Google+

Tags: Independent Voters

Democrats’ Advantage in Voter Registration Slipping in Key States



Text  



This news release – announcing that there are now roughly 20,000 more registered Republicans in Iowa than registered Democrats – suggests that Hawkeye state Republicans can crow about a dramatic turnaround, pointing out that back in January 2009, Iowa Democrats enjoyed a 110,000 voter registration advantage.

In terms of how many voters are registered with each major party, Democrats continue to hold advantages in several key swing states, but in all of those states, their advantage is considerably smaller than it was in 2008.

In Florida, as of last month there are 4,627,929 registered Democrats and 4,173,177 registered Republicans, which amounts to a a 454,752-voter advantage for Democrats. (Keep in mind, Florida has 11.5 million registered voters, so there are a lot of unaffiliated and third-party voters.)

In 2008, there were 4,800,890 registered Democrats in Florida and only 4,106,743 registered Republicans, a 694,147-voter advantage. So while the number of voters who registered with the GOP is up from four years ago, Democrats are down roughly 170,000.

In Nevada, there are 447,881 registered Democrats to 400,310 registered Republicans, a split of roughly 47,000. (Keep in mind, the state has 1.4 million registered voters right now.) In 2008, the state split 531,317 registered Democrats to 430,594 registered Republicans, a split of roughly 100,000.

In New Mexico, as of July 31, there are 582,656 registered Democrats to 385,898 registered Republicans, a Democrat advantage of 196,758 voters. In 2008, there were 594,229 registered Democrats and 375,619 registered Republicans, an advantage of 218,610 voters.

In North Carolina, as of Friday, there are 2,778,535 registered Democrats and 2,008,609 registered Republicans, a 769,926-voter advantage. But on Election Day 2008, there were 2,866,669 registered Democrats and 2,002,416 registered Republicans, an 864,253-voter advantage. This is another state where Republicans have already gotten more voters registered with their party than the preceding cycle.

In many states, residents who wish to cast ballots must register to vote within 25 to 28 days before an election.

In Pennsylvania, as of today, there are 4,185,377 registered Democrats to 3,099,371 registered Republicans, a 1,086,006-vote advantage for Obama’s party. But as daunting as that sounds, it’s smaller than in 2008, when there were 4,479,513 registered Democrats to 3,242,046 registered Republicans, a 1,237,467-vote advantage.

Virginia does not register voters by party.

One state where the GOP had and continues to have a small advantage is in Colorado. In that state, as of September 1, there are 837,732 active registered Republicans and 739,778 active registered Democrats, about a 98,000-voter advantage. On Election Day 2008, the GOP had 1,065,150 registered Republicans and 1,056,077 registered Democrats, about a 9,000-voter advantage.

Tags: Elections , Independent Voters , Republicans

Do Wavering Obama Voters Think the Man They Voted for Is Naïve?



Text  



In the Tuesday edition of the Morning Jolt, an examination of a key question before Republicans and conservatives this year:

Do Wavering Obama Voters Think the Man They Voted For Is Naïve?

How do you persuade someone who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 to vote for the Republican option in 2012?

It is bigger than the million-dollar question. Republican turnout may or may not be higher than in 2008. Some Obama voters of 2008 will stay home in 2012. But in the end, Obama had 69.4 million votes in 2008 and McCain had 59.9 million. To get to 270 electoral votes, the Republican nominee will need some of those 69.4 million to swing into his column.

Not long ago, our great deputy managing editor Kevin Williamson noted:

The most acute division on the right — the one that will give Mitt Romney the most trouble — is not between moderates and hard-core right-wingers, between electability-minded pragmatists and ideologues, or between the Tea Party and the Republican establishment. It is between those Republicans who disagree with Barack Obama, believing his policies to be mistaken, and those who hate Barack Obama, believing him to be wicked. Mitt Romney is the candidate of the former, but is regarded with suspicion, or worse, by the latter. The former group of Republicans would be happy merely to win the presidential election, but the latter are after something more: a national repudiation of President Obama, of his governmental overreach, and of managerial progressivism mainly as practiced by Democrats but also as practiced by Republicans.

It is unlikely that those seeking a national act of electoral penance for having elected Barack Obama are going to get what they are after. For one thing, the number of Americans who believe President Obama to be merely incompetent is far greater than the number of Americans who believe him to be, not to put too fine a point on it, evil. For another, that larger group of voters is, for once, probably right.

Generally speaking, people hate admitting they made a mistake — particularly over a decision that is culturally regarded as important as one’s presidential choice. That’s why you still see cars with Dole-Kemp, Gore-Lieberman, and Kerry-Edwards stickers in some parts. Very few Obama voters will express their vote for the GOP nomination in 2012 as an explicit act of personal penance for bad judgment. (Although I stand by my position that anyone who voted for John Edwards for president should sit out the next two presidential elections, examining their spectacularly wrong assessment of his character in quiet contemplation.)

No, a lot of Obama voters must be persuaded that they made the wrong choice in 2008, and that it isn’t their fault.

Monday I spoke to a smart political mind who had been watching focus groups of wavering Obama voters in swing states, and he said that one word that those voters kept coming back to, again and again, was “naïve.” (The term was to describe the president, not themselves.) Those who voted for Obama won’t call him stupid, and certainly don’t accept that he’s evil. But they have seen grandiose promises on the stimulus fail to materialize, Obamacare touted as the answer to all their health care needs and turn out to be nothing of the sort, pledges of amazing imminent advances in alternative energy, and so on. He seemed to think that reaching out to the Iranians would lead to a change in the regime’s behavior and attitudes. He was surprised to learn that shovel-ready projects were not, in fact, shovel-ready. He was surprised to learn that large-scale investment in infrastructure and clean-energy projects wouldn’t great enormous numbers of new jobs. He’s surprised that his past housing policies haven’t helped struggling homeowners like he promised. He’s surprised that his signature health-care policy has become as controversial as it has. The “recession turned out to be a lot deeper than any of us realized.” When a woman says her semiconductor engineer husband can’t find a job, Obama says he’s surprised to hear it, because “he often hears business leaders in that field talk of a scarcity of skilled workers.”

The poor guy. He’s always getting blindsided.

Some cynics might look at this pattern and conclude that Obama isn’t as smart as he thinks he is, or his fans think he is. Others might conclude some variation of the Reagan line, that the problem with Obama isn’t that he’s ignorant; it’s just that he knows so much that isn’t so.

If we’re seeking to persuade Obama voters that it’s okay to vote for someone else this time, perhaps we need to reinforce that notion that he just doesn’t quite understand how things work in the real world — that he understands the theories of job creation, but not the practice. He talks about a future of algae-powered cars while rejecting pipelines.

It ties to a theory I’ve had for a while, that most apolitical voters desperately want to avoid concluding that the first African-American President of the United States is a failure, on par with a second term for Jimmy Carter. As a result, they will give Obama until the very last minute to demonstrate an ability to get the job done, to demonstrate that he can generate tangible improvements in their lives. But, if around October 2012, people don’t see tangible improvements in their lives, well . . . the bottom may fall out of his numbers. He’ll still have his loyal base, but the vast majority of independents will decide he just can’t get the job done.

Tags: Barack Obama , Independent Voters

Subscribe to National Review