San Diego Channel 6
Bay City Television
Thursday, October 13, 2011
SAN DIEGO- San Diego City Council elections will be more
competitive than ever next year, with the greatest impact coming from "decline to state" voters, according to a study released Wednesday by the National University System Institute for Policy Research.
The district boundaries were adjusted this year based on updated census data, and will be put to use for the June 2012 primary election.
The number of districts in which the margin between Democratic and
Republican registration is 5 percent or smaller grew from two to four when the new maps were approved, according to the report. While municipal races are nonpartisan, registration tends to show voter stands on critical issues including -- especially important in San Diego -- sympathies toward organized labor.
"With the new council district lines, voters are likely to see more contested races and vulnerable office holders on Election Day," wrote report author Vince Vasquez, senior policy analyst at the institute. "With neither political party likely to dominate the council by a large margin, successful policy-making will require more coalition building and less partisanship at City Hall."
Even more crucial is the continued growth of independent voters, because all three Republican council members were elected in districts with less than 50 percent Republican registration, the report states.
Democrats will hold solid registration majorities in three districts and a large plurality in another, according to figures cited in the report. One is the new District 9, which has 52 percent registered Democrats and 20 percent Republican registration.
Republicans hold no registration majorities and only one district, the
fifth, a significant plurality.