New Motor Voter party affiliation trends

As we reported recently, Oregon’s Independent Party continues to gain total voters while the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are losing members. But that could be due to normal mid election cycle attrition. To gauge future trends, I decided to look at Motor Voter statistics.

Conveniently, The Oregon Secretary of State office reports Motor Voter statistics broken down into “phase one” and “cumulative” numbers. The cumulative statistic includes reach back individuals who had interaction with DMV in 2014 and 2015. Whereas the “phase one” statistics are individuals with new DMV contacts. In other words, a lot of younger voters and immigrants to Oregon.

I wanted to look at new voters to try to determine trends. Here are the statistics for phase one motor voter party affiliations for 2017 through August.

PARTYJan 1, 2017Aug 31, 2017Gain
Democratic11,791 (57.2%)17,745 (56.5%)5,954 (55.2%)
Republican7,188 (43.9%)11,066 (35.2%)3,878 (35.9%)
Independent Party1,634 (7.9%)2,597 (8.3%)963 (8.9%)
TOTALS20,61331,40810,795

Motor Voter’s features opt out and automatic enrollment as non affiliated. This has made it more difficult to figure out what these statistics mean. However we know that historically about 22% of voters are true non affiliated voters and 3% are minor party voters. If we assumed that those enrolled by motor voter as non affiliated would have registered consistent to historical trends as far as non affiliated and minor party, then the party breakdown would be:

  • Democratic:  41%
  • Republican: 26.9%
  • NAV:  22%
  • Independent Party: 6.7%
  • Minor Party: 3%

Now we can compare that to the pre motor voter registrations from four years ago, August, 2013, to see how new Motor Voters differ are trending. Here are the August 2013 registration statistics

  • Democratic: 39.1%
  • Republican: 30.8%
  • Independent Party: 4.5%
  • Non affiliated: 22.7%
  • Minor Party:  2.8%

“New” motor voters are trending more Independent and Democratic, while the GOP has lost a substantial share. While the overall profile of new motor voters differs from the profile of all Oregon voter, they do represent what future voting trends may look like.

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