22 December 2013

Complete Voter Registration Statistics (USA), End of 2013

Voter Registration in the USA: End of Year 2013
as compared to 2009 (and GE 2013 to GE 2008)

-updated January 5, 2014 for OHIO-

I have completed a second major study of voter registration in the USA. Well, „completed“ is not accurate, for the stats are constantly changing. Rather, I can now provide a very reliable snapshot of one point in history and compare it as best as possible to the same time frame four years ago and again between the GE 2012 and the GE 2008. These are the RV statistics for the Union in December 2013. I will be updating this data every six months and posting a new report each time. For that is the entire idea – to follow and note changes in the electorate in the time leading up to the GE 2012.

Because of Federalism, there is no standard system in the USA for recording statistics pertaining to elections (voter registration, voter turnout, election results) according to any criteria. This makes getting information about Voter Registration somewhat of an adventure, and also, because not all states have -or publish- voter registration by party affiliation, it is impossible to come up with complete partisan statistics for the Union.

It gets even more adventurous as many State SOS or BOE or Governor's or Lt. Governor's websites are constantly moving data into archives and former links then go defunct. Different states have different ways of terming things, but the end result is just the same. Whether a state calls is a „registered voter database“, a „voter registration file“ or „roll of voters“, it all means the same thing. Some states publish only the number of voters registered, while others publish them by partisan affiliation. Some publish VR stats only by number and race and/or gender an/or age. Some states publish VR stats every week, others every month, others once quarterly, others only per election, etc. So, it's a mixed bag, to say the least.

I did this analysis once already in 2011 and as of now, will be doing it 2 times a year until 2016, and then, quarterly.

What I have done is to research the websites for all 50 states plus DC and included links to all the current VR totals in this excel table:

1.) Complete Table. (complete raw data for everything)

Feel free to go to the table and first check out the stats for your own state.

Within the table:

5.) Partisan affiliation - descending by DEM %.
6.) Partisan affiliation - descending by GOP %.
7.) Partisan affiliation - descending by "other" %.
8.) Partisan affiliation - descending by unaffiliated %.
9.) Partisan affiliation - margin edge D-R, in hourglass form.
10.) Partisan affiliation - margin edge R-D, in hourglass form.

There is also a table with tons of links to many things, including details as to how each state records things, which you can read HERE in blogspot or as an EXCEL TABLE in google docs. So, actually, there are two huge tables, both of which are helpful.

Here is an excerpt from the info table:


State updated on: VR/VT link Elections Past Elections VR: party VR: age VR: race Interval
AL 18.12.13 VR/VT current 2000-2008 N N Y year
AK 18.12.13 VR Current past Y Y, Gender N month
AZ 18.12.13 VR
Past (to 2010) Y N N quarter
AR 18.12.13 VR current Past (1976-) N N N year
CA 18.12.13 VR, VP current Past (1990-) Y N N 15 /60 / 154 prior to reg close.

I just took the first five states, alpabetically, as an example. Here you can see very quickly that AK, AZ and CA do VR by partisan breakdown, but AL and AR do not. Also, of the five, AK also does it by age and gender.  The interval is also listed. There are also extensive notes, which are probably easier to read if you go to the blogspot link. When the next elections come up, you might want to bookmark that table, it will have all the links you would need to see as far as election returns go as well!


Hard facts:

Currently, there are 183,821,274 registered voters in the continental USA plus DC. Now, we know that from day to day, people are coming on and off the rolls all over the place via death, moving, coming of voting age, etc.,  but those things generally cancel each other out and daily changes on the national level would then be pretty micoscopic. So, it is fair to say that right now, 184 million are registered.

Of those 183,821,274112,282,129 (61.08%) registered voters come from the 31 states plus DC that provide VR statistics by partisan affiliation

The other 71,539,145 (38.92%) registered voters come from 17 states that do not provide VR statistics by party affiliation, but rather, publish a VR total.*/**

The picture will always be somewhat incomplete as ND has no voter registration at all and MS provides no VR stats.*

In 2011, this report showed ca. 177.8 million registered voters, so the off-year rolls have grown somewhat, by about 6.5 million, with the population of the USA.

*Actually, Illinois provides partisan information, at a cost of 500 USD per full download and cites a most curious state law as to why it cannot or will not provide the data directly. However, at the same time, some counties in IL provide very specific VR data by party affiliation quite freely over the internet, like Kane County, IL, and one county even provides an extensive voter list, by name and affiliation, ala Ohio, for download.: Madison County, IL So,  for now I must classify IL as a state that only provides VR information as a VR total, without party affiliation.


Here is a map of the US, broken down by states that publish VR by party affilation vs. those states that don't:




Of the states that do VR by party affiliation, here is the national breakdown:

State VR DEM GOP IND NO AFF Total DEM % GOP % IND % NO AFF % Margin Mar %
TOTAL partisan 44538572 32134672 3752665 32198553 112624462 39,55% 28,53% 3,33% 28,59% 12403900 11,01%
TOTAL non-partisan



71539145





GRAND TOTAL



184163607








Nationally, the Democratic party has a +11.01% (down from +12.03% in 2011) registration edge among registered voters in the 31 states that publish tallies according to party affiliation.

