Democrats lead Republicans in new voter registrations in four battleground states

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Democrats are outpacing Republicans in new voter registrations in four key battleground states, according to figures from the Democratic data firm TargetSmart. 

Arizona, Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania have collectively added millions of new voters to their roles since 2016. President Trump carried each of those states in the presidential election four years ago. But more of the new voters in those four battlegrounds are registering as Democrats than as Republicans, and many of them are younger, TargetSmart data shows.

The Democrats’ advantage in new voter registrations was first reported on Sunday by NBC News.

In Pennsylvania, some 961,106 new voters have registered since the 2016 presidential election. A plurality of those new voters — just under 45 percent — have registered as Democrats, while another 21 percent are unaffiliated with a party. Republican registrants, meanwhile, make up about 31 percent of new voters in the state.

That’s significant given President Trump’s narrow victory in Pennsylvania four years ago. He carried the state over Hillary Clinton by about 44,000 votes. Since then, Democrats have registered roughly 132,000 more new voters there than Republicans.

In North Carolina, about 1.3 million new voters have registered since 2016, 393,409 of which have registered as Democrats and 336,966 as Republicans. The largest bloc of new voters, at 583,003 are unaffiliated, according to the data. 

Florida, the nation’s largest swing state, has seen a similar trend since 2016. The state has added some 2.43 million new voters to its roles over the past four years, with roughly one third of them registering as Democrats. Republicans currently trail them in new registrations by about 60,000 people, while unaffiliated voters make up a plurality of new registrants.

Democrats and Republicans are nearly neck and neck in Arizona. More than a million new voters have registered in the state since 2016, and Democrats currently have an advantage of about 11,000. 

In each of the states, the new registrations are being driven largely by young voters, many of whom are choosing to register without a party affiliation yet tend to favor Democratic candidates. 

In Florida, for example, nearly 37 percent of the 858,118 unaffiliated voters who have joined the roles since 2016 are under the age of 30, while about 12.5 percent are over the age of 65, according to TargetSmart data. 

In Pennsylvania, a majority of new voters — nearly 53 percent — were between the ages of 18 and 29. 

To be sure, voter registration numbers don’t necessarily translate to votes. Younger voters tend to vote at lower rates than their older counterparts. Republicans have also long had an edge over Democrats when it comes to actually turning out their voters, though that advantage largely disappeared in the 2018 midterm elections, when Democrats recaptured control of the House.

Tags 2020 elections Battleground states Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Voter registration

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