How much voting clout does Nevada County have? |

How much voting clout does Nevada County have?

At last count, Nevada County had 57,006 registered voters.

That may sound like a lot, but how much punch do we pack among the thousands of other voters in our newly drawn (and heavily Republican) congressional and state Senate and Assembly districts?

A look at the raw numbers shows Nevada County is not the political heavyweight in any of the districts, but it’s not a 98-pound weakling either.

We’re middleweight.

Take for example, the 4th U.S. Congressional District, now held by Republican John Doolittle, which has 364,450 voters and includes all or part of nine counties.

We’re in the top three.

Nevada County is the district’s third-biggest voter block, with 16 percent of the vote, behind Placer County with 144,514 voters and El Dorado County with 89,892.

Counties bringing up the rear are a slice of Butte County, with 22,090 voters; a slice of Sacramento County, 16,715; Lassen, 13,666; Plumas, 12,956; Modoc, 5,312; and Sierra, 2,299.

But other things come into play, too.

For example, one thing in Nevada County’s favor is high voter turnout.

“If you were to rank (California) counties, Nevada County would one of the highest,” said former County Clerk Bruce Bolinger. The county’s residents tend to be older, wealthier and Republican – and that translates into higher voter turnout.

— 4th State Senate District: Has 445,173 voters, making it even larger than our congressional district. Nevada County comes in fourth with 46,103 voters – the district includes just western Nevada County – for 11 percent of the vote.

Counties we trail are Butte, 112,001 voters; Shasta, 83,982; and Placer County, 49,998.

Counties with a smaller piece of the district are Sutter, 36,526; Tehama, 26,820; Yuba, 25,419; Siskiyou, 25,148; Del Norte, 12,610; Glenn, 11,538; Trinity, 7,519; and Colusa, 7,509.

— 3rd Assembly District: Includes 229,658 voters in parts or all of seven counties. Nevada County comes in second place, with about 25 percent of the vote.

The breakdown is Butte, 102,852 voters; Nevada, 57,006; Yuba, 25,419; Placer, 15,460; Lassen, 13,666; Plumas, 12,956; and Sierra, 2,299.

– The voter registration numbers used in this story are from the California Secretary of State’s Report of Registration, Oct. 2, 2000.

– Tim Omarzu

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