Let the Democrat in the room beat Bob Mercer to the punch: South Dakota Democrats continue to lag sorely behind Republicans and Independents in voter registration growth.
Note that I can say “growth”. We Democrats have climbed 1.01% from the ten-year low we hit in March. According to the Secretary of State’s July 5 tally, we Dems are now 168,625 strong. But that meager growth rate isn’t keeping up with growth in every other registration category. Democrats constitute 32.00% of the electorate, a ten-year low. Republicans have crept up to 46.45% of the electorate, a recent high, but still a tick under their 2006 level of 47.34%. Folks seeking alternatives has sipped most of the Dem milkshake, rising from 14.71% at the 2006 general election to 21.55% of today’s electorate.
Compared to the last two Presidential election years, we Democrats are the only group in a hole:
|Registration totals 2016.07.05||244,754||168,625||113,524||526,903|
We Democrats have lost one in six of the voters who were registered in our party in the Obama/McCain election. South Dakota Democrats have grown just a hair since McCain, while voters declining to identify with the major parties have grown by over a third.
But in a sign of voter disengagement, notice the relative flatline of total voter registration. Since 2008, voter registration has actually declined 0.67%. Over that same period, South Dakota’s population has grown 7.43%. If voter registration had grown proportionally with population, South Dakota would have almost 43,000 more voters.
Looks like I’d better carry more registration forms… and give more citizens a reason to get off their duffs and vote!