There will be 35 Senate races in 34 states next year (two contests in South Carolina). Democrats now hold 21 of those seats. Six of those Democrats will be running in red states that voted for Mitt Romney last year. Another four are running in swing states that Barack Obama won by relatively narrow margins. When the Senate votes on gun control and immigration reform this year, those are Democrats who will be under the gun, or on the fence.
Should those Democrats be worried?
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo pushed through new gun laws in New York after the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., in December. In four Quinnipiac polls taken in 2012, Cuomo’s job approval rating in New York was over 70%. In January, 2013, it dropped 15 points. Down 20 points among men.
Cuomo still looks O.K. His job approval is 59%. But if the gun issue can damage a Democrat in New York named Cuomo, no one is safe.
For more, check out this month’s Inside Politics Newsletter.
The number of states in which the margin of victory was 5% or less is shrinking, indicating a vastly more polarized electorate.
Historically, Independents have tended to split their vote for House members between the Democratic and Republican Parties by only a few points. But recently, Independents have become more volatile. In 2006, Independents voted for Democrats by 17 points. But in 2010, they picked Republicans by 18 points. Independents aren’t party loyalists. They swing between the parties— more dramatically now than any time in the past 30 years.
View more graphics like this in our Politics of the Center 2012 Graphic Series.
Who will win this year’s House toss-up districts? Ask the Independents.
We examined voter registration by party identification in 17 House races where data was available and found:
- Independents make up nearly 30% of the electorate in these swingiest of swing districts.
- Compared to statewide numbers and presidential battlegrounds, toss-up districts boast more Independents.
- In 10 of 17 battleground districts, Democrats must win more Independents than Republicans to claim victory come November.
Read more in our new report, The Battle for the House: Independent Registration in Swing Districts.
A new report on voter registration trends finds that Democratic voter registration is down by more than 800,000 since 2008 in eight key battleground states.
GOP registration has also declined — but by only 79,000, a tenth of the Democrats’ losses.
Meanwhile, registered independents are on the rise, increasing their numbers in those states by nearly half-a-million.
The analysis, conducted by centrist Democratic think tank Third Way and appearing first in POLITICO, points to the critical role independent voters will play in determining the presidential outcome in some of the most competitive states on the 2012 map — Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
Via Charles Mahtesian, POLITICO
With both parties about to head to key battleground states for their National Conventions, the time is ripe to delve into how these states—and 6 other crucial battlegrounds—have changed since the last time around. In our newest analysis of the numbers in the 8 presidential battleground states with partisan voter registration, we find:
- Democratic registration is down 800,329, or 5.2%;
- Republican registration is down 78,985, or 0.7%; and,
- Independent registration is up 486,677, or 6.4%.
Read more in The I’s Have It: Pre-Convention Voter Registration Analysis
Third Way’s Senior Policy Analyst Michelle Diggles talks about voter registration in swing states in this article from Bloomberg. Check it out!
By John McCormick - Jul 9, 2012 8:00 PM ET via Bloomberg.
Independent voters are growing in numbers at the expense of Democrats in battleground states most likely to determine this year’s presidential election, a Bloomberg News analysis shows.
The collective total of independents grew by about 443,000 in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and North Carolina since the 2008 election, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from state election officials.
During the same time, Democrats saw a net decline of about 480,000 in those six states, while Republicans — boosted in part by a competitive primary earlier this year — added roughly 38,000 voters in them, the analysis shows.
“Democrats hit the high-water mark for registration in 2008, so it’s natural that they are going to see some drop off,” said Michelle Diggles, a senior policy analyst with the Democrat-Leaning Third Way research group in Washington who conducted a similar study earlier this year.
The rise of independent voters has had a major impact on recent election results.
2012 is likely to be another close presidential election. Current polls show a dead heat between Obama and Romney. In a close election, every constituency is crucial, but in four swing states, the increase in the Latino voting-age population from 2008 to 2012 is greater than the 2008 margin of victory.
Take Missouri, the only swing state besides his home state of Arizona that voted for McCain in 2008. McCain carried Missouri by about 4,000 votes. Missouri has gained roughly 18,000 new Latinos 18 or older since 2008—enough to reverse the Republicans’ 2008 margin of victory, even if only one third of them vote.
Read more in the May 2012 issue of Third Way’s Inside Politics Newsletter.