Twitter Follow

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
23.48
-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 29 districts (69.05%) 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.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

State Legislatures Know The Process Is Broken And Are Taking Action

What do these states have in common? At first glance, the answer of “nothing” would be understandable. However, the correct answer is something very significant.

In 2016, the state legislatures in these 13 states along with the District of Columbia, considered legislation dealing with the use of Ranked Choice / Instant Run-off voting (RCV / IRV). This does not include the approval of ballot initiatives in Maine and Benton County, Oregon.

RCV / IRV is not the only election reform legislation considered by state legislatures in 2016. Automatic voter registration (AVR) was approved by the state legislatures in California, Connecticut, Oregon, Vermont, and West Virginia. Voters in Alaska also approved a ballot initiative implementing AVR. Legislatures in 26 other states also did or are considering legislation to implement AVR.

In 16 states, legislatures are also debating the merits of a top-two non-partisan open primary either through direct legislation or by establishing studies or exploratory committees.

Voters believe our election systems are broken. More importantly, state legislators share this belief and are taking action to reverse the partisan divisiveness gripping our country, our states, our counties, and our cities. This divisiveness not only hinders effective governance but our economic well-being as well. Nevada is not currently on any of these lists though the legislature in 2015 briefly considered a bill to change the primary election process.

That can change in ten weeks when the Nevada legislature convenes on February 6, 2017. By filing a bill draft request (BDR) and passing the Nevada Election Modernization and Reform Act for 2017 (NEMRA – 2017), Nevada can not only join the list of state legislatures addressing the issue but can be one of the first to pass and implement election reform legislation. (Other states have implemented reforms as the result of ballot initiative)

States Considering RCV / IRV
AZ       ME     
CA      MN
GA      NJ
HI        NY
IN        RI
MA      VT
MD      DC








States Considering AVR
AL       LA       OH
AR      MD      PA
AZ       MI       SC
FL       MN      TN
GA      MO      TX
HI        NJ        VA
IL        NM      WA
IN        NY      WI
IA        NC

States Considering Top-Two
AZ       MN
AK      MS
FL       NM
ID        NY
IL        OK
MA      OR
MD      SD
ME      VA






Thursday, November 17, 2016

Role of Non-Partisan Voters as Nevada Legislature Returns to Blue

Just under 70 percent of Nevada voters cast ballots for state senator or assemblyperson either through in-person early voting, absentee or mail-in ballots or on election day.  Since overall turnout was approximately76 percent, this means six percent did not vote for their representatives in the state legislature.

Data currently available from the secretary of state’s office does not yet include Election Day votes broken down by party. What is known from the data available is Democratic voters made up 42 percent of that total votes cast, Republicans 36 percent, and Non-Partisan and minor party 22 percent. Turnout in Clark County was below the average at 75 percent while Washoe County and the rural counties were above at 79 and 78 respectively.

The data also shows that 56 percent of Democratic voters, 57 percent of Republican voters, and 48 percent of Non-Partisan and minor party voters cast ballots prior to election day. Breaking out that data by county shows Democratic voters turned out an average of 8 percent less than registration, Republicans 16 percent lower, and Non-Partisan and minor party 11 percent less.  

At the close of registration for the general election, Non-Partisans accounted for 21 percent of active registered voters with members of minor parties accounting for another 6.5 percent.  In Clark County Non-Partisan and minor parties accounted for 22 percent and six percent, in Washoe County 20 percent and seven percent, and rural counties 17 and seven percent.

The tables linked here show just how important these voters were to the outcome. Even in races where the majority party easily won the seat, Non-partisan and minor party voters were instrumental.  In several races, they were the deciding factor.

In the state senate, 11 seats were up for election. In the state assembly, all 42 seats were up. All major party candidates received a percentage of the vote higher than the party’s registration in their respective district. The higher the difference, the more Non-Partisan, minor party, and cross-over votes were received. In most races, these votes either increased or decreased the margin of victory. However, in Senate Districts 5 and 6, they determined the winner; the difference between the majority party maintaining or losing the seat. A similar impact can be seen in Assembly Districts 5 and 29. In Assembly Districts 4, 31, and 37 Non-Partisan and minor party voters were responsible for the majority party in the district losing the seat.

On the national level, independent voters made Donald Trump president. National turnout is said to have hit a 20-year low at 55 percent. Independent voters accounted for 31 percent. Of that percentage, exit polls show 48 percent voted for Donald Trump, 42 percent backed Hillary Clinton and 10 percent another or no candidate.


As the number of Non-Partisan voters continues to grow, candidates will have to reach out to those voters. This is the political reality. Enacting the Nevada Election Modernization and Reform Act for 2017 (NEMRA – 2017) would provide a mechanism to embrace this changing political environment.