Of those 31 states, the Democratic Party has a partisan edge in 21 states, the GOP has a partisan edge in 10 states. However, The Democratic party has an absolute majority (including rounding) in registration in just 5 states:


State VR DEM % GOP % IND % NO AFF % Mar % State VR
DC 10/2013 75,70% 6,20% 1,12% 16,98% 69,50% DC 10/2013
MD 10/2013 55,43% 25,65% 1,58% 17,34% 29,78% MD 10/2013
KY 11/2013 54,17% 38,30% 7,53% 0,00% 15,88% KY 11/2013
WV 12/2013 50,46% 28,78% 2,18% 18,57% 21,68% WV 12/2013
PA 11/2013 49,79% 36,89% 0,54% 12,78% 12,91% PA 11/2013


And the GOP has an absolute majority in registration in 1 state:


State VR DEM % GOP % IND % NO AFF % Mar % State VR
WY 01/2013 21,01% 64,36% 0,88% 13,76% 43,35% WY 01/2013

The Unaffiliated voters (you can read that as independent) have an absolute majority in 4 states, including rounding:

State VR DEM % GOP % IND % NO AFF % Mar % State VR
OH 12/2013 8,86% 15,75% 0,08% 75,31% 6,89% OH 12/2013
AK 12/2013 14,26% 27,18% 5,36% 53,20% 12,92% AK 12/2013
MA GE-2012 35,73% 11,15% 0,55% 52,58% 24,58% MA GE-2012
RI 12/2013 39,63% 10,15% 0,22% 49,99% 29,48% RI 12/2013


This is interesting to note in light of the fact that in spite of an NO AFF majority in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the Democratic Party still has a massive voter registration edge over the Republican Party. Reason: the Republican party is only about 10% of each of those states. Likewise, in Alaska, although The NO AFFILIATEDs are the majority, the GOP has a solid edge of the Democratic Party. Reason: the Democratic Party is only about a quarter of the state. All three of those states are historically known to go with landslide margins, at least at the presidential level, for the party (D/R, R/D) that has the edge, which means that the unaffiliated voters in Rhode Island and Massachusetts definitely have a different voting tendency than the unaffiliated voters from Alaska. So "unaffiliated" does not mean the same thing in every state. Ohio is a special case all on it's own. See: bottom of this report.

The majority RV looks like this on a map:






The map above DOES NOT necessarily represent the voting tendencies of those states, it only represents which party (or Unaffiliateds) has an absolute majority in VR.


The following states are plurality states:

In these states 10, the Democratic Party does not have the majority of registered voters, but a plurality and an RV edge over the Republican party:


State VR DEM % GOP % IND % NO AFF % Mar % State VR
NY 11/2013 49,48% 23,74% 5,98% 20,80% 25,73% NY 11/2013
DE 11/2013 47,69% 28,30% 0,00% 24,01% 19,40% DE 10/2013
LA 10/2013 47,59% 27,73% 24,69% 0,00% 19,86% LA 10/2013
NM 12/2013 46,97% 31,28% 3,04% 18,71% 15,69% NM 11/2013
OK 01/2013 45,46% 42,42% 0,00% 12,12% 3,04% OK 01/2013
CA 02/2013 43,93% 28,94% 6,27% 20,86% 14,99% CA 02/2013
NC 12/14/2013 42,58% 30,72% 0,35% 26,35% 11,87% NC 12/2013
NV 11/2013 41,79% 33,77% 6,33% 18,11% 8,02% NV 11/2013
OR 11/2013 40,12% 31,51% 4,81% 23,56% 8,62% OR 11/2013
FL 10/2013 39,55% 35,27% 2,92% 22,27% 4,28% FL 10/2013


In these 4 states, the Republican Party does not have a majority of registered voters, but a plurality and a RV edge over the Democratic party:

State VR DEM % GOP % IND % NO AFF % Mar % State VR
NE GE-2012 32,14% 47,95% 0,28% 19,63% 15,80% NE GE-2012
SD 12/2013 34,96% 45,97% 0,32% 18,75% 11,00% SD 12/2013
KS 01/2013 25,01% 44,56% 0,67% 29,76% 19,55% KS 01/2013
AZ 10/2013 29,90% 35,04% 0,98% 34,08% 5,14% AZ 10/2013

In these 7 states, The "unaffiliated voters" do not have a majority of registered voters, but a plurality and an EV edge over both the GOP and the Democratic Party:


State VR DEM % GOP % IND % NO AFF % Mar % State VR
NJ GE- 11/2013 33,13% 19,83% 0,08% 46,96% 13,30% NJ GE- 11/2013
UT 12/2013 9,49% 44,40% 0,78% 45,33% 34,91% UT 12/2013
NH 03/2013 27,34% 30,23% 0,00% 42,42% 2,89% NH 03/2013
CT GE-2012 36,77% 20,27% 0,90% 42,06% 16,50% CT GE-2012
IA 12/2013 31,50% 30,76% 0,17% 37,58% 0,74% IA 10/2013
ME 08/2013 31,85% 27,08% 3,90% 37,16% 4,77% ME 08/2013
CO 11/2013 31,14% 31,51% 1,22% 36,13% 0,37% CO 11/2013


Going back to the map from above, using lighter shades of the same colors (B,R,G) to represent pluralities next to majorities in RV, here is how it looks:




Again, the map above DOES NOT necessarily represent the voting tendencies of those states, it represents, which party (or Unaffiliateds) has an absolute majority or a plurality in VR.

