While the number of registered Santa Barbara City voters has increased slightly in the past 10 years — by about 500 — the number of registered Republicans has dropped by about 2,800, the number of registered Democrats has increased by about 2,000, and the number of voters who declined to state party affiliation increased by about 2,500. Within city limits, there were 23,386 registered Democrats as of this spring, 9,414 Republicans, and 10,643 declined-to-states. These shifts mirror similar changes — though with notable variation — in party registration taking place throughout the state, in which Republican numbers have dropped by about 100,000, Democrats have inched up slightly, and declined-to-states increased by 5 percent. These numbers will be of strategic significance in the coming months as 10 City Council candidates — and two mayorals — try to connect with enough voters to land a berth come the November election. Three council seats are up for grabs with two incumbents seeking to hold on for second terms, leaving one open slot.


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