More than a fifth of registered voters in the state now claim no party preference, with an increase from 19.3 percent to 21.3 percent of the electorate over the last four years.
In real numbers, that equates to nearly 600,000 new independent voters, while the Republican party actually saw a slight decrease. Republicans now make up only 30.3 percent of voters, down from 32.8 percent four years ago.
Democrats also enjoyed a swelling of the ranks with nearly 400,000 more voters. However, that growth was just enough to secure the same share of the electorate -- about 43.5 percent. That's because the overall number of registered voters increased from 15.9 million in April 2008 to just over 17 million as of this month.
As the Sacramento Bee reported yesterday, the number of no-party candidates running for elective office has also increased, most likely because of California's new top-two primary system.
The last day to register to vote for the June 5 primary is May 21. One final report on voter registration ahead of the election will be released around that time.