American Independent Party Voters in California Mostly Just Screwed Up When They Registered


I suppose I shouldn’t laugh at this, but the LA Times reports today that the American Independent Party has grown to about 500 thousand members in California since it started up in 1968. Why? A survey suggests that about three-quarters of AIP members thought they were registering as lower-case independents—that is, voters with no party preference. Now that’s a low-information voter.

None of this has anything to do with Bernie Sanders. As you can see, voters declaring no party preference have been on the rise for well over a decade. But it still makes a difference: if you’re independent, you can vote for Bernie in the California primary. If you’re AIP, you can’t. So it’s likely there are upwards of 400 thousand registered voters in California who may be leaning toward Bernie but won’t be able to vote for him. They better re-register quick if they want to feel the Bern.

They won’t, of course. Anyone who made a mistake like this isn’t likely to care enough about Democratic Party politics to bother. Still, it makes you wonder if someone could siphon off, say, Republican votes by starting up the Independent Voters of the Republic Party or something. Worth a try!