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Voter Registration Numbers Across the Country are a Warning for Democrats

Nov 3, 2022 | Articles

By Michael Futch, Chief Data Scientist

At Civitech, we’ve been digging into the voter rolls in various states across the country ahead of election day on November 8th.

In analyzing the voter rolls across a handful of key states, we found that in some cases there was a sharp spike in the number of women registering to vote immediately after the Dobbs decision earlier in the summer—and that these new female registrations favored Democrats—but that spike was not seen across all states. Additionally, this brief increase in registrations was likely not enough to overcome the registration advantage that Republicans built earlier in the cycle in many states through a mix of party switching that favored Republicans and former Democrats choosing to remain unaffiliated with any political party.

In states that share party registration information on voters, we’re mostly seeing new registrants signing up with the Democratic party over the Republican party, though again these numbers of first-time registrants are not enough to offset the party switching that has already occurred in the cycle.

When looking at new registrations in aggregate across election cycles, we just aren’t seeing that same surge in voter registration close to the registration deadlines—at least in part because national Democratic organizations, funders, and committees that have historically invested in voter registration work have decided not to do so this cycle.
What we’re seeing across the country should serve as a warning sign for Democrats. While we have seen brief surges in voter registration, they don’t necessarily make up for the early lead that Republicans already built. We run a very real risk of losses by small margins in major battleground states without an immediate investment of energy and resources into voter registration in states with same-day voter registration in the closing days of the 2022 cycle.