But I did not calculate the margin Unaffilitated vs. either of the major parties. In states where the unaffiliated voters have either a majority or a plurality of voters, I still calculated the margin between D and R. For instance, in Utah, which just joined the ranks of the states that publish VR by party affiliation, the unaffiliated voters have just the slightest edge over registered Republicans, but the Republican party still has a massive VR advantage over the Democrats.

So, here is the table (in hourglass form) and the map, newly ordered, by margin D to R or R to D, regardless of the unaffiliated numbers:


State VR DEM % GOP % IND % NO AFF % Mar % State VR
DC 10/2013 75,70% 6,20% 1,12% 16,98% 69,50% DC 10/2013
MD 10/2013 55,43% 25,65% 1,58% 17,34% 29,78% MD 10/2013
RI 12/2013 39,63% 10,15% 0,22% 49,99% 29,48% RI 12/2013
NY 11/2013 49,48% 23,74% 5,98% 20,80% 25,73% NY 11/2013
MA GE-2012 35,73% 11,15% 0,55% 52,58% 24,58% MA GE-2012
WV 12/2013 50,46% 28,78% 2,18% 18,57% 21,68% WV 12/2013
LA 10/2013 47,59% 27,73% 24,69% 0,00% 19,86% LA 10/2013
DE 11/2013 47,69% 28,30% 0,00% 24,01% 19,40% DE 10/2013
CT GE-2012 36,77% 20,27% 0,90% 42,06% 16,50% CT GE-2012
KY 11/2013 54,17% 38,30% 7,53% 0,00% 15,88% KY 11/2013
NM 12/2013 46,97% 31,28% 3,04% 18,71% 15,69% NM 11/2013
CA 02/2013 43,93% 28,94% 6,27% 20,86% 14,99% CA 02/2013
NJ GE- 11/2013 33,13% 19,83% 0,08% 46,96% 13,30% NJ GE- 11/2013
PA 11/2013 49,79% 36,89% 0,54% 12,78% 12,91% PA 11/2013
NC 12/14/2013 42,58% 30,72% 0,35% 26,35% 11,87% NC 12/2013
OR 11/2013 40,12% 31,51% 4,81% 23,56% 8,62% OR 11/2013
NV 11/2013 41,79% 33,77% 6,33% 18,11% 8,02% NV 11/2013
ME 08/2013 31,85% 27,08% 3,90% 37,16% 4,77% ME 08/2013
FL 10/2013 39,55% 35,27% 2,92% 22,27% 4,28% FL 10/2013
OK 01/2013 45,46% 42,42% 0,00% 12,12% 3,04% OK 01/2013
IA 12/2013 31,50% 30,76% 0,17% 37,58% 0,74% IA 10/2013







CO 11/2013 31,14% 31,51% 1,22% 36,13% 0,37% CO 11/2013
OH 06/2011 10,27% 11,11% 0,12% 78,51% 0,83% OH 06/2011
NH 03/2013 27,34% 30,23% 0,00% 42,42% 2,89% NH 03/2013
AZ 10/2013 29,90% 35,04% 0,98% 34,08% 5,14% AZ 10/2013
SD 12/2013 34,96% 45,97% 0,32% 18,75% 11,00% SD 12/2013
AK 12/2013 14,26% 27,18% 5,36% 53,20% 12,92% AK 12/2013
NE GE-2012 32,14% 47,95% 0,28% 19,63% 15,80% NE GE-2012
KS 01/2013 25,01% 44,56% 0,67% 29,76% 19,55% KS 01/2013
UT 12/2013 9,49% 44,40% 0,78% 45,33% 34,91% UT 12/2013
WY 01/2013 21,01% 64,36% 0,88% 13,76% 43,35% WY 01/2013

And translated onto a map:







This is in some ways meaningless as there are states with majority DEM registered voters (WV, OK, KY, LA), but with a GOP voting history. Nonetheless, studying VR by party affiliation can be VERY helpful when we compare the statistics to the past.

There is another factor that makes this all difficult to quantify perfectly: states have different ways of enrolling and de-enrolling voters. Some states have active and inactive voter lists, some do not. Some states require their citizens to re-register between the primary season and the GE, others do not. Some states automatically take you off the rolls if you do not vote in the primary. Some states have drive-by registration (NC), others have same day registration. It can also take some time to remove a voter from the rolls when that person moves or dies. In terms of uniformity and because of federalism, this part of it all is a mess, frankly.

But there are some comparisons that indeed can help: before a presidential or mid-term election, voter registration tends to spike throughout the Union. This is normal, for many voters who are not so-called „base“ voters (stalwart partisan voters) will register quickly and make their choice for President and more base voters will enroll for the mid-terms. Indeed, some citizens vote only for president and leave the rest of the ballot blank. We can prove this by looking at voter statistics from the election and see that many more votes were cast for President in this or that state than were cast for Governor or Senator. It is rarely -if ever- the other way around. Conversely, these voters tend to fall off the rolls in the off-years (the 1st and 3rd years of a presidential term), but especially in the year before the primaries start up, right around this time. So, comparing 2013 to 2009, also 2012 to 2008 (GE to GE) can tell us some important things.

  1. It can tell us if there has been growth or decline over the last four years in terms of enrollment.
  2. It can tell us if the partisan mix has radically altered over the last four years.
  3. And, in a beauty contest with the GE-2008, it can tell us how much partisan strength has remained since the GE, but this data is statistically inconclusive.

