Placer County shifting electorate

Republican registrations tick up slightly, remain far below 2016 levels

Roseville, Calif. – Placer County, long a bastion of conservatism in California continues to change. In the process, the region continues to become more diverse, educated, and prosperous.

Waves of development, relative housing affordability, family friendly neighborhoods and great weather continue to attract highly educated residents and entrepreneurs from throughout California and the nation. Those changes have not only brought greater diversity and economic prosperity, but to the disbelief of many longtime residents, lower crime rates as well. The growth has also delivered some of the challenges communities face during periods of rapid growth such as a dramatic increase in traffic congestion.

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As the population continues to grow, the move to a more pluralistic county is projected to tip the balance of power within a generation should trends continue. A similar scenario played out in Orange County, a former conservative enclave turned blue.

Republican see slight uptick in 2024

According to Official Placer Elections data, Republican voter registration over the last two decades years has plummeted (data chart below). Republicans retain a sizable, yet dwindling advantage in Placer County. For example, in 2020, despite losing in both national and statewide results, Donald Trump outperformed in Placer County in no small part due to the county’s geriatric population and evangelicals.

In the early part of 2024, Republican registrations have seen a slight uptick not only locally, but statewide as well. However, those levels still remain far below those seen in 2016.

Dissatisfaction with both major parties

The voter registration data also shows the biggest percentage change is that of voters not wishing to be associated with either major political party. Despite the long-term trend and downward trajectory of Republican registrations, Democratic registrations have only moved up slightly over the same period. No Party preference accounts for nearly 20 percent of registered voters with smaller political party registration rounding out the remaining eight plus percentage of registered voters.

Active Local Voters

Ryan Ronco, Placer County Clerk-Recorder-Registrar of Voters shared that Placer County is “historically 10 to 15 percentage points above the California average turnout each major election.”

Large Drop in Voter Registrations?

Over the past few months, the total voter registration in Placer County has dropped by nearly 5,000 voters or more than one percent. With such a remarkably high change, Roseville Today reached out to election officials for some clarity. Officials shared that a postcard was sent to every active registered voter in November as part of their maintenance efforts to clean up rolls prior to upcoming elections.

As of March 2024, Placer County elections currently lists 281,255 registered voters, a drop from over 285,000 voters since November of 2023. Total voter registration has increased by approximately 60,000 in just the last several years which equates to over 20 percent of all voters.

Placer County Voter Registration

Placer County Voter registration chart
Placer County Voter Registration since 2006.

Political registrations over time: Updated March 2024

YearRepublican RegistrationDemocratic RegistrationOther / No Preference

Data Sources: California Secretary of State
and Placer County

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