October’s voter registration changes measured against last November continue to show Republican strength, almost across the board. Certainly in the “battleground” states, the Democrats are looking at a very bleak picture. A reminder that these are net changes—some states have seen voter registration increases, some decreases as rolls are purged—but the key is the net gain or loss of one party against the other. Also, keep in mind Virginia, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Texas and Georgia, to name a few, do not register by party so it is impossible to track the changes in those states. However, with that in mind . . . .
*AZ Rs net +11,160
Both parties gained, and the Republican edge was down slightly from last look, but still holding very strong. So much for Arizona “going purple.” If this rate of changes holds, Arizona Republicans could have a net gain of an additional 25,000 voters by election time in 2018.
*CO Ds net +1298 This represents a continuation of the trend in Colorado that was surprisingly interrupted by a nearly flat month last period. It appears the Colorado Democrat march is back on track and, with Delaware and New Jersey, are the only real “battleground” states I’ve been tracking that is trending D. But only Colorado in the past several elections has truly been considered a battleground.
*DE Ds net +651
Delaware is an odd state in that both parties gained slightly, and the D gain of 651 is a small increase from last month.
*FL Rs net +61,857 Since the election, Republicans have seen a net shift of nearly 62,000 in their direction. This represents a further net gain of about 6,000 since my last report, meaning that Republicans are gaining ground at the rate of about 6,000 per month. If this were to hold through 2020, Florida would be a Republican state.
*IA Rs net +70,801 Democrats can pretty well forget about Iowa, a state Obama carried and George W. Bush lost. This massive level of change bodes extremely well for neighboring Wisconsin and Minnesota, where we cannot track these changes, but which have some of the same demographics.
*NC Rs net +61,752 This is up another 1,000 since last month, and shows the Tar Heel State continues to turn back to the Republican Party as the Democrats are losing significant registrations. When combined with the 2016 3% black voting shortfall, North Carolina presents another bleak picture for the Democrats in the near future.
*NJ Ds net +14,000 This was a shocker, but I was reminded that there is a major Democrat voter registration drive on for the governor’s race. Last report had the Garden State closing quite a bit.
*NM Rs net +12,975 New Mexico continues its Republican trend, up 165 over last month. But every month has shown steady net Republican gains. Given that there likely won’t be a Gary Johnson in the race in 2020, New Mexico is absolutely in the toss up column right now, and by 2020 could be lean Republican.
*NV Rs net +8,338 Since the last report, Republicans gained another net 600. Yet another state where Republicans are slowly and steadily chipping away at the Democrat registration advantage, and another state where Johnson won’t be around to bail out the Democrat.
And the biggie:
*PA Rs net +109,101 Pennsylvania’s shocking march away from the Democrats is breathtaking: Democrats were down another 22,000 since last month and Republicans are surging. Once again, Pennsylvania’s numbers likely speak to Michigan.
And, a reminder that in my last report, NH was R net +6,511 and ME was R net +1,201.
In short, among the truly contested states in 2016, the only ray of hope for the Democrats is Colorado, and even there, the trends have flattened some. They have stabilized New Jersey and Delaware, but Republicans continue to gain significant ground in Arizona, New Mexico, Florida, North Carolina, Iowa, Nevada, and above all, Pennsylvania. If these trends continue through 2020, Florida would be have a slight Republican registration edge, North Carolina would be nearly even, and New Mexico would be close enough that it could never be taken for granted. Moreover, Pennsylvania and Iowa would be solid Trump states.
The remarkable thing about the Republican trending states is that they have moved steadily ever since last November, in almost every case without a single break. Democrats continue to lose voters, and they are not becoming independents. All of this appears to be due to Trump and Trump alone, as the Republican Party has not offered any reasons to embrace it.