Voter Registration change February, 2017: IPO keeps showing gains

Again, non affiliated and Independent Party registrations increase while Democratic and Republican rolls decrease.

This month, I looked at the total change in voter registrations in February, 2017 (column one). Then deducted the number of members added by Motor Voter (Column two) and showed the change in membership from voters dropping, or changing, or going inactive, or registering through their own actions, outside of the Motor Voter non active process.

I think that last column is particularly worth looking at. Because people who register with a party on their own are voting a higher rates and are arguably more likely to be active informed voters.

PARTYTotal +/- Motor Voter +/-Non Motor Voter +/-
Independent Party+487+96+391
Non Affiliated+12,710+8,210+4,400

Democrats versus Republicans

So, when you compare the Democratic and Republican changes for February, you may believe that the Democratic Party did better, because it lost fewer members than the Republicans (column 1). However, if you remove the Motor Voters from the equation, you see that the Democrats lost more current member than the Republicans.  While both shrank, the Republicans may have done better in holding active informed members.

i/Independent Voters

Again, i/Independent voters (IPO and NAV) are growing.  NAV’s grew at an amazing rate in February. While you expect a lot of NAV gains from Motor Voter (Since 89% of all Motor Voters don’t take the time to join a party), if you subtract the Motor Voter gains from NAV total gain (column 2) you see that NAV enrollment still increased by a pretty amazing 4,400.  Compare that to Democrats and Republican Parties each losing around 1,000 each.

And the Independent Party again did very well. It added 487 new members, or almost a half of a percent growth in a month. And even after subtracting Motor Voter enrollees, it still gained about 0.4% in February.

Quick Takes

  • In Oregon at least, both the Democratic and Republican Parties are losing membership and popularity.
  • While you can argue that it can’t be a good sign for the Democrats in 2018, the Republicans are simply unable to take advantage of the continuing Democratic weakness.
  • The Independent Party continues to grow, and based on the statistics, it’s natural market share, using appears to be 7%. And those are more active, knowledgable voters who are likely moderates who understand the power of a political party rather than electing NAV status.


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