Media Blog

What Happened to 225,000 Registered Voters in Chicago?

Via the Chicago Tribune, the County Clerk in Chicago is trying to figure out why there are 225,000 fewer registered voters today than in 2008.

That’s a huge drop on the president’s home turf.

And it’s not just Chicago. Reuters reported on Democrats having issues with new registered voters in Florida:

The Florida Times Union has said 11,365 people registered as Democratic voters in the 13 months that ended at the end of August, compared with an average of 209,425 for the same periods before the 2004 and 2008 presidential elections.

Meanwhile, 128,039 Republicans have registered in the state over the past 13 months, up from an average of 103,555 in the same period in 2004 and 2008, the newspaper said.

There are problems for Dems in Milwaukee, too:

A story in the online magazine Slate said 60% of Milwaukee’s black voters had disappeared, compared with the 2008 electorate. Last spring, the League of Young Voters began knocking on tens of thousands of doors in many of Milwaukee’s predominantly African-American election wards, trying to raise awareness of the historic recall election between Gov. Scott Walker and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

According to Slate, canvassers found only 31% of their targets. “Twice that number were confirmed to no longer live at the address on file – either because a structure was abandoned or condemned, or if a current resident reported that the targeted voter no longer lived there,” the magazine reported.

Slate reported that the New Organizing Institute analyzed those results and determined that nearly 160,000 African-American voters in Milwaukee were “no longer reachable at their last documented address.”

I know the media is covering the polls as if the race is already over for Romney, but that just doesn’t feel right. Adam Smith of the Tampa Bay Times wrote as much yesterday in this post titled, “Obama leading Romney by 9 in Fla? No way.”

While the media goes for the low-hanging fruit of reporting polls, they could be missing a huge story that voters in predominantly urban areas — Obama’s base — can’t be found.

And if urban voters are missing in Chicago and Milwaukee, I gotta believe that other cities that Obama needs a big turnout to win — say Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati, Ohio — are having the same issue of missing voters.

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