TargetSmart Insights - August 25, 2020 - Democratic Voter Registration Advantage

Democratic Voter Registration Advantage in GOP ‘Convention’ States of Florida and North Carolina

By Tom Bonier

Donald Trump was supposed to hold his convention this week in North Carolina, and then in Florida, in an effort to boost voter turnout and generate enthusiasm among his supporters in those states. Well, his convention didn’t go as planned and neither have Republicans’ voter registration efforts in either of those places.

In both Florida and North Carolina, Democrats outpace Republicans in new voter registration since Trump carried those states four years ago.

Florida

Let's look at Florida first. More than 2.43 million people have registered to vote since the 2016 presidential election. Of those, 779,953 voters have registered as Democrats and 720,212 voters have registered as Republicans, giving Democrats a nearly 60,000 vote advantage (59,741).

What's more, Florida added an additional 858,118 unaffiliated new voters during that time (and 74,833 voters registered with another party). Recent trends have shown that younger voters are at once less likely to affiliate with either party, yet much more likely to vote for the Democratic candidate. To that end, more than 36.7% of those newly registered unaffiliated voters are under the age of 30 (315,596 voters). Less than 12.5% of the unaffiliated voters are over the age of 65 (106,949). As a result, modeled partisanship of all newly registered unaffiliateds in Florida estimates that just Democrats have a slight advantage there too. Democrats edge out Republicans by 5,690 new registrants (333,756 modeled Democrats to 328,066 modeled Republicans).

That translates into a net Democratic advantage among those who have registered in Florida since the 2016 election of more than 65,000 voters, when you account for modeled partisanship of unaffiliated voters.

North Carolina

Since 2016, more than 1.3 million people have registered to vote in North Carolina. Of those, 393,409 voters have registered as Democrats while 336,966 have registered as Republicans, giving Democrats a 56,443 vote advantage.

Additionally, 583,003 new voters have registered as unaffiliated while 16,820 registered with another party. Similar to Florida, most of the unaffiliated voters are younger voters and the vast majority are below the age of 40. Nearly 51.2% (298,433 voters) are under the age of 30 and nearly 17.9% (104,156 voters) are between the ages of 30-39, giving Democrats a significant advantage among North Carolina’s fast-growing population. Just 7% (41,209) of newly registered unaffiliated North Carolina voters are over the age of 65.

Overall, modeled partisanship of all newly registered unaffiliateds in North Carolina estimates that just Democrats have a slight advantage there too. There are 236,918 new modeled Democrats compared to 230,868 modeled Republicans - a Democratic advantage of 6,050 likely new Democratic voters.

Conclusion

Based on the net effects of voter registration changes in Florida and North Carolina since the 2016 election, in addition to the net effects of voter registration changes in Pennsylvania we wrote about last week, President Trump clearly faces a steeper climb to re-election in November.