Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
Published: Friday, Nov. 2, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

There definitely has been a big surge in California voter registration in recent days – largely young and Democratic – fueled by the party’s pre-election drives and a new online registration system.

The secretary of state’s office will report final pre-election numbers today, but it already appears that registration could easily top 18 million potential voters, up sharply from 17.3 million in the 2008 presidential election and the 17.2 million counted in early September.

The question that political oddsmakers are asking is whether the registration surge will translate into a relatively high voter turnout, something like the 79.4 percent recorded in 2008.

A high turnout like that would help Democrats win several close congressional and legislative races and Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown to win on Proposition 30, his hotly contested sales and income tax increase.

The state’s three major polls have pegged Proposition 30’s support at under 50 percent in the last couple of weeks, down markedly from surveys earlier in the fall. But they also indicate that Proposition 30’s biggest supporters are young voters, a subcategory that usually has a low propensity for actually casting ballots.

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