I am not saying in any way that VR is a predictor of elections. Indeed, WV, KY, LA and OK prove that partisan registration does not necessarily translate to votes at the ballot box for one party or another. In the cases of WV, KY, LA and OK, we are with great certainty talking about conservative Democrats who are more in line with the Republicans on a number of issues but have maintained their former party status. However, VR studies in conjunction with knowing the electoral history of a state can give us an excellent idea where that state stands and if battleground tendencies are present. Here are examples:

Category I: absolute „Locks“.



DEM GOP IND NO AFF Total DEM % GOP % IND % NO AFF % Margin Mar %
WY 2011 46488 141822 819 20969 210098 22,13% 67,50% 0,39% 9,98% 95334 45,38%
WY 2006 67246 162952 452 32433 263083 25,56% 61,94% 0,17% 12,33% 95706 36,38%
Diff: -20758 -21130 367 -11464 -52985 -3,43% 5,56% 0,22% -2,35% 372 9,00%












WY 2011 46488 141822 819 20969 210098 22,13% 67,50% 0,39% 9,98% 95334 45,38%
WY 01/2008 65264 149736 900 27271 243171 26,84% 61,58% 0,37% 11,21% 84472 34,74%
Diff: -18776 -7914 -81 -6302 -33073 -4,71% 5,93% 0,02% -1,23% -10862 10,64%












WY 01/2012 46552 142564 848 21815 211779 21,98% 67,32% 0,40% 10,30% 96012 45,34%
WY 01/2008 65264 149736 900 27271 243171 26,84% 61,58% 0,37% 11,21% 84472 34,74%
Diff: -18712 -7172 -52 -5456 -31392 -4,86% 5,74% 0,03% -0,91% -11540 10,60%












WY 01/2013 58541 179337 2448 38336 278662 21,01% 64,36% 0,88% 13,76% 120796 43,35%
WY 01/2009 72568 168449 1473 39901 282391 25,70% 59,65% 0,52% 14,13% 95881 33,95%
Diff: -14027 10888 975 -1565 -3729 -4,69% 4,71% 0,36% -0,37% -24915 9,40%












WY 01/2014



0 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0! 0 #DIV/0!
WY 01/2010 65758 156036 1346 36449 259589 25,33% 60,11% 0,52% 14,04% 90278 34,78%
Diff: -65758 -156036 -1346 -36449 -259589 #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0! #DIV/0! 90278 #DIV/0!

With a massive GOP +43.35% registration edge, Wyoming is the most GOP friendly state in the Union. It has also widened its partisan margin considerably since 2006 (similar to CA, see below).

Wyoming's electoral history tells a similar story: It has gone for the Republican candidate for President for 15 of the last 16 election cycles and with the exception of 1992, with double digit margins. It was John McCain's strongest state in 2008 and unseated UT as the most republican state in the Union, based on „performance“ on that night (McCain +32.24%). It was Romney's second strongest state in 2012, after his home state of UT, which climbed back to the top of the Conservative partisan rankings.

Wyoming's congressional delegation is entirely Republican. The Governor and Secretary of State are Republican. The Wyoming House of Representatives (52 R - 8 D) and Wyoming Senate (26 R – 4 D) are overwhelmingly republican. Put bluntly, there are not enough Democrats in this state to even make a dent in the vote, except in a possible three man race (see 1992: Bush 41 - Clinton – Perot).

Notice that in the statistic, I am already leaving room for January of 2014, because WY only reports VR once a year, in the month of January.



DEM GOP IND NO AFF Total DEM % GOP % IND % NO AFF % Margin Mar % State VR Growth rate
DC 03/2011 348309 30365 5804 75062 459540 75,80% 6,61% 1,26% 16,33% 317944 69,19% DC 03/2011 16,73%
DC 03/2007 289980 30601 6431 66669 393681 73,66% 7,77% 1,63% 16,93% 259379 65,89% DC 03/2007
Diff: 58329 -236 -627 8393 65859 2,14% -1,17% -0,37% -0,60% 58565 3,30% Diff:














DC 03/2011 348309 30365 5804 75062 459540 75,80% 6,61% 1,26% 16,33% 317944 69,19% DC 03/2011 7,68%
DC GE-2008 321027 30465 5929 69340 426761 75,22% 7,14% 1,39% 16,25% 290562 68,09% DC GE-2008
Diff: 27282 -100 -125 5722 32779 0,57% -0,53% -0,13% 0,09% 27382 1,10% Diff:














DC GE-2012 363418 30908 5764 83572 483662 75,14% 6,39% 1,19% 17,28% 332510 68,75% DC GE-2012 13,33%
DC GE-2008 321027 30465 5929 69340 426761 75,22% 7,14% 1,39% 16,25% 290562 68,09% DC GE-2008
Diff: 42391 443 -165 14232 56901 -0,09% -0,75% -0,20% 1,03% 41948 0,66% Diff:














DC 10/2013 355744 29131 5240 79798 469913 75,70% 6,20% 1,12% 16,98% 326613 69,50% DC 10/2013 -2,84%
DC GE-2012 363418 30908 5764 83572 483662 75,14% 6,39% 1,19% 17,28% 332510 68,75% DC GE-2012
Diff: -7674 -1777 -524 -3774 -13749 0,57% -0,19% -0,08% -0,30% -5897 0,76% Diff:














