There are fewer registered Republicans than independents for the first time ever

There are now more registered independents than Republicans, marking a first for the U.S.

According to data from Ballot Access News, independents make up 29.09 percent of registered voters, while Republicans make up 28.87 percent and Democrats make up 39.66 percent. The data comes from the 31 states that require registration by party.  

An analysis by The Washington Post, which first reported the data, notes that there hasn't been a large drop in GOP registration since President TrumpDonald John TrumpOvernight Health Care: US hits 10,000 coronavirus deaths | Trump touts 'friendly' talk with Biden on response | Trump dismisses report on hospital shortages as 'just wrong' | Cuomo sees possible signs of curve flattening in NY We need to be 'One America,' the polling says — and the politicians should listen Barr tells prosecutors to consider coronavirus risk when determining bail: report MORE was elected, meaning he's likely not linked to the change. The growth of independents is more likely part of a broader trend since voter registration began in the 1900s. 

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In 2004, Democrats made up 42.19 percent of the vote, Republicans made up 32.79 percent of the vote and independents made up 23.15 percent of the vote. The number of independents has been growing since, while the number of Democrats and Republicans has slowly declined.

Democrats did see a boost in 2008 when former President Obama was elected, hitting a peak of 43.62 percent of registered voters. But by 2016, the percent of registered Democrats had declined to 40.6 percent. 

The new information comes as voters across the country head to the polls for their primaries and caucuses, with Super Tuesday approaching next week. However, it does not indicate an advantage to either party's candidate in the general election this fall.