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Is city of SD uphill battle for GOP?

Many long-term political trends favoring Democrats

Craig Gustafson, U-T SAN DIEGO

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

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The National University System Institute for Policy Research has been analyzing San Diego’s voting trends for years and concluded after the November 2012 election won by Filner that “Democratic candidates must be viewed as favorites to win in future citywide elections than Republicans.” The nearly 88,000-voter advantage Democrats hold over Republicans is one factor, but also the growing voter base south of Interstate 8 where Democrats typically rule. The report also noted that Republicans would likely be favored in special elections — like the one on Feb. 11 — as votes cast in GOP-friendly neighborhoods in northern San Diego take a larger share of overall turnout. Vince Vasquez, the institute’s senior policy analyst, said he doesn’t see San Diego turning into a city like Los Angeles where a Democrat tends to automatically win, but the road won’t be easy for Republicans unless something major changes. He predicted the next generation of local Republicans will feature more Latino, Asian, gay and women candidates to appeal to a broader audience, especially to voters in southern neighborhoods. “It will be challenging,” he said of future Republican mayoral candidates. “It’s not going to be impossible. The next Republican mayor of San Diego will be different from the ones we’ve had before.”