DC 10/2013 355744 29131 5240 79798 469913 75,70% 6,20% 1,12% 16,98% 326613 69,50% DC 10/2013 13,66%
DC 10/2009 312855 28503 5416 66675 413449 75,67% 6,89% 1,31% 16,13% 284352 68,78% DC 10/2009
Diff: 42889 628 -176 13123 56464 0,03% -0,69% -0,19% 0,85% 42261 0,73% Diff:


A mirror image of WYDC is an absolute Democratic lock, with a massive DEM +69.50% registration edge. It, like WY, has widened its partisan margin over 2006, by roughly +4

Since its inclusion in the Electoral College in 1964, DC has gone for the Democratic candidate for president every time, and with a blowout margin no less than a whalloping +56.54% (1972, for McGovern in the Nixon landslide re-election). Barack Obama set a percent-and-margin record for DC in 2008: Obama +85.92%, the largest margin for any candidate since 1944 (Roosevelt, MS, Roosevelt +87.12%). DC does not have a congressional delegation, but its mayor is a Democrat and the DC council is overwhelmingly Democratic (11 D – 2 R). DC has the highest partisan registration for one party in any „state“ in the nation. Put bluntly, there are not enough Republicans in DC to even make a dent in the vote. No Republican candidate for President since 1964 has campaigned in DC, if ever.


In the cases of both WY and DC, the voter registration, registration trends and voter history all indicate that they are 100% locks for their respective party.

Category II: stong partisan edge, strong unaffiliated percentage

RI:



DEM GOP IND NO AFF Total DEM % GOP % IND % NO AFF % Margin Mar % State VR Growth rate
RI 06/2011 283581 70905 411 337516 692413 40,96% 10,24% 0,06% 48,74% 212676 30,72% RI 06/2011 34,43%
RI 06/2006 217859 55869 129 241234 515091 42,30% 10,85% 0,03% 46,83% 161990 31,45% RI 06/2006
Diff: 65722 15036 282 96282 177322 -1,34% -0,61% 0,03% 1,91% 50686 -0,73% Diff:
INFO from RI SOS 06/16










INFO from RI SOS 06/16
RI 06/2011 283581 70905 411 337516 692413 40,96% 10,24% 0,06% 48,74% 212676 30,72% RI 06/2011 17,52%
RI GE-2008 248312 62180 151 278551 589194 42,14% 10,55% 0,03% 47,28% 186132 31,59% RI GE-2008
Diff: 35269 8725 260 58965 103219 -1,19% -0,31% 0,03% 1,47% 26544 -0,88% Diff:














RI GE-2012 299006 77175 1196 355483 732860 40,80% 10,53% 0,16% 48,51% 221831 30,27% RI GE-2012 24,38%
RI GE-2008 248312 62180 151 278551 589194 42,14% 10,55% 0,03% 47,28% 186132 31,59% RI GE-2008
Diff: 50694 14995 1045 76932 143666 -1,34% -0,02% 0,14% 1,23% 35699 -1,32% Diff:
Info from RI SOS 12/09/2013










Info from RI SOS 12/09/2013
RI 12/2013 290963 74536 1650 366972 734121 39,63% 10,15% 0,22% 49,99% 216427 29,48% RI 12/2013 5,65%
RI 12/2009 287427 72801 183 334432 694843 41,37% 10,48% 0,03% 48,13% 214626 30,89% RI 12/2009
Diff: 3536 1735 1467 32540 39278 -1,73% -0,32% 0,20% 1,86% 1801 -1,41% Diff:



RI is the state with the next highest DEM registration edge - a blowout +29.48%, but in this case, the unaffiliated voters make up a majority of the state (49.99%). 

Rhode Island's electoral history tells a similar story: it has gone for the Democratic candidate for President for 11 of the last 15 cycles, back to 1952, and in 17 of the last 21 cycles, all the way back to 1928. Both Nixon and Reagan captured RI in their re-elections, but with single digit margins, ditto Eisenhower in his first election in 1952. Eisenhower's 1956 re-election was the only time in the last 84 years that a Republican won this state with a double digit margin (Eisenhower +16.52%, 1956). The congressional delegation from RI is completely Democratic. The Governor is an Independent (Chafee, a former liberal republican), the SOS is a Democrat, the Rhode Island Senate (32 D – 8 R - 1 I) and Rhode Island House of Representatives (69 D - 6 R) are both overwhelmingly democratic. RI and MA have long traded 1st and 2nd places for the most Democratic state in the Union (excluding DC), ala WY, OK and UT for the Republicans.

RI is a good example of a state with an unaffiliated plurality but such a large partisan edge, in this case a Democratic registration edge, plus a demonstrable tendency on the part of the unaffiliateds to vote Democratic in the election, so that this state is very much a „lock“ for the Democratic Party. With only 10.15% GOP registration here, the Republicans must practically sweep the entire table with the unaffiliated vote in order to win statewide. Specifically, they need more than 82% of the unaffiliated vote in order to come over 50%, assuming the normal small voter swaps between parties at election time.



