Josh Bernstein on Examiner.com picks up on the voter registration and affiliation changes since 2008 and posits three of the biggest Battleground States will break for Mitt Romney due to strong dissatisfaction with Democrats. He has some pretty string anti-Obama views but despite the charged language his data is very interesting. All three states were very close (below Obama’s national margin) and all three have troubling trends for the Obama campaign:
Florida, Ohio, and Virginia all voted for Barack Obama in 2008. The official results according to final election statistics were 50 to 48 in Florida, 51 to 47 in Ohio, and 52 to 46 in Virginia.
Florida – 2-point win for Obama in 2008
- In 2008 Florida Democrats out numbered Republicans by roughly 700,000; 4.8 million to 4.1 million. The undeclared/unaffiliated and independent voters measured 2.5 million.
- As of June 2012 Republicans are still sitting at 4.1 million, however Democrats now register 4.5 million, and Independents now are up to 2.7 million.
- So what happened was Republicans stayed the same, Democrats lost 300,000, and Independents gained 200,000. That is half a million voters in a swing state that have changed their party affiliation.
Ohio – 4-point win for Obama in 2008
- In Ohio, voters are not required to give a party affiliation when they register to vote.
- In 2008 according to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s website, Democrats out numbered Republicans by 174,000, 1.48 million to 1.30 million. The unaffiliated voters totaled 5.1 million.
- In 2012, Democrats went from 1.48 million down to 827,000. That is a loss of 653,000. Republicans went from 1.3 million down to 894,000. That is a loss of 412,000.
- The most dramatic change however was in unaffiliated voters. This segment of voters rose from 5.1 million to 6.3 million. That is an increase of 1.2 million more unaffiliated voters in the Buckeye state.
- This was a cataclysmic shift away from the two major parties, although a larger shift away from the Democrats.
- This gives Republicans the advantage in two distinct ways. First, their are now 67,000 more registered Republicans than their are Democrats. Second, more voters decided to leave the Democrat Party in favor of being unaffiliated/undeclared or Independent.
Virginia – 6-point win for Obama in 2008
- Like Ohio, Virginia does not register voters by party affiliation
- In 2008, there were a total of 436,000 new voters registered in the state. Barack Obama won the state 52 to 46 and probably by about 100-150,000 votes.
- In 2010, according to Gallup polling on voter affiliation in Virginia the breakdown was 31% Democrats, 29% Republicans, and 38% Independents.
- In 2011, Gallup polling showed 27% Republican, 31% Democrat, and 40% Independent.
- Now according to a June 2012 Gallup poll the findings are quite different. 35% now identify themselves as Republicans, 34% as Democrats, and only 30% as Independents.
- This means that Democrats have lost 3%, Republicans have gained 8% and Independents have lost 10%.
- One could interpret this data as saying more Democrats became Independents and more Independents have become Republicans.
More voters have left the Democrat Party and have become Independents. This is an advantage to Republicans because history has shown that Independent voters typically decide elections. In addition, the truly undecided voter in this country is a relatively small number. Most experts say it is between only 6-8 percent of the entire electorate. History has also shown that these voters eventually vote for the challenger 70-75 percent of the time. This is also a good sign for Mitt Romney.
Another important factor that could play a major role in deciding the election is enthusiasm. According to a recent Rasmussen poll, Republicans are more enthusiastic about voting this election than their Democratic counterparts by a healthy 12% margin. Couple that with Obama consistently being under 50% job approval and you have the makings of a significant victory for Mitt Romney.
Add it all up and Bernstein sees a solid Romney victory in November.