SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) - More people have registered to vote in California since the last major election in 2012, but the number of Republicans in the Democrat-dominated state continues to drop, according to state data released.
Democrats hold all statewide elective offices and large majorities in both houses of the legislature in the most populous U.S. state.
There were just under 4.8 million Republicans registered in the state as of Jan. 3, down from nearly 5.2 million in early January 2012, the last presidential election cycle, Secretary of State Alex Padilla said Monday.
Republicans accounted for 27.62 percent of registered voters in California, down from 30.36 percent in 2012, according to the data, which was posted on Padilla's state website.
Most of that change was reflected in the number of voters registering as independents, which went up by just under 3 percent. In January 2016, the number of Californians indicating that they preferred not to state a party preference was 4.1 million, up from 3.6 million in 2012. Independents accounted for 24 percent of all registered voters in 2016, up from about 21 percent in 2012.
The number of Democrats remained about the same at roughly 7.4 million.
The number of people registered to vote in California rose by about 231,000 since 2012 to 17.3 million.
(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)