Tehama county is located approximately 120 miles north of California's state capital Sacramento . The county is about 100 miles wide from the western edge that borders Mendocino County to the eastern side that borders Plumas and Butte Counties. The county is about 30 miles wide from the northern side that borders Shasta County to the southern side that borders Glenn County. Tehama County is approximately 3000 square miles in area with a population of near 60,000. The main economy of Tehama County is agricultural products and recreation.
Tehama County is bisected east to west by the main transportation road Interstate I-5. The majority of the county's population live along the I-5 corridor, Highways 99E, and 99W. The older Highways 99E and 99W are separated by the Sacramento River and run parallel to the Sacramento River from Red Bluff south to the county lines of Butte on the east side and Glenn on the west side of the Sacramento River.
Red Bluff, the county seat, is the largest city in the county. It is located almost in the exact center of the county on the banks of the Sacramento River and I-5. The population of Red Bluff and vicinity is approximately 25,000. The second biggest town in the county is Corning which is 15 miles south of Red Bluff also on I-5 and has a population of approximately 9000 counting surrounding vicinity. The 30310 voters of Tehama County are located in five main geographical areas which are divided into 47 precincts with the following 2004 population breakdown.
AREA Includes: PRECINCTS VOTERS PERCENT
RED BLUFF Red Bluff & vicinity 12 10332 34.09%
CENTRAL Hwy 99W & 99E, Vina 11 7054 23.27%
CORNING Corning & vicinity 7 4567 15.07%
RURAL NORTH Bowman, Lake California, Bend 7 3956 13.05%
RURAL WEST Dibble Creek, Ridge Rd., Red Bank 7 3668 12.10%
RURAL EAST Manton, Mineral, Paynes Creek 3 733 2.42%
TOTAL 47 30310 100.00%
POLITICAL PROFILE 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012 & 2016 ELECTIONS
Tehama County in the 2000 election had approximately 55,000 residents compared to approximately 60,000 in the 2004 election. Our county had 26,838 registered voters with a 63.4% turnout for the 2000 election: 30,310 registered voters with a 77.87% turn-out in the 2004 election:31,261 registered voters with a 79.34%turn-out in the 2008 election: 31174 registered voters with a 74.62% in 2012 and :32560 registered voters with a 75.37% turn-out in the 2016 election. The Republican Party had a 442 vote majority over the Democrats in 2000, a 2652 majority in 2004, a 3727 majority in 2008, a 4271 majority in 2012 and a 8685 majority in the 2016 election. Below is the breakdown of party voters and percentages:
Party Voters Percent Voters Percent Voters Percent
Republican 13813 44.31% 15494 63.13%
Democrat 9542 30.61% 6809 27.75%
Minor Parties 7819 25.08% 2238 9.12%
During the 2000 election, the precinct voter turnout was 13,492 voters or 50.3% of the total voters. Absentee turnout was 3,525 voters or 13.1% of the total voters. The total turnout was 63.4% or 17,017 voters.
During the 2004 election, the precinct voter turnout was 15,526 voters or 51.2% of the total voters. Absentee turnout was 8,078 or 26.7% of the total voters. The total turnout was 77.9% or 23,604 voters.
During the 2008 election, the precinct voter turnout was 11,203 voters or 35.84% of the total voters. Absentee turnout was 13,600 or 43.50% of the total voters. The total turnout was 79.34% or 24,803 voters.
During the 2012 election the precinct voter turnout was 8032 or 25.77% of the total voters. Absentee turnout was 15229 or 48.85% of the total voters. The total turnout was 74.62% or 23261 voters.
During the 2016 election, the precinct voter turnout was 7515 or 30.62% of the total voters. Absentee turnout was 17026 or 69.38% of the total voters. The total turnout was 75.37% or 24541 of the 32560 total county registered voters.
The higher absentee turnout (from 13.1% to 26.7% to 43.50% to 48.85% to 69.38%) is a clear signal that the Tehama County Republican Central Committee must reach these voters approximately a month before the actual election day, about the time they receive their absentee ballots in the mail. This increase in absentee voters is mostly because of the ability of any voter now being able to vote by mail without being handicapped as it was before. Clearly people like the convenience of voting by mail.
We have clearly been increasing the number of registered Republicans over the Democrats each year by an average of approximately 550 per year(2000 to 2004)and something like 250 per year from 2004 to 2008. This has since dropped to ~100/year. We should not become complacence; however, since the decline to state (DTS) and minor parties have shown an increase of approximately 400 per year during the same time period. The Democrats have remained static and because of the John Kerry catastrophe actually lost voters. We actually helped voters switch from Democrat to Republican in the months just before the 2004 presidential election. This same loss also occurred in the Hillary Clinton 2016 election.The McCain candidacy and election in 2008 and the Romney 2014 candidacy resulted in a loss of Republican membership increase. The Trump candidacy stopped the decrease in Republican registration and changed the Decline To State (DTS) to Republicans.
The increase in the DTS and minor parties has not really affected the historical voting pattern that we have observed in the county. If you take the average of the President, U.S. Senator, Congressman, and State Assemblyman races in the 2004 election you will get a 64% Republican and a 34% Democrat average (2% minor party average). This seems to indicate that the Democrats only get their hard core base (~35%) and the Republicans pickup most of the DTS and minor party vote.
As the population increases in Tehama County, we must aggressively seek the Republicans out and make sure that they are registered and vote.