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California sees huge gain in voter registration since beginning of year

Clinton rips Trump while fending off Sanders ... 02:33

California has seen a dramatic jump in people registering to vote ahead of the state's June 7 primary.

Since the beginning of the year, 1.5 million people registered as new voters, according to California-based voting analytics firm Political Data Inc. The firm predicted that the number would grow to more than 2 million people new and re-registered voters by Monday's registration deadline.

Comparing the beginning of January to the beginning of May this year to the same period in 2012, the firm said there was a 218 percent increase in Democratic voter registrations in California. It also said there was also a 78 percent increase in people registering as Republicans and a 123 percent increase in Hispanic people registering to vote.

Through April 8, 44 percent of California's registered voters were Democrats, 28 percent were Republicans and 24 percent registered as no party preference, according to the California secretary of State's office.

A report in Politico noted that Democratic leaders and campaign officials have pointed to Donald Trump's comments about Mexicans as the reason for the increase in Democrats registering to vote.

California operates under a semi-closed primary system in which registered Democrats and Republicans will be able to participate in their party's respective primary. Independent voters will receive a non-partisan ballot, which will have no presidential candidates listed. However, they can also request a president ballot from the Democratic, Libertarian or American Independent Parties.

This comes after Clinton declined to participate in a Fox News debate in California against Sanders ahead of the state's primary. In California, 475 delegates are at stake in the Democratic race on June 7. According to CBS News' latest count, Clinton has 2,293 delegates and Sanders has 1,530 delegates.

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