The climbing number of independent voters over the past 30 years has fueled a more liberal shift in attitudes among Californians about hot-button issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion, according to a Field Poll survey released Tuesday.
That trend has favored Democratic candidates who have counted on independent voters to provide crucial swing votes in close elections, said Mark DiCamillo, director of the non-partisan Field Poll.
Meanwhile, Republican voters are moving in the opposite direction and have hardened their stance against same-sex marriage and euthanasia over the past three decades, the study found. Tuesday's survey results examined trends in past poll results.
"What you're seeing on a number of social issues is California voters have become more accepting and tolerant," DiCamillo said. "Republicans are not moving and hold the same opinion as 30 years ago. That may be one of the problems the party faces."
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