Since July, more than 54,000 Arizonans have registered to vote according to the latest voter registration numbers released by the Secretary of State. Diving into the numbers, Democrats gained on Republicans this quarter – registering 3,710 more than their counterparts. They still trail GOP registration by 140,000 and Other (Independent) registration by 75,000.
However, some would say that this is just another indication of the “blue wave” and a signal that the millions poured into the state for voter registration is working. To borrow a phrase from famous coach and College GameDay panelist, Lee Corso, “Not so fast!”
If you look at voter registration since November 2018, you actually discover a different story. The secret that very few folks are talking about is that Republicans have been besting Democrats in voter registration since the last election. In fact, the GOP has increased its voter advantage in Arizona by 3,500 since the election a year ago.
Republicans have outgained Democrats in three out of the four quarters since the election – two quarters by registering more voters and one quarter by losing fewer when the rolls were adjusted. Indeed, this is a big accomplishment for Republicans to date and a testament to the fact that Arizona remains a “Red State.” The question is: can Republicans maintain that momentum with a year to go? All eyes will be on the next report in January.
There is a little bit of bad news for the GOP, however. The Secretary of State also announced that the Green Party is no longer a recognized party while the Libertarian Party remains officially recognized. The general belief is that Green Party candidates tend to hurt Democratic candidates by appealing to the more progressive/environmentally focused voters. Whereas, Libertarian Party candidates tend to hurt Republican candidates by appealing to the more far right/limited government focused voters.
In narrow races, the third-party candidate gathering a few percentage points can make a big difference. Only time will tell if this will actually make a difference – but it is one more way that 2020 just got a little easier for Democrats.