This table represents total membership changes in the major parties from September 2016 to September 2017 as reported by the Oregon Secretary of States office. The surprising Independent Party gains most members.
|PARTY||Change from 9/16 |
|As percent of
major party total change
This time period is between election cycles. This is an important factor in these results. As we approach a primary election, many non affiliated and Independent Party voters are likely to change their registration to Democratic or Republican in order to vote in the closer primaries. We will have a hotly contested race for Oregon Governor, so it’s likely the numbers of Democrats and Republicans will swell since realism informs voters that only a Democrat or Republican will prevail in November.
But now, between cycles, we can see how voters may prefer to register. Leaving aside the large numbers of non affiliated voters being added to the registration lists due to automatic voter registration, breaking down the three major parties shows the Independent Party with 39% of the major party gain. That is consistent with national polling responses when voters are asked how they identify politically.
Just as surprising is that more voters have joined the Republican Party than joined the Democratic Party during this time period.
Party affiliation statistics may be an indicator of the depth of unhappiness of Oregon voters towards the Democratic Party management of the State. Oregon has always been a contrarian State when compared to National politics. It may hold true again in 2018.