Voter Guide

Capitol Alert
By Jim Miller
November 20, 2015

  • California has 4.2 million voters with no party preference
  • Campaigns paid about $200,000 last cycle for slate mailers aimed at independent voters

A shrinking share of California’s 17.7 million voters have a party affiliation, a situation that has helped foster a niche industry of campaign literature tailored to voters without a party preference.

Candidates and statewide ballot measure campaigns have taken notice. State filings show that, during the last election cycle, dozens of campaign committees paid a total of almost $200,000 to a pair of slate mailers with titles aimed at appealing to the almost one-quarter of California voters without a party preference: the Independent Voters League and the No Party Preference Voter Guide.

That amount is about three times what campaigns paid to similarly named slates during the 2011-2012 election cycle, records show.

Paul Fickas, a consultant who produces the NPP guide, has begun signing up candidates and ballot measures for his 2016 edition. Fickas, who estimated he sent out more than 500,000 slate mailers in all of 2014, expects to mail 450,000 pieces leading up to next November’s election.

23.57 Percentage of no-party preference voters as of February 2015

“I think they appreciate getting something, that they’re being recognized,” Fickas said of the state’s 4.2 million no-party preference voters. “There’s a hunger out there right now because they don’t think they’re being represented.”

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