,

White non-Hispanics in California have lost their majority status over the past 30 years (now 43 percent of all residents) but continue to account for the majority of voters (65 percent), according to a report just out from The Field Poll.

Latinos now account for 37 percent of the population but just 21 percent of registered voters here. Asians comprise 14 percent of the population and 8 percent of voters. Blacks are 6 percent of both the population and the voter rolls.

These traditional minorities are a big reason that Democrats dominate the state. White non-Hispanics make up 79 percent of Republicans, but just 55 percent of Democrats and 59 percent of non-partisans.

And while you might not know it from the people they put in office, the California electorate is now older, better educated and includes more homeowners and a smaller proportion of Protestants than 30 years ago.

* 68 percent of voters are 40 or older (58 percent in 1978).

* 46 percent are college graduates (36 percent in 1978).

* 74 percent are homeowners (66 percent in 1978).

* 38 percent are Protestants (50 percent in 1978).

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