Dems eye boost from Calif. primary rules
Jan 21,2008 00:00 by UPI

LOS ANGELES - Political analysts are anticipating a boost for the Democrats from independent voters in the upcoming California primary.

The Los Angeles Times said Monday that the Democrats would allow independents to vote in their Feb. 5 primary, which some experts say could translate to Democratic leanings in the general election.

The Republicans, on the other hand, are restricting their primary to party members, which will prevent GOP-leaning independents from voting for their preferred candidates.

"Republicans have made the serious, perhaps fatal, error of shutting

independent voters out of their primary," said Garry South, a former adviser to Democratic Gov. Gray Davis. "The thing we know about independents is, when they choose to vote in a primary, they tend to stay with that party."

The Times said independents tend to reflect the views of a majority of Californians at a time when registered membership in both major parties is declining.

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