DEM GOP IND NO AFF Total DEM % GOP % IND % NO AFF % Margin Mar % State VR Growth rate
AZ 04/2011 1007124 1142045 30256 1030500 3209925 31,38% 35,58% 0,94% 32,10% 134921 4,20% AZ 04/2011 23,01%
AZ 04/2007 858988 1019220 18612 712765 2609585 32,92% 39,06% 0,71% 27,31% 160232 6,14% AZ 04/2007
Diff: 148136 122825 11644 317735 600340 -1,54% -3,48% 0,23% 4,79% 25311 -1,94% Diff:














AZ 04/2011 1007124 1142045 30256 1030500 3209925 31,38% 35,58% 0,94% 32,10% 134921 4,20% AZ 04/2011 7,44%
AZ GE-2008 1022252 1118857 22162 824450 2987721 34,22% 37,45% 0,74% 27,59% 96605 3,23% AZ GE-2008
Diff: -15128 23188 8094 206050 222204 -2,84% -1,87% 0,20% 4,51% -38316 0,97% Diff:














AZ GE-2012 952931 1120992 27186 1023603 3124712 30,50% 35,88% 0,87% 32,76% 168061 5,38% AZ GE-2012 4,59%
AZ GE-2008 1022252 1118857 22162 824450 2987721 34,22% 37,45% 0,74% 27,59% 96605 3,23% AZ GE-2008
Diff: -69321 2135 5024 199153 136991 -3,72% -1,57% 0,13% 5,16% -71456 2,15% Diff:














AZ 10/2013 964088 1129845 31748 1099046 3224727 29,90% 35,04% 0,98% 34,08% 165757 5,14% AZ 10/2013 3,41%
AZ 10/2009 1041415 1132817 28265 915981 3118478 33,39% 36,33% 0,91% 29,37% 91402 2,93% AZ 10/2009
Diff: -77327 -2972 3483 183065 106249 -3,50% -1,29% 0,08% 4,71% -74355 2,21% Diff:














AZ 10/2013 964088 1129845 31748 1099046 3224727 29,90% 35,04% 0,98% 34,08% 165757 5,14% AZ 10/2013 3,20%
AZ GE-2012 952931 1120992 27186 1023603 3124712 30,50% 35,88% 0,87% 32,76% 168061 5,38% AZ GE-2012
Diff: 11157 8853 4562 75443 100015 -0,60% -0,84% 0,11% 1,32% 2304 -0,24% Diff:



AZ is an example of a state where the two parties and the unaffiliated voters are relatively evenly split. Here, the edge is GOP +5.14%AZ also had a major growth rate over 2007 (+23.01%) and also a strong growth rate over 2008 (+7.44%) and has continued to grow since then. 

AZ's electoral history is pretty much a mirror image of RI's or MA's, only stronger: from 1952 to 2012, it went for the Republican candidate 15 of 16 times. The congressional delegation from AZ is majority GOP: 2 GOP senators, 5 of 8 representatives are GOP. The Governor and SOS are Republican. The Arizona House of Representatives (36 R – 24 D) and the Arizona Senate (17 R – 13 D), both are Republican controlled. 



DEM GOP IND NO AFF Total DEM % GOP % IND % NO AFF % Margin Mar % State VR Growth rate
CA 02/2011 7569581 5307411 802420 3507119 17186531 44,04% 30,88% 4,67% 20,41% 2262170 13,16% CA 02/2011 9,59%
CA 02/2007 6667437 5362473 699034 2953414 15682358 42,52% 34,19% 4,46% 18,83% 1304964 8,32% CA 02/2007
Diff: 902144 -55062 103386 553705 1504173 1,53% -3,31% 0,21% 1,57% 957206 4,84% Diff:














CA 02/2011 7569581 5307411 802420 3507119 17186531 44,04% 30,88% 4,67% 20,41% 2262170 13,16% CA 02/2011 -0,68%
CA GE-2008 7683495 5428052 747621 3444923 17304091 44,40% 31,37% 4,32% 19,91% 2255443 13,03% CA GE-2008
Diff: -113914 -120641 54799 62196 -117560 -0,36% -0,49% 0,35% 0,50% 6727 0,13% Diff:














CA GE-2012 7966422 5356608 1102395 3820545 18245970 43,66% 29,36% 6,04% 20,94% 2609814 14,30% CA GE-2012 5,44%
CA GE-2008 7683495 5428052 747621 3444923 17304091 44,40% 31,37% 4,32% 19,91% 2255443 13,03% CA GE-2008
Diff: 282927 -71444 354774 375622 941879 -0,74% -2,01% 1,72% 1,03% 354371 1,27% Diff:














CA 02/2013 7932373 5225675 1131278 3766457 18055783 43,93% 28,94% 6,27% 20,86% 2706698 14,99% CA 02/2013 -1,04%
CA GE-2012 7966422 5356608 1102395 3820545 18245970 43,66% 29,36% 6,04% 20,94% 2609814 14,30% CA GE-2012
Diff: -34049 -130933 28883 -54088 -190187 0,27% -0,42% 0,22% -0,08% 96884 0,69% Diff:














CA 02/2013 7932373 5225675 1131278 3766457 18055783 43,93% 28,94% 6,27% 20,86% 2706698 14,99% CA 02/2013 4,16%
CA 02/2009 7716790 5397434 754706 3465345 17334275 44,52% 31,14% 4,35% 19,99% 2319356 13,38% CA 02/2009
Diff: 215583 -171759 376572 301112 721508 -0,58% -2,20% 1,91% 0,87% 387342 1,61% Diff:

I would be remiss were I to not specifically mention the largest state in the Union, CA. There are some similarities between CA and AZ: both have an advantage for one party and a substantial amount of unaffiliated voters, but the mix is different here: in CA, the DEM edge is currently +14.99, a major shift over 2007, 2009 and 2011. And at
43.93% of the RV, CA democrats are not far from majority status. Assuming they pick up a couple of GOP and third party voters in an election, they only need less than half of the unaffiliateds to win easily, whereas in AZ the GOP needs the vast majority of unaffiliateds to win. 

