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San Francisco has gotten so blue it’s finally starting to turn purple
SF homeless
A street scene in San Francisco.

Here’s a riddle: What species is more endangered than the Delta Smelt?

The answer: Registered Republicans in San Francisco.

The last “census” on Jan. 5, 2024 as reported by the Secretary of State’s office indicated Republicans accounted for 7.22 percent of all registered voters in that county.

It is actually a more robust percentage than back in January 2020 when 6.4% of San Francisco’s registered voters identified as Republicans.

Before anyone in the Grand Old Party starts popping bottles of champagne and waxing eloquently about the Great Republican California Comeback starting, there is one little detail you need to take into account.

The percentage of San Francisco voters indicating they were Democrats as of January 5, 2024 was 63.97 percent compared to 56.8 percent back in January 2020.

That’s an increase of 7.17 percent for the Democrats compared to 0.82 percent for the Republicans.

To put San Francisco in perspective, it is the only one of 58 counties where Republicans account for less than 10 percent of the registered voters.

Statewide, as of six weeks ago, 46.76 of registered voters identified as Democrats and 24.16 as Republicans.

There were 8 counties where more than half the registered voters are Democrats — San Francisco, Los Angeles, Monterey, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, Yolo, Sonoma and Napa.

Believe or not, two counties had more than 50 percent of those on their voting rolls who identified as Republicans.

They were two adjoining counties in the extreme northeast corner of California — Lassen and Modoc.

As for the local percentages, San Joaquin County at the start of January had 43.68 percent of those registered that are Democrats and 29.62 percent identifying as Republicans.

It’s a little closer in Stanislaus County where former Congressman Gary Condit was part of a group known as the Blue Dog Democrats.

Stanislaus County’s registered voter party percentages earlier this year was 38.43 percent Democrat and 34.64 percent Republican.

Blue Dog Democrats, by the way, were elected House of Representative members who were moderate or conservatives. There were no less than three of their ranks at one time from the Central Valley

How conservative back then were they and the Democratic voters that advanced them from primaries to the general elections?

Back in 1991 when I moved to Manteca from Placer County, I was asked my party registration.

After replying I was Republican with the added caveat I rarely vote straight party line, the lady who asked said, “good, it means we’ll have a liberal editing the Bulletin.”

She shared, after that response, that she was frustrated as a registered Democrat with how conservative the elected Democrats were in and around San Joaquin County.

It didn’t make sense at the time to me, but after a few years I understood her point.

Given the vitriol that hardcore Republicans and hardcore Democrats hurl toward those that share their party affiliation but don’t mindlessly toe the party line, I can see why “no party preference” is the fastest growing box to check when registering.

The days are over when the major political parties pursued the big tent philosophy.

Both have long since traded the big tent for straight-jackets.

Times have changed.

But what hasn’t changed is the fact both parties have members that hold more moderate views than positions staked out and pounded incessantly into the ground by hardcore party animals that view red and blue as the new black and white.

It is why the Good Ship California is showing signs that the blue captains are easing up in veering hard left away from a middle course.

And nowhere in California are there as many signs that is happening than in San Francisco.

No, I haven’t sustained a concussion from being hit by a renegade driverless car on the streets of San Francisco.

And while the gap between “true” Republicans and “true” Democrats will always have distance similar to that between the Golden Gate and the Farallon Islands, they are clear signs the City by the Bay is starting to see a more purplish tinge in that mile wide deep blue stripe they’ve painted.

Consider these developments in recent years:

*The hard left leaning district attorney Chesa Boudin that made law and order subservient to social justice was recalled.

*The recall of school board members that were more concerned about championing woke culture than educating kids.

*An organized effort to elect moderates for the purpose of tackling crime, homelessness, public education, and business flight is growing.

*The push of a ballot measure to modernize police to fight crime instead of shackling them with social justice agenda.

*Advocating a ballot measure aimed at bringing back algebra to middle schools after it was dropped in the name of promoting racial equity.

For those that say San Francisco is essentially a one party town, there are serious issues that are being seriously debated with successful political pushback that is moving the dial toward the middle than there is in the State Capitol that at times seems interchangeable with the headquarters of the California Democratic Party’s progressive wing.

Granted, it is new moderate Democrats taking on hard left Democrats that prefer the seemingly  softer and more tolerant sounding label progressive Democrats.

Given politics once upon a time was about advancing different ideas in a bid to find common ground, government in San Francisco these days is showing signs of being more representative than what is up in Sacramento.


This column is the opinion of editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinions of The Bulletin or 209 Multimedia. He can be reached at