Thu. Jul 29th, 2021

Demographic changes over the last two decades also generally favor liberal candidates.

The state has grown more diverse. White residents have become a much smaller share of the population as the number of Asian and Latino voters has increased.

Research shows voters of color are more likely to be registered as Democrats.

The shift has been attributed, in part, to increased civic engagement among Latinos after Proposition 187, a 1990s ballot measure that sought to deny immigrants here illegally services like healthcare and education.

“Prop 187 created a long-term and lasting change in the partisan shape of the Latino vote,” said Mindy Romero, a professor of political sociology at USC. “As Latino voters have continued to grow, that has heavily influenced the overall partisan makeup.”

In addition to the changing racial and ethinc makeup of the state, California is also now better educated, helping fuel the Democratic shift. Recent research has shown that the most highly educated Americans, especially those who attain graduate degrees, are much more likely to favor liberal positions on issues, and Democrats have a sizeable advantage among white college graduates.

In 2000, about 26{85245cd25b56c80c5b7fbe16195da482b1a2d4d533fd90ff485ef932778890f3} of Californians 25 and older had college degrees. Today it’s 34{85245cd25b56c80c5b7fbe16195da482b1a2d4d533fd90ff485ef932778890f3}, according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau estimates.