Fast-growing and demographically shifting electorate.
While both the Democratic and Republican campaigns – the latter more so – worry about expanding their base and increasing voter turnout, one thing seems likely: come Nov. 8th, voters are going to turn out in droves. And that seem to favor the Democrats as more voter registration is increasingly tilted in their favor in some key battleground states.
Voter registration in America has soared to new heights as 200 million people are now registered to vote for the first time in U.S. history.
Politico noted that “the milestone is a sign of the aggressive voter registration efforts ahead of Nov. 8 and a symptom of the fast-growing and demographically shifting electorate that is expected to redound to the benefit of the Democratic Party in the coming years.”
There is no current national database of voter registration because each state independently runs its own election. But TargetSmart, a Democratic political data firm, told Politico that the country passed the 200 million threshold in recent days as North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada and New York reported new voter numbers.
Tom Bonier, CEO of TargetSmart, said national registration now stands at 200,081,377 voters.
The figure means more than 50 million new people have registered to vote in the past eight years. Only 146.3 million were registered as recently as 2008, when then-Sen. Barack Obama first won the White House — a remarkable 33 percent surge in the electorate during a single presidency.
The last time a Clinton was on the presidential ballot 20 years ago, the electorate was 127.6 million people.
The wave of new voters this year has dramatically favored the Democratic Party, according to TargetSmart, which analyzed the expected party preferences of the new registrants in 15 of the first- and second-tier presidential battlegrounds.
Overall, TargetSmart found that 42.6 percent of the new voters registered this year lean Democratic, and only 29 percent lean Republican (28.4 percent lean independent).
Worse for the GOP, registration trended more Democratic in every single battleground state, from a small margin in Georgia (4.3 percentage points) to massive leads in diversifying states like Colorado (29.3 points), Nevada (20.4 points) and North Carolina (9.2 points).
Since June 1, the trend has been even more stark. In Virginia, TargetSmart’s data show only 11.7 percent of new registrants lean Republican — versus nearly 50 percent expected to lean Democratic.
Across all 15 battlegrounds, the Democratic advantage is nearly 22 percentage points since June 1, reported Politico.
In a study earlier this year, the Pew Research Center said that the 2016 electorate would be the “most racially and ethnically diverse ever,” forecasting 31 percent of the vote would come from ethnic minorities, up from 29 percent in 2012.
The electorate has been growing by leaps in recent years, with Hispanic population growth behind much of the surge. Two decades ago, in 1996, there were not even 200 million people of voting-age population in the United States, let alone registered voters.
Previously, the biggest turnout in presidential election history came in 2008, when 131.4 million people voted (turnout dipped slightly to 129.2 million in 2012). However, it has been nearly a half-century since 60 percent of voting-age adults voted. That last happened in 1968.