On paper, the American Independent Party seems to be experiencing a surge in popularity as the fastest-growing party in California – but one Sacramento-based political analyst is questioning whether the party's new membership knows what they've signed up for.
Paul Mitchell, vice president of a political data firm, believes that many voters seeking to register as "independent" are accidentally registering as members of AIP. The party now has 472,833 registered members, making it the third largest party in California.
Mitchell joined forces with California Coastal Commission member Mark Vargas to launch the "AIPrl Fooled" campaign, which seeks to inform AIP members about the party to which they've registered.
AIP was founded in 1967 to support the presidential campaign of segregationist Alabama governor George Wallace. Today, AIP's platform contains anti-gay marriage, anti-immigration and pro-gun stances and is filled with references to Christianity.