Although Democrats still hold an advantage over Republicans when it comes to voter registration in key states like Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Florida, their lead has shrunk over the last two years, according to The Hill.
Registered Democrat voters in Pennsylvania outnumber Republicans by about 632,000, but this is down from about 814,000 in 2019. In North Carolina, Democrats lost about 140,000 voters since October of 2019, and in Florida, Democrats have lost over 200,000 registered voters in the last two years, and now hold only a 24,000 voter lead over the GOP in the state.
“Voter registration is immensely important, but it’s not the end-all be-all,” said an unnamed Democrat strategist who works nationwide. “That being said, I think with a lot of these new voter restrictions, with the political landscape in 2022 being what it is, it’d be smart for us to try to pad out voter registration as much as possible, because part of this is a numbers game.”
They added that “you’ve got to have a counterweight, and signing more Democrats up to vote is part of that.”
Thomas Kennedy, a Florida-based member of the Democratic National Committee, told The Hill, “Obviously it’s concerning. There are alarm bells ringing and I think the party and different groups are taking notice and trying to fill in the gaps.”
He added that Gov. Ron DeSantis has splashed out about $2 million towards registering Republican voters, noting that “I do think that the Republicans have put a lot of emphasis on voter registration. For Democrats, there hasn’t been a robust voter registration operation like there needs to be in Florida since the Obama era. There’s this emphasis on third-party groups and nonprofits filling in that gap.”
Kennedy later added that he’s “feeling better” about the position Democrats are in when it comes to registering new voters.
He said, “I don’t really like predicting elections, but we do live in strange times and generally the party in power doesn’t do well, historically speaking. But, you know, do have a lot of boogeymen to energize the base.”