SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - California’s Republicans are hoping to grow the party’s numbers in the state despite current odds.
Roughly a quarter of California’s voters are registered Republican and in San Diego the GOP is seeing people jump ship.
The San Diego GOP has lost thousands of voters in the last year with San Diego County Voter Registrar reporting 491,783 Republicans in May of 2018— compared to a little more 500,000 in May 2017.
“A lot of that is the bullying or the stereotyping that goes on with being a conservative,” said Justin Clark, a 19-year-old conservative running for state assembly in Los Angeles, “you have a lot of people not wanting to identify as conservative, but a large portion of those 'undeclared to say' voters are.”
The number of undeclared voters in San Diego is 476,186 in 2018 compared to approximately 461,000 just a year ago.
“Whether your for or against the two-party system is irrelevant,” said Clark, “but its how those people feel. It’s why those decline to state numbers keep going up because they want to stay with them, they want to identify as them.”
Among the California GOP’ers convening in San Diego the first weekend in May are other young faces.
Morgan Murtaugh is a 25-year-old former news anchor running for Congress in California’s 53rd District, which is currently held by incumbent Democrat Susan Davis.
Murtaugh says she’s gotten death threats over her conservative political leanings.
“I mean my grandparents immigrated here from Mexico,” said Murtaugh, “I’m Mexican and I’m a woman. People look at me and they’re like ‘how are you identifying as a Republican they hate you?’ They don’t.”
Murtaugh says she and other young Republicans are trying to break the stigma they say is a fabrication of the other side.
“I want to change that assumption, said Murtaugh, “I want people to see that we can be for equal love, and we can be pro-environment. I really just hope we can get past these labels at some point.”
There are 1.6 million registered voters in San Diego with more than 611,000 Democrats.