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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Registration Revolution Kicks Into High Gear

There’s been a lot of interesting articles about team Obama’s voter registration campaign, nation-wide and state by state. But Rhodes Cook’s article “A New Electorate in the Making?” at Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal Ball deserves a big plug as one of the most interesting, and certainly the post on the topic of recent voter registration trends that has the classiest graphics. (See also Ed’s post on Cook’s article) Michael Duffy of Time Magazine calls Cook’s piece an “an invaluable study that is the best glimpse yet of who is likely to be voting this fall..” Among Cook’s more interesting revelations:

…the number of registered Democrats in party registration states has grown by nearly 700,000 since President George W. Bush was reelected in November 2004, while the total of registered Republicans has declined by almost 1 million.

And that just reflects the 29 states that register by poltiical party. Duffy says of Cook’s data:

A hodgepodge change of 1.7 million registrations in about half the states may not sound significant in a nation that could see 110 million people vote in November, but it is, in fact, something that looks potentially seismic…in some battleground states for which new registrations by party are available, there is a comparable shift underway. Iowa, the most important swing state in the upper Midwest, has seen Democratic registration grow by about 68,000 since 2004 while Republican registration has dropped by nearly 27,000. (Bush won the state by about 10,000 votes in 2004.) In New Hampshire, which Kerry won in 2004 by about 9,000 votes, Democratic registration is up by 35,000 while new Republican voters number less than 2000. In Nevada, which Bush won by 21,000, Democrats have enrolled 16,000 new voters. Republicans have lost more than 43,000. Does it mean Obama will win these states? No. Does it make it easier to capture them? Certainly.

And Duffy says Obama’s campaign “hopes to triple or quadruple” the Dem registration edge by the election — a highly ambitious goal to be sure (Most registration deadlines are in October). But even if they merely double their edge, it seems a safe bet that ’08 will go down as a wave election.

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