A New Project
This graph tracks the cumulative change in party membership using January 1, 2017 as a starting point. From there this graph tracks the total gains and losses by major party. I hope to update this graph monthly.
For the Democratic and Republican Parties
I suspect to see larger swings up just before a closed primary when non affiliated voters want to join the party they lean towards. Shortly after primaries expect to see the Democratic and Republican parties drop as those previously non affiliated voters go back to non affiliated. After general elections expect drops in Republican and Democratic Party numbers because of voter file purges from returned ballots and inactive voters.
For the Independent Party
Look for longer term movements that are not explained by an upcoming closed primary and for consistent moves up or down which would indicate continued growth or disillusionment with the Independent Party experiment. The IPO shouldn’t experience as much of a drop after general elections because they have more recent membership. However with a lower turnout than either the Democratic or Republican Party, it could have more voters go inactive from failure to return a ballot. So expect some drop in IPO numbers after elections as well.
- Today’s graph includes the March, 2017 voter registration data released yesterday by the Oregon Secretary of State. It shows a trend that we’ve been aware of for a some time. The Independent Party has experienced a steady growth. Our other studies show that before Motor Voter, about 7% of all voters who were selecting a political party were registering with the Independent Party.
- The Democratic and Republican Parties have tracked pretty closely, in downward trajectories during non election season. Again, this is consistent with our tracking in the past.
- Motor Voter has created a bit of a mess when it comes to political party membership. By separating the act of registration from the act of selecting a political party it’s creating a large number of non affiliated voters. Today, there are more non affiliated voters than Republicans (historically non affiliated voters numbered about 60% of Republican voters). And of voters registered through the motor voter process over 87% do not select a party. They remain non affiliated at least until the primary election in which case there is some evidence that they take action to register with a major political party.