Social Policy & Politics Program | Memo

Voters Drift From Both Parties in Off-Year Voter Registration

by Michelle Diggles, Ph. D

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One year after the 2012 presidential election, our study of voter registration by party identification finds gains in Independent registration, with small decreases in the number of registered Democrats and Republicans. This is consistent with a trend since 2008 away from the parties, which we first documented in December of 2011.

We found that since 2012:

  • Democratic registration has decreased by 418,388, or 1%, and now stands at 41,103,668;
  • Republican registration has decreased by 320,751, or 1.1%, and now stands at 28,391,584; and,
  • Independent registration has increased by 268,097, or 1.1%, and now stands at 24,676,002.

And since 2008:

  • Democratic registration fell by 428,687, or 1%;
  • Republican registration fell by 12,714, or 0.04%; and,
  • Independent registration rose by 2,484,104, or 11.19%.

These trends vary from state-to-state. Specific data for 24 states (including the District of Columbia) with partisan registration and their 2013 data is included in the memo.

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