The Campaign Spot

Democrats’ Advantage in Voter Registration Slipping in Key States

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.

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