Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Battleground-State Voters Leaving the Democratic Party Battleground-State Voters Leaving the Democratic Party

This ad will end in seconds
Close X

Want access to this content? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation


Battleground-State Voters Leaving the Democratic Party


Voters cast their ballots at the Virginia City Highlands Fire Station November 4, 2008 in Virginia City Highlands, Nevada. After nearly two years of presidential campaigning, U.S. citizens go to the polls today to vote in the election between Democratic presidential nominee U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and Republican nominee U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).(Max Whittaker/Stringer)

President Obama and his re-election team have prided themselves on their well-oiled get-out-the-vote effort.  But a new study from the centrist think tank Third Way suggests Democrats are losing ground organizationally in nearly all of the key battleground states in the general election.

The group's analysis found that, in the eight politically-pivotal states that register voters by party, a significant number have left the Democratic party since 2008, with many choosing to register as independents.  Over 825,000 registered Democrats in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina and Pennsylvania have departed the party rolls since President Obama's election in 2008, a much more significant share than the number of Republicans (378,000) who have done the same.  Meanwhile, the number of registered independents has ticked upwards by 254,000.

"In 2012, Independents are likely to turn out in their largest numbers in 35 years, and President Obama will need those Independent votes even more than he did in 2008, if he hopes to be re-elected," Third Way analysts Lanae Erickson and Michelle Diggles write in the report.
The Democratic decline is especially stark in Iowa and Florida, two early Republican primary states where Democrats have lost significant ground.  In Iowa, the number of registered Democrats has declined 7.9 percent since 2008, while the number of registered Republicans has increased by two percent.   In the Sunshine State, Democratic registration decreased by five percent, while Republican registration dipped 2.2 percent.
In New Hampshire, Democratic registration plummeted a whopping 14.6 percent, with Republican registration declining a similarly significant 13.5 percent.

In every one of the eight battleground states, Democrats lost ground to Republicans.  (In Colorado, Republicans saw a larger rate of growth in voter registration than Democrats, 1.8 to 0.9 percent.)

Don't Miss Today's Top Stories


Rick, Executive Director for Policy

Concise coverage of everything I wish I had hours to read about."

Chuck, Graduate Student

The day's action in one quick read."

Stacy, Director of Communications

I find them informative and appreciate the daily news updates and enjoy the humor as well."

Richard, VP of Government Affairs

Chock full of usable information on today's issues. "

Michael, Executive Director

Sign up form for the newsletter