Photo credit: Tom Arthur (CC-By-SA 2.0)
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Photo credit: Tom Arthur (CC-By-SA 2.0)

The Iowa Secretary of State’s office released May’s voter registration numbers and there are some interesting numbers as we head toward the June 5th primary. One would think that registration numbers for Republicans and Democrats would go up as the primary approaches, but statewide registration numbers are down since January. Libertarians and “No Party” voters registrations have gone up since April while Republicans and Democrats still see a decline. Looking back a few years this has been fairly normal prior to mid-term elections while registrations go up in presidential election years because of the registration push prior to the Iowa Caucus.

Where do we currently stand with voter registration?

Statewide:

  • Republicans: 638,565 (-228 since April/ -13,907 since January)
  • Democrats: 590,035 (-57 since April/ -13,637 since January)
  • Libertarians: 9,669 (+133 since April/ -15 since January)
  • No Party 718,875 (+2,493 since April/ -5,670 since January)

How does this breakdown by Congressional Districts?

Iowa 1st Congressional District:

  • Republicans: 139,541 (-13 since April/ -2,818 since January)
  • Democrats: 155,722 (-78 since April/ -3,398 since January)
  • Libertarians: 2,551 (+228 since April/ -9 since January)
  • No Party: 191,066 (+688 since April/ -1,257 since January)

Considering Democrats have a contested primary for their nominee in this district’s congressional race I’m surprised they outpaced Republicans in their decline further closing the registration gap.

Iowa 2nd Congressional District:

  • Republicans: 141,732 (-83 since April/ -3,385 since January)
  • Democrats: 160,252 (-421 since April/ -4,355 since January)
  • Libertarians: 2,243 (+14 since April/-24 since January)
  • No Party: 182,999 (+485 since April/ -1,812 since January)

Iowa 3rd Congressional District:

  • Republicans: 169,454 (-223 since April/ -4,493 since January)
  • Democrats: 158,514 (+478 since April/ -3,210 since January)
  • Libertarians: 3,236 (+59 since April/ +36 since January)
  • No Party: 169,753 (+614 since April/ -1,922 since January)

Democrats see the growth since April that I expected to see in Iowa’s 1st Congressional District. Unlike Republicans, they have a contested primary in the district’s congressional race. I also think Congressman David Young (R-Iowa) has more problems with his base than Congressman Rod Blum (R-Iowa) does in Iowa’s 1st Congressional District.

Iowa 4th Congressional District:

  • Republicans: 187,838 (+91 since April/ -3,211 since January)
  • Democrats: 115,547 (-36 since April/ -2,674 since January)
  • Libertarians: 1,839 (+32 since April/ -16 since January)
  • No Party: 175,057 (+706 since April/ -1,293 since January)

Like Democrats in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District, Republicans see a slight rebound since April.

Conclusion:

I don’t have any grand predictions here. Registration doesn’t equal turnout so none of this is predictive of what will happen in the general election. I suspect Republicans and Democrats will have more registered voters as we approach November, and we’ll probably see an uptick when June’s numbers are released.

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2 comments
  1. Most people who change party at a primary do so right when they vote or when requesting the ballot, not ahead of time, so the big shift won’t really show up till July.

    Between elections, most registrations come in from the DOT, and those lean heavily No Party.

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