The “People’s Map” pushed by a coalition of left-wing pressure groups has taken a largely nominal city-wide Democratic voter registration advantage in Anaheim and converted it into large Democratic advantages in five of the six council districts. This should come as a surprise to no one since that was always the objective of the campaign for by-district elections, notwithstanding the collaboration of the cadre of Anaheim Republicans who served as very useful camouflage for OCCORD, UNITE-HERE, OCCCO and their various comrades.
I published an article yesterday in OC Daily on how the shift to by-district council elections by more Orange County cities is tilting the election playing field heavily in the Democrats favor – in cities that historically have elected Republican majorities to their city councils:
Anaheim was the progressives biggest prize, agreeing to a settlement agreement with plaintiff Jose F. Moreno in 2014 that ultimately led to the adoption of the so-called “People’s Map” that carved Anaheim into six council districts.
Currently, there are four Republicans and one Democrat on the city council, making Anaheim the largest city in California with a GOP council majority
Using figures from this week’s registration report from the Registrar of Voters, here’s the partisan breakdown of the new council districts (moving from West Anaheim eastward to Anaheim Hills):
District 1 – DEMOCRAT
47.8% Democrat (9,660)
27.7% Republican (5,589)
20.8% No Party Preference (4,208)
District 2 – DEMOCRAT
44.7% Democrat (9,189)
29.2% Republican (5,995)
22.2% No Party Preference (4,570)
District 3 – DEMOCRAT
49.4% Democrat (8,790)
23.7% Republican (4,226)
22.9% No Party Preference (4,089)
District 4 – DEMOCRAT
49.7% Democrat (8,367)
24.8% Republican (4,169)
21.6% No Party Preference (3,640)
District 5 – DEMOCRAT
43.9% Democrat (8,807)
29.2% Republican (5,859)
23.1% No Party Preference (4,635)
District 6 – REPUBLICAN
48.3% Republican (15,503)
27.8% Democrat (8,939)
20% No Party Preference (6,431)
The city-wide partisan breakdown is 42.1% Democrat, 32.4% Republican, 21.6% No Party Preference. Under the at-large election system, there have been GOP majorities on the Anaheim City Council for decades.
Thanks to the move to by-district elections, five of the six council districts have a Democratic voter registration majority. 37.5% of Anaheim’s Republican voters are now packed into District 6 (Anaheim Hills), with the remaining 62.5% of GOP voters spread across five council districts.
By contrast, District 6 contains only 16.6% of Anaheim’s Democratic voters, with the other 83.4% allotted to the remaining council districts.
Moving to by-district elections effectively isolates GOP voter strength in District 6 and permits strong Democratic majorities in the other districts with far fewer actual voters (the number of GOP voters in District 6 is roughly to the total number of voters in District 1).
The shift to by-district election changes alter the partisan landscape by greatly magnifying an otherwise modest city-wide Democratic voter edge – and edge that is steadily growing thanks to Donald Trump.
Democratic and progressive political organizations dominated the public map-drawing process – the true author of the “People’s Map” is a long-time Democratic activist with map-drawing expertise. In contrast, the Republican Party was not only AWOL throughout the process, but the local Anaheim Republican Assembly ultimately joined the unions and progressives in supporting the “People’s Map.”
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