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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

December Not Good for Major Parties As Both Lose Voter Share While Non-Partisan and Minor Parties Gain

December, 2016 Voter registration numbers are in and the trend continues.  Even though the state recorded only a small gain in active registered voters (943), the anomaly that was November gave way to a continuation of the trend where both the Democratic and Republican Party lost voter share while Non-Partisan and minor parties continue to gain. As what has become normal, the trend is across all demographics, state-wide, Clark County, Washoe County, rural counties, among 18 to 34 year olds and those 55 and over.

State-Wide
Party
Change in # Voters
% Change
% Voter Share
Difference in Voter Share %
D
-147
-0.02
39.55
-0.04
R
32
0.01
33.11
-0.02
NP
548
0.17
20.88
0.03
Other
510
0.53
6.46
0.03
Total not D or R


27.34
0.06
Other includes IAP, Lib, and 5 parties without ballot access.
Change is # voters: IAP +0.64%; Lib +0.80%; other 5 parties -0.12%

Clark County
Party
Change in # Voters
% Change
% Voter Share
Difference in Voter Share %
D
-197
-0.04
43.23
-0.02
R
-311
-0.1
28.88
-0.03
NP
30
0.01
21.79
0.00
Other
365
0.57
6.09
0.03
Total not D or R


27.88
0.03
Other includes IAP, Lib, and 5 parties without ballot access.
Change is # voters: IAP +0.73%; Lib +0.77%; other 5 parties -0.09%

Washoe County
Party
Change in # Voters
% Change
% Voter Share
Difference in Voter Share %
D
30
0.03
35.83
-0.05
R
121
0.12
37.09
-0.01
NP
228
0.43
19.84
0.05
Other
64
0.33
7.24
0.01
Total not D or R


27.08
0.06
Other includes IAP, Lib, and 5 parties without ballot access.
Change is # voters: IAP +0.43%; Lib +0.85%; other 5 parties -0.41%

 Rural Counties
Party
Change in # Voters
% Change
% Voter Share
Difference in Voter Share %
D
20
0.04
24.31
-0.07
R
222
0.23
51.04
-0.05
NP
290
0.90
17.23
0.10
Other
81
0.58
7.41
0.01
Total not D or R


24.64
0.11
Other includes IAP, Lib, and 5 parties without ballot access.
Change is # voters: IAP +0.53%; Lib +0.90%; other 5 parties +0.55%

18 – 34 Year Old
Party
Change in # Voters
% Change
% Voter Share
Difference in Voter Share %
D
-567
-0.34
39.63
-0.03
R
-388
-0.41
22.74
-0.04
NP
-222
-0.18
29.58
0.02
Other
78
0.23
8.04
0.04
Total not D or R


37.62
0.06
Other includes IAP, Lib, and 5 parties without ballot access.
Change is # voters: IAP +0.43%; Lib +0.56%; other 5 parties -0.48%

55+
Party
Change in # Voters
% Change
% Voter Share
Difference in Voter Share %
D
484
0.20
40.07
-0.05
R
768
0.31
40.48
0.00
NP
639
0.74
14.29
0.03
Other
233
0.75
5.16
0.02
Total not D or R


19.45
0.05
Other includes IAP, Lib, and 5 parties without ballot access.
Change is # voters: IAP +0.80%; Lib +0.69%; other 5 parties +0.44%


Major party loses also continue in congressional and legislative districts.

Congressional Districts
Party
# Districts Lose Voter Share
# Districts Gain Voter Share
# Districts No Change
Democratic
3
0
1
Republican
4
0
0
Non-Partisan
0
4
0
Other
0
4
0
Both CD 1 and CD 4continue to show the number of voters not affiliated with either major party is greater than or within 5% of the number of voters registered to one of the major parties.

State Senate Districts
Party
# Districts Lose Voter Share
# Districts Gain Voter Share
# Districts No Change
Democratic
16
5
0
Republican
17
4
0
Non-Partisan
5
14
2
Other
1
19
1
In 13 districts (61.9%) the number of voters registered as Non-Partisan or the total number not affiliated with either major party is greater than or within 5% of the number of voters registered to one of the major parties.

