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City inches toward the left

La Cañada Flintridge voter registration totals show Democratic gains, Republican losses.

October 28, 2010|By Joe Piasecki, The Valley Sun

La Cañada Flintridge voters have been painting the town a little bluer.

A burst of new Democratic Party registrations prior to the election of President Obama, ongoing declines in Republican Party registrations and an increasing number of decline-to-state voters are changing the topography of the city's political map.

Republican registrations in La Cañada Flintridge have dropped 9.3% since October 2004, just prior to George W. Bush's re-election, shrinking from 7,482 to 6,787 today, according to the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder's Office. Also, despite the rise of the Tea Party movement, Republican registrations have continued to decline more than 2% since the election of President Barack Obama.

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The largest increase in voter identification since Bush's re-election has been for decline-to-state voters, which increased 31% from 2,037 in October 2004 to 2,668 at the close of new voter registrations on Oct. 18.

Democrats gained 621 La Cañada Flintridge voters in the twilight of the Bush years, moving from 3,610 registered voters in 2004 to 4,231 in 2008 — an 18% increase. Today Democrats number 4,257 in town, with 26 new registrations since Obama's election.

Total voter registration for La Cañada is 14,165, an increase of 669 voters since 2004.

La Cañada Flintridge Republican Committee Chairman Al Restivo said he believes declining Republican registrations have less to do with people changing their minds than it has with people changing their addresses.

"It's a demographic shift in the community. We're getting a lot of wealthy liberals from Hollywood and places like that — new, younger people with a different philosophy," said Restivo. "People don't change. They get in a moving van and take their politics and voting choice with them. I don't think Republicans are changing to Democrats or any Democrats have changed to Republicans."

Joe Mealy, past president of the Cañada Crescenta Democratic Club, said he suspects the shift is less a result of liberal voters moving into town than the Republican Party moving away from the values of local voters.

"Historically, La Cañada's been a more Republican area. I think the issue is the Republican Party has moved so far to the right that I think a lot of people in La Cañada Flintridge are unhappy with it. [The Republican Party is] out of touch," said Mealy, producer and co-director of the Karl Rove documentary "Bush's Brain."

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