Republicans returning ballots at slightly higher rate than Democrats in Calif. Congressional District 7 primary

Even though participation in California's Super Tuesday primary on March 5 could match historic lows, in the race for California's 7th Congressional District, Republicans are participating at a slightly higher rate than independent and Democratic voters.

According to information compiled by Political Data Inc., as of Friday, March 1, 17 percent of registered Republicans have returned ballots. Registered Democratic voters have returned 15 percent, while only seven percent of independent voters have voted.

While Republican voters have participated at the highest rate, given their small number in the district, they lag behind Democratic votes. There are 14,766 Republican votes cast to date, compared to 30,629 Democratic and 8,852 independent votes. 

There are two candidates, Democrat David Mandel and Republican Tom Silva, challenging incumbent Democrat Doris Matsui.  

While Republicans have cast half as many voters as Democrats, it nonetheless helps Mr. Silva's prospects as he is the only Republican in the field. Primary voters tend to be more partisan, so if Silva captures most of his party's votes, it could put him in second place and propel him to the November face-off.

While Ms. Matsui is the presumed front-runner, Mandel has broadcasted commercials on local cable TV and run a spirited campaign. Mandel, a human rights attorney, has made calls for a Gaza ceasefire one of his main issues.

Even though the calls for a Gaza ceasefire amidst the continuing conflict in Palestine have the support of younger voters and progressive Democrats, youth participation in the 7th District race is lagging. In the district, 35 percent of all voters over 65 have submitted ballots, while only four percent of voters ages 18 to 34 have voted. 


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