State Assembly Districts
Party
# Districts Lose Voter Share
# Districts Gain Voter Share
# Districts No Change
Democratic
30
10
2
Republican
32
8
2
Non-Partisan
11
29
2
Other
5
34
3
In 31 districts (73.81%) the number of voters registered as Non-Partisan or the total number not affiliated with either major party is greater than or within 5% of the number of voters registered to one of the major parties. This is an increase of one over November.

We are less than a month from the start of the 2017 Nevada legislative session. A bill draft request (BDR) has been filed to acknowledge this continuing trend. If passed, Nevada will be the first state legislature to positively address election reform; election reform normally takes a voter initiative petition.


Sunday, December 11, 2016

Media Continues to Feed Partisan Divide and Campaign Negativity

The electors of the Electoral College will meet in their respective states in one week and cast the votes that will elect Donald Trump the 45th President of the United States. Throughout the campaign season, many questioned the role of the media, both mainstream and online, in making what was envisioned as nearly impossible a reality.  

The campaigns of 2016 were mostly negative, not only at the national level but at the state and local level as well. It is no secret our political environment is deeply divided. Do media play a role in maintaining, or even increasing this divide?  Do journalists strive for negativity over substance?

I first wrote about this subject in March, 2015 in an article “Does The Media Purposely Fan The Flames Of Political Divisiveness?” Now the Harvard Kennedy School, Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy has released a four-part study analyzing media’s coverage of the 2016 presidential election. While both positive and negative coverage is reviewed, the amount of and reason behind negative stories is revealing.  Also revealing is how media culture and its control over our decisions have changed over the years.

The study is worth the time it takes to read; the cover page gives a good summary. It takes an in-depth look at the pre-primary period; how media impacted the rise of Donald Trump, the interest in Bernie Sanders, and the negative view of Hillary Clinton.  This is followed by analyses of the race to the nomination, the convention month, and finally the November election.

In each segment, the author provides data on not only how and why negative stories overwhelmingly outnumbered positive but also why media focuses on negative reporting (bottom line, it sells). The study traces the history of this attention to negativity, explaining its roots in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Not surprising, the study finds this emphasis on the negative by media is not restricted to politics but cuts across all areas of our lives.

Given the reason(s) behind the trend of negative reporting, the power it gives journalists, reporters, and commentators over our decisions, and the decades it has been allowed to thrive, it is unlikely change will happen fast. The first step in getting media to return to its original purpose of informing the public and providing unbiased facts is for voters to stop “buying” the negativity and start demanding substantive information on which they can base their decisions.

Using Ranked Choice / Instant Run-off voting (RCV / IRV) as outlined in the Nevada Election Modernization and Reform Act for 2017 (NEMRA – 2017) has shown to reduce negative campaigning and return civility to our electoral and governing processes.   In just eight weeks, on February 6, 2017, the Nevada legislature can begin the process to end negative politics in Nevada by enacting NEMRA – 2017.   


Thursday, December 1, 2016

GOP Continues to Lose Voter Share as Dem’s, Non-Partisan, and “Other” Gain

Voter registration numbers for November, 2016 have been released and it’s not good news for the GOP. Across all demographics, the Republican Party lost voter share while the Democratic Party, Non-Partisan, and minor parties gained. The only exception was in the 18-34 year old age group where Non-Partisan and minor parties also lost share. There is a caveat. The Independent American Party (IAP) grew by over four percent among this demographic leading to the assumption that some of those voters meant to register as Non-Partisan (an accepted fact).  The IAP also experienced high growth across all other demographics, recording the highest growth rate state-wide of 3.63 percent. Based on historical trends, the assumption is some of this growth should have been in the Non-Partisan category.

State-Wide
Party
Change in # Voters
% Change
% Voter Share
Difference in Voter Share %
D
18,137
3.14
39.59
0.15
R
9.689
1.98
33.13
-0.24
NP
9,289
3.05
20.85
0.06
Other
3,071
3.28
6.43
0.03
Total not D or R


27.28
0.09
Other includes IAP, Lib, and 5 parties without ballot access.
Change is # voters: IAP +3.63%; Lib +3.30%; other 5 parties +1.94%

Clark County
Party
Change in # Voters
% Change
% Voter Share
Difference in Voter Share %
D
15,425
3.52
43.25
0.16
R
7,081
2.39
28.91
-0.21
NP
7,274
3.28
21.79
0.03
Other
2,269
3.70
6.06
0.03
Total not D or R


27.85
0.06
Other includes IAP, Lib, and 5 parties without ballot access.
Change is # voters: IAP +3.70%; Lib +3.75%; other 5 parties +2.13%

 Washoe County
Party
Change in # Voters
% Change
% Voter Share
Difference in Voter Share %
D
1,390
1.47
35.88
0.02
R
1,008
1.03
37.10
-0.15
NP
971
1.87
19.79
0.09
Other
369
1.95
7.23
0.04
Total not D or R


27.02
0.13
Other includes IAP, Lib, and 5 parties without ballot access.
Change is # voters: IAP +2.25%; Lib +2.12%; other 5 parties +0.86%

Rural Counties
Party
Change in # Voters
% Change
% Voter Share
Difference in Voter Share %
D
1,322
2.98
24.38
0.15
R
1,600
1.70
51.09
-0.36
NP
1,053
3.39
17.13
0.16
Other
433
3.22
7.40
0.06
Total not D or R


24.53
0.22
Other includes IAP, Lib, and 5 parties without ballot access.
Change is # voters: IAP +3.19%; Lib +3.21%; other 5 parties +3.61%

18 – 34 Year Old
Party
Change in # Voters
% Change
% Voter Share
Difference in Voter Share %
D
6,122
3.85
39.66
0.21
R
2,666
2.89
22.78
-0.09
NP
3,429
2.87
29.56
-0.12
Other
1,048
3.25
8.00
-0.01
Total not D or R


37.56
-0.13
Other includes IAP, Lib, and 5 parties without ballot access.
Change is # voters: IAP +4.12%; Lib +3.31%; other 5 parties +1.22%

55+
Party
Change in # Voters
% Change
% Voter Share
Difference in Voter Share %
D
4,847
2.03
40.12
0.07
R
3,460
1.43
40.48
-0.16
NP
1,950
2.30
14.26
0.06
Other
763
2.50
5.14
0.03
Total not D or R


19.40
0.09
Other includes IAP, Lib, and 5 parties without ballot access.
Change is # voters: IAP +2.50%; Lib +2.29%; other 5 parties +2.66%


Major party loses also continue in congressional and legislative districts.

Congressional Districts
Party
# Districts Lose Voter Share
# Districts Gain Voter Share
# Districts No Change
Democratic
4
0
0
Republican
4
0
0
Non-Partisan
1
3
0
Other
0
4
0
In CD 1 and CD 4the number of voters not affiliated with either major party is greater than or within 5% of the number of voters registered to one of the major parties. This is the first time more than one CD has fallen into this category

State Senate Districts
Party
# Districts Lose Voter Share
# Districts Gain Voter Share
# Districts No Change
Democratic
1
19
1
Republican
21
0
0
Non-Partisan
6
15
0
Other
1
20
0
In 13 districts (61.9%) the number of voters registered as Non-Partisan or the total number not affiliated with either major party is greater than or within 5% of the number of voters registered to one of the major parties. This is an increase of one district since close of registration for the general election

State Assembly Districts
Party
# Districts Lose Voter Share
# Districts Gain Voter Share
# Districts No Change
Democratic
6
33
3
Republican
42
0
0
Non-Partisan
12
29
1
Other
6
32
4
In 30 districts (71.43%) the number of voters registered as Non-Partisan or the total number not affiliated with either major party is greater than or within 5% of the number of voters registered to one of the major parties.

November was a good month for the Democratic Party and a disaster for the Republican. November also appears to be one of the exceptions where one of the major parties outperformed Non-Partisans.

We are nine weeks away from the start of the 2017 Nevada legislative session. It will be interesting to see how the legislature in action impacts voter registration trends.