"The Sanders campaign is absolutely destroying us."
Those are the words of California Green Party spokesman Mike Feinstein, who, in response to an inquiry from Mother Jones, visited the website of the California Secretary of State. He discovered, to his consternation, that his party has lost 30 percent of its members in the months since Sanders launched his presidential campaign. "I am apoplectically mad right now," Feinstein says. "I am so disgusted with this."
"They intentionally went after our voters because they are low-lying fruit on the issues," he adds, citing mailers the Sanders campaign sent to Green Party members. The steep drop in Green registration underscores how Sanders has energized California's far-left electorate.
The party's steep decline in registration—from nearly 110,000 voters in early 2015 to 78,000 now—represents a tiny fraction of California's 18 million registered voters. Yet it underscores how the Sanders campaign has made deep inroads into California's liberal electorate, tapping voters who may have never before considered voting for a Democrat.
California's other major leftist third party, the Peace and Freedom Party, has also seen a significant drop in registration since last year, losing about 7,000 voters, or 9 percent of its members..