Democrats’ voter registration declines in major states
Democrats face reduced voter registration benefits in major battlefield states ahead of next year’s midterm elections, sparking concern among some party members of a coming wave Republican in 2022.
In Pennsylvania, Democrats now lead Republicans in voter registration of about 632,000 people, up from 813,885 two years ago. The same is true in another battlefield state, North Carolina, where the Democrats’ advantage has declined by more than 140,000 since October 2019. There are now fewer registered Democrats active in North Carolina than ‘six years ago.
The situation is most dire for Democrats in Florida, the country’s largest and most volatile swing state. The party has long held a registration advantage over voters over Republicans, but it has declined by more than 200,000 in the past two years. The latest figures from the Florida Division of Elections show the GOP lags behind Democrats by less than 24,000 registered voters.
There are still some glimmers of hope for Democrats. Emerging battlegrounds like Arizona have become more evenly distributed among voters in recent years, although Democrats still lag Republicans in voter registration in Grand Canyon state. But early polls show Republicans have an enthusiasm advantage ahead of 2022, when the GOP looks to recoup its lost majorities in Congress.
“Obviously, this is concerning,” said Thomas Kennedy, a member of the Florida Democratic National Committee. “There are alarm bells and I think the party and different groups are taking note and trying to fill in the gaps.”
Kennedy said “a confluence of factors” is to blame for shrinking voter registration numbers in Florida and elsewhere. On the one hand, election officials periodically clean up voter lists by removing inactive or deceased voters, as well as those who may have left the jurisdiction of a voter registration agency.
But Kennedy also noted that Republicans have invested heavily in voter registration efforts, noting the Florida governor. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisDeSantis tops Crist and Fried in Florida governor poll DeSantis’ wife diagnosed with breast cancer Trump says he would beat DeSantis in potential 2024 primary PLUS injected roughly $ 2 million into the state’s GOP voter registration efforts.
“I think the Republicans put a lot of emphasis on voter registration,” he said. “For Democrats, there hasn’t been a solid voter registration operation like there must be in Florida since the Obama era. The focus is on third party groups and nonprofits to fill this gap. “
Voter registration is not a predictor of election results. In Florida, for example, Republicans have managed to secure narrow wins in hotly contested races for years, although they are outnumbered by registered Democrats.
But there are still a number of structural challenges that underscore the dilemma for Democrats.
For one thing, Republican voters tend to outnumber their Democratic counterparts. At the same time, restrictive new election laws imposed by GOP-controlled legislatures in states like Florida, Georgia and Arizona have pissed off Democrats, who fear the election measures will negatively affect their lives. participation next year.
Democrats also have other reasons to be concerned. A new president’s party typically loses seats in midterm elections, and President BidenJoe BidenUS & Israeli Security Officials Talk Iran & Palestinians In Washington Over Money – Presented By NRHC – Biden Plays Hard With Debt Limit With The Long, Winding Road Of Bill McConnell Highway MORE has seen its approval rating drop in recent weeks amid a summer spike in COVID-19 infections and the chaotic withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.
Republicans also hold the redistribution advantage, as the GOP controls the legislatures of states like Florida, Texas, and North Carolina, all of which will add seats to their delegations to Congress in the year. next.
Additionally, there are signs that enthusiasm is mounting among Republican voters ahead of 2022.
A Morning Consult-Politico poll released last month showed Republicans overtaking Democrats in midterm enthusiasm. In that survey, 58% of GOP voters said they were either “extremely” or “very” excited to vote last year – a 10-point increase since July. Fifty-four percent of Democratic voters said the same thing.
Tacitly acknowledging that history is most likely on the GOP’s side in 2022, Democrats are rushing to bolster their voter count. Last week, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) launched a $ 5 million voter registration campaign, primarily targeting communities of color. This effort will focus on battlefield states like Arizona, Florida, Texas, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Nevada.
State Democratic parties in places like Texas, another emerging battleground, are also pursuing their own voter registration programs, hoping to replicate the success of similar efforts in Georgia, a Republican stronghold of long time Democrats won big gains in 2020.
“Voter registration is extremely important, but it’s not the ultimate end,” said a national Democratic strategist. “That being said, I think with a lot of these new electoral restrictions, the political landscape in 2022 being what it is, it would be smart for us to try to complete voter registration as much as possible, because a part of it is a numbers game.
“You have to have a counterweight, and registering more Democrats to vote is part of it,” the strategist added.
Kennedy, a member of the Florida DNC, said that while he was not entirely optimistic about 2022, he “felt better” about the Democrats’ stance, pointing to new voter registration efforts and the “boogeymen “- DeSantis and former President TrumpDonald TrumpSenior US and Israeli Security Officials to Discuss Iran and Palestinians in Washington State AG Seek to Meet TikTok CEO Regarding “Slap a Teacher” Money Challenge – Featured by NRHC – Biden Plays Hard With Debt Limit With McConnell PLUS, among them – which weigh on the GOP.
“I don’t really like predicting elections, but these are strange times and generally the ruling party is not doing well, historically speaking,” Kennedy said. “But, you know, you have a lot of bite-size bits to energize the base.”