WASHINGTON – Political change is beginning to take place in the United States, as thousands of voters in the suburbs have helped win the Democratic Party’s victory in recent years.
More than 1 million voters in 43 states joined the Republican Party last year, according to voter registration data analyzed by The Associated Press. A previously unpublished figure shows an event that took place in almost every region of the country – in democratic and republican states such as cities and small towns – since President Joe Biden replaced former President Donald Trump.
But nowhere is the shift more pronounced – and more dangerous to Democrats – than in the suburbs, where educated swing voters have turned their backs on Trump’s Republican Party in recent years, as it repeats. Last year, more people moved to the GOP in suburban counties from Denver to Atlanta and Pittsburgh and Cleveland. Republicans also landed in districts around medium-sized cities such as Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Raleigh, North Carolina; Augusta, Georgia; and Des Moines, Iowa.
Ben Smith, who lives in the suburbs of Larimer County, Colorado, north of Denver, said he was reluctant to register as a Republican earlier this year after fearing democratic support in some places for mandatory COVID-19 vaccines, the party’s inability to eradicate. violence. crime and a constant focus on racial justice.
“It’s more of a rejection of the left than a hug of the right,” said Smith, a 37-year-old professional adviser whose transition to the Democratic Party began five or six years ago when he registered as a libertarian.
The AP survey surveyed nearly 1.7 million voters who are likely to change branches in 42 states where they have data for the past 12 months, according to L2, a political data company. L2 uses a combination of state voter records and statistical modeling to determine party affiliation, meaning that transfers include those who have formally changed their registration and who have been transferred to LOP by L2. .
Although party transfers are not uncommon, the figures show a clear shift since Trump was in office, when Democrats enjoyed a small portion of the number of party transfers nationwide.
Last year, however, nearly two-thirds of the 1.7 million voters who changed party affiliation joined the Republican Party. In total, more than 1 million people became Republicans, compared to about 630,000 who became Democrats. The large-scale emigration of more than 1 million voters, a small fraction of the total number of voters in the United States, did not ensure the overall success of Republicans in the November mid-term elections that would determine control of Congress and dozens of governors. Democrats hope Friday’s Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade could inspire supporters, especially in the suburbs, for the medium term.
However, the details of the party’s shifts give a formidable warning to Democrats, who are already worried about the macro-effects that will shape the political scene this autumn.
About four months before election day, Democrats did not have a clear strategy to address Biden’s weak popularity and voters’ overwhelming fear that the country was going in the wrong direction with its ruling party. And while Republicans offer some political solutions, the Republican Party makes effective use of Democrat shortcomings.
Republicans benefited last year because parents in the suburbs were particularly frustrated with the long-term closure of pandemic-related schools. And as inflation has risen recently, the Republican National Committee has held voter registration events at gas stations in suburban areas in swaying states such as Arizona, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania to link the Biden administration to high gas prices. The Republican Party also linked the Democratic president to a persistent shortage of child support. “Biden and the Democrats are very out of touch with the Americans, which is why voters are flocking to the Republican Party,” RNC President Ronna McDaniel told AP. due to the “Biden rise in gas, the crisis of open borders, the lack of child nutrition and the increase in crime”.
The Democratic National Committee declined to comment when asked about the recent influx of voters moving to the GOP.
And while Republican officials quickly gained recognition for the move, the event picked up shortly after Trump left the White House. However, the specific cause or reason for the shift remains unclear.
At least some of the newly registered Republicans are actually Democrats who crossed over to vote against Trump-backed candidates in GOP primaries. Such voters are likely to vote Democratic again this November.
But the scope and breadth of the party switching suggests something much bigger at play.
Over the last year, nearly every state — even those without high-profile Republican primaries — moved in the same direction as voters by the thousand became Republicans. Only Virginia, which held off-year elections in 2021, saw Democrats notably trending up over the last year. But even there, Democrats were wiped out in last fall’s statewide elections.
In Iowa, Democrats used to hold the advantage in party changers by a 2-to-1 margin. That’s flipped over the last year, with Republicans ahead by a similar amount. The same dramatic shift is playing out in Ohio.
In Florida, Republicans captured 58 percent of party switchers during those last years of the Trump era. Now, over the last year, they command 70 percent. And in Pennsylvania, the Republicans went from 58 to 63 percent of party changers.
The current Republican advantage among party successors plays with particular brutality in the country’s suburbs.
The AP found that the Republican advantage was greater in suburban “peripheral” regions, based on classifications from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, compared to small towns and districts. Last year, compared to the last years of the Trump era, Republicans increased their share of party successors in 168 of the 235 suburban regions surveyed by the AP – 72 percent.
It includes suburban counties throughout Georgia, Iowa, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Ohio, Virginia and the states of Washington.
Republicans also bought land in several suburban districts, where the CDC is grouped into medium-sized cities and is called “medium meters” – more than 62 percent of these districts, 164 of which, all experienced republican growth. They range from suburban counties north of Denver such as Larimer to Los Angeles areas such as Ventura and Santa Barbara, California.
The Republican advantage is almost universal, but in some areas it is stronger than in others.
For example, in Lorain County, Ohio, near Cleveland, last year almost every party changer became a Republican. Even if the Democrats won three-quarters of the changing parties in the same province at the end of the Trump era.
Some conservative leaders fear that GOP profits in the suburbs could be curtailed if Republicans do not do a better job of explaining suburban voters what they stand for – rather than what they oppose. Emily Seidel, who runs the Koch-sponsored Americans for Prosperity, says her network has seen first-hand voters in the suburbs distancing themselves from Democrats who “take serious political positions.”
“But that doesn’t mean they’re also ready to vote against lawmakers. In fact, they doubt the two options they have,” Seidel said. “Lesson here: Candidates need to assert their views. They need to give voters something to make money on, not something they can deal with.”
In Larimer County, Colorado, 39-year-old homeowner Jessica Kroells says she will no longer vote for Democrats, even though she was a trusted Democratic voter by 2016.
There was not a single “aha chance” to persuade him to move, but in 2020 he said the Democratic Party had “left me.”
“The party itself is no longer a democrat, it is progressive socialism,” he said, drawing attention in particular to Biden’s plan to eliminate students’ billions in debt.