Assemblymember Catharine Baker broke with 
Republicans and supported SB32 on Tuesday.

There’s more reason for East Bay Republican Assemblymember Catharine Baker to be worried about her general election matchup with Democrat Cheryl Cook-Kallio.

The Democratic Party in the state grew by 10 percent through the first six months of this year, according to the California Secretary of State. Democrats added around 700,000 new voters, while Republican tallied about 130,000, a 3 percent increase.

This is not good news for Baker, whose 16th Assembly District straddles Contra Costa and Alameda Counties and is highly sensitive to changes in demographic. It’s the one district in the East Bay that Republicans have the numbers to be competitive, but barely. In 2014, Baker became the first GOP state legislator from the East Bay in six years.

In Contra Costa County as a whole, Democratic registration rose by 9 percent, and Alameda County saw an increase of 13 percent, according to the secretary of state.

While the math is increasingly looking bleak for Baker since Democrats are expected to vote in higher numbers during this presidential election, it makes sense for her to shift to the center. On Tuesday, Baker voted for Senate Bill 32, climate change legislation strongly opposed by her own party.