CA's electoral history is much more mixed: since 1932, it has been a pretty even 11 D-10 R for each party out of 21 cycles and it has been more „battlegroundy“ than people think: in 1960, CA was first called for Kennedy and then the call was corrected the next morning (remember Florida 2000? It wasn't the first time...); Nixon won his home state by only +0.55% in 1960 and by only +3.08% in 1968. Ford barely held this state in 1976, with +1.78%. But the trend to the Democratic party could already be seen in 1984, where Ronald Reagan won his home state with a slightly less margin than his first election, which means that his own state trended away from the national pull in the middle of a major landslide election. And it was a close race between Bush 41 and Dukakis in the Golden State in 1998 (Bush +3.57%). Since 1992, however, CA has gone reliably Democratic in presidential cycles, and with no less than a +9.95% winning margin (Kerry, 2004). Obama's +24.03% margin here is 2008 is the largest for any candidate in CA since 1936. California's congressional delegation is overwhelmingly democratic: 2 senators and 38 of 53 representatives. Both chambers of the California assembly are firmly in democratic hands: the California State Senate (28 D - 11 R - 1 vacancy) and the California State Legislature (their term for the State House of Representatives, 55 D - 25 R). 

CA is also a majority-minority state, like NM, HI and as TX has now become.

It should be noted that President Obama vastly outperformed his polling numbers in California in 2012. He won California by +24 in 2008 and by +23 in 2012, but the polling average was showing +15. Reason: undercalculation of the Latino vote.

Odd man out: OHIO




DEM GOP IND NO AFF Total DEM % GOP % IND % NO AFF % Margin Mar % State VR Growth rate
OH 06/2011 827342 894535 9465 6323520 8054862 10,27% 11,11% 0,12% 78,51% 67193 0,83% OH 06/2011 1,51%
OH 06/2007 1481985 1306322 0 5146764 7935071 18,68% 16,46% 0,00% 64,86% 175663 2,21% OH 06/2007
Diff: -654643 -411787 9465 1176756 119791 -8,41% -5,36% 0,12% 13,64% -242856 3,05% Diff:
Info from OHIO SOS 06/15










Info from OHIO SOS 06/15
OH 06/2011 827342 894535 9465 6323520 8054862 10,27% 11,11% 0,12% 78,51% 67193 0,83% OH 06/2011 -2,31%
OH GE-2008 2324074 1452198 0 4468660 8244932 28,19% 17,61% 0,00% 54,20% 871876 10,57% OH GE-2008
Diff: -1496732 -557663 9465 1854860 -190070 -17,92% -6,51% 0,12% 24,31% -939069 11,41% Diff:
Info from OH SOS 01/02/14










Info from OH SOS 01/02/14
OH 12/2012 688861 1237485 6116 6081365 8013827 8,60% 15,44% 0,08% 75,89% 548624 6,85% OH 12/2012 -2,80%
OH GE-2008 2324074 1452198 0 4468660 8244932 28,19% 17,61% 0,00% 54,20% 871876 10,57% OH GE-2008
Diff: -1635213 -214713 6116 1612705 -231105 -19,59% -2,17% 0,08% 21,69% -1420500 17,42% Diff:














OH 12/2013 683487 1214941 6008 5808093 7712529 8,86% 15,75% 0,08% 75,31% 531454 6,89% OH 12/2013 -4,12%
OH 12/2009 2375872 1433387 0 4234615 8043874 29,54% 17,82% 0,00% 52,64% 942485 11,72% OH 12/2009
Diff: -1692385 -218446 6008 1573478 -331345 -20,67% -2,07% 0,08% 22,66% -1473939 18,61% Diff:

First, when you go to the Ohio SOS website, it will be very hard for you to find any VR statistics. Ohio is the ONLY state in the Union to actually provide .txt lists of all registered voters in the state, by party affiliation, county and address. You can download the list (as .txt and import as .csv) per county or statewide, but there are so many fields that a normal EXCEL-like program cannot handle the number of delimited fields. The large list ist 1GB large!. And the lists do not contain grand totals, so I contacted the Ohio SOS office in 2011 and they sent me the data for the time frames I requested. However, the data makes no sense at all, since Ohio officially lists every new voter, regardless of which party affiliation he or she declares, as UNAFFILIATED, until he or she has voted at least once. So, the data is completely worthless for the purposes of comparison. This is the message I received in email from the OHIO SOS on January 3, 2014:

"Your email requesting voter statistics was forwarded to me for a response.  Please find attached a listing of voter numbers by party affiliation for the years 2009, 2012 and 2013.  Under Ohio law, voters do not declare a party affiliation when they register, rather they declare a political party affiliation by requesting the ballot of a political party in a partisan primary election."


General Remarks:

About some of those states with a DEM VR margin edge, but which vote overwhelmingly Republican, esp. at the Presidential level, we are seeing DEM margin shrinking and the GOP and UNAFF percentages going up.

Example: West Virginia



DEM GOP IND NO AFF Total DEM % GOP % IND % NO AFF % Margin Mar % State VR Growth rate
WV 05/2011 650032 350460 20227 195920 1216639 53,43% 28,81% 1,66% 16,10% 299572 24,62% WV 05/2011 8,11%
WV 2006 648889 342960
133555 1125404 57,66% 30,47% 0,00% 11,87% 305929 27,18% WV 2006
Diff: 1143 7500 20227 62365 91235 -4,23% -1,67% 1,66% 4,24% -6357 -2,56% Diff:














WV 05/2011 650032 350460 20227 195920 1216639 53,43% 28,81% 1,66% 16,10% 299572 24,62% WV 05/2011 0,87%
WV GE-2008 675305 353437 16264 161111 1206117 55,99% 29,30% 1,35% 13,36% 321868 26,69% WV GE-2008
Diff: -25273 -2977 3963 34809 10522 -2,56% -0,50% 0,31% 2,75% -22296 -2,06% Diff:














WV GE-2012 637893 354503 28250 217585 1238231 51,52% 28,63% 2,28% 17,57% 283390 22,89% WV GE-2012 2,66%
WV GE-2008 675305 353437 16264 161111 1206117 55,99% 29,30% 1,35% 13,36% 321868 26,69% WV GE-2008
Diff: -37412 1066 11986 56474 32114 -4,47% -0,67% 0,93% 4,21% -38478 -3,80% Diff:














WV 12/2013 614868 350716 26595 226273 1218452 50,46% 28,78% 2,18% 18,57% 264152 21,68% WV 12/2013 1,61%
WV 12/2009 659556 347089 17228 175285 1199158 55,00% 28,94% 1,44% 14,62% 312467 26,06% WV 12/2009
Diff: -44688 3627 9367 50988 19294 -4,54% -0,16% 0,75% 3,95% -48315 -4,38% Diff:














In 2006, 57.66% of voters in WV were registered Republicans and the DEMS enjoyed a +27.18% VR edge over the GOP. Now, it is 50.46% DEM and a +21.68% edge in a state that Romney carried by a whalloping +26 in 2016.  I bet that by 2016, this will no longer be a DEM majority registration state, for the DEMS in that state are very Conservative DEMS who tend to align themselves with the GOP on many issues.

Also, Oklahoma:


DEM GOP IND NO AFF Total DEM % GOP % IND % NO AFF % Margin Mar % State VR Growth rate
OK 01/2011 999943 849332 0 240855 2090130 47,84% 40,64% 0,00% 11,52% 150611 7,21% OK 01/2011 0,70%
OK 01/2007 1045490 805607 0 224464 2075561 50,37% 38,81% 0,00% 10,81% 239883 11,56% OK 01/2007
Diff: -45547 43725 0 16391 14569 -2,53% 1,82% 0,00% 0,71% -89272 -4,35% Diff:














OK 01/2011 999943 849332 0 240855 2090130 47,84% 40,64% 0,00% 11,52% 150611 7,21% OK 01/2011 -4,30%
OK GE-2008 1077616 860378 0 246002 2183996 49,34% 39,39% 0,00% 11,26% 217238 9,95% OK GE-2008
Diff: -77673 -11046 0 -5147 -93866 -1,50% 1,24% 0,00% 0,26% -66627 -2,74% Diff:














OK 01/2013 962072 897663 0 256450 2116185 45,46% 42,42% 0,00% 12,12% 64409 3,04% OK 01/2013 -3,10%
OK 01/2009 1077616 860378 0 246002 2183996 49,34% 39,39% 0,00% 11,26% 217238 9,95% OK 01/2009
Diff: -115544 37285 0 10448 -67811 -3,88% 3,02% 0,00% 0,85% -152829 -6,90% Diff:

In 2007, Oklahoma was a DEM majority state in terms of VR and the DEMs had a +11.56% VR edge. It is now a DEM plurality state with only a +3.04% DEM edge in a state that has voted Republican in 15 of the last 16 cycles and more often than not, but a +30 margin or larger.


I want to praise some states for excellent publishing of VR statistics:

Lousiana has an excellent graphical interface at it's website and all of the most pertinent data is there at one click.

Rhode Island has now added an archive of VR stats, which it did not have in 2011.

Pennsylvania allows a download of a large .xls document that shows exact VR changes (add ins, drop outs, party switches) on pretty much a weekly basis.

Alaska calls each one of it's pages with such information a "card". The database is totally easy to access, by preferred date. Ditto North Carolina, which also includes (almost) daily totals right at the top of it's SOS page.

Utah just joined the fray with VR stats by partisan breakdown and is planning to build an archive as well. It is the Lt. Governor's office in Utah that handles this stuff and the staff was very, very helpful to me!

Likewise, Massachusetts has now added a large database called "PD43" and will be adding all VR data to it in the next months, something I learned in a very friendly email exchange with the MA SOS people.

Florida provides all statistics and also a PIE GRAPH of the most current stuff. California does something similar. This makes getting the information very easy.

New Mexico and Nevada both provide excellent archives to research.

Colorado's archive (plus current data) is the most concise of all and probably the easiest on the eyes.

Other states are somewhat more sparing in their method of getting VR data out there, but I have noticed a big uptick in improvement of their websites since 2011.

I am also noticing, practically across the board, an uptick in UNAFFILIATED voter registration throughout the Union.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Constructive comments and critique are always welcome. Please keep it polite and respectful.