A political shift is beginning to take hold across the U.S. as tens of thousands of swing voters defect from the Democratic party and register to vote Republican.
According to voter registration data analyzed by The Associated Press, more than 1 million voters across 43 states joined the Republican Party over the last year. The mass exodus from the Democratic party is playing out in virtually every region of the country since the beginning of President Biden’s term in office.
The most significant shift is occurring in the suburbs, where swing voters who turned against the Republican Party in recent years appear to be swinging back.
Voters in suburban counties from Denver to Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland represent some of the largest concentrations of change. It’s not just in the larger suburban surroundings of large cities; it is occurring in places such as Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Raleigh, North Carolina; Augusta, Georgia; and Des Moines, Iowa.
The AP examined data from L2, a political data firm, which included roughly 1.7 million voters across 42 states over the last 12 months. L2’s method combines state voter records and statistical modeling to determine party affiliation.
Over the last year, roughly two-thirds of the 1.7 million voters they analyzed shifted affiliation to the Republican Party. More than 1 million people became Republicans compared to about 630,000 who became Democrats.
“Biden and Democrats are woefully out of touch with the American people, and that’s why voters are flocking to the Republican Party in droves,” RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel told the AP.
Almost every state in the country saw the same trend of change. Only Virginia saw Democrats trending up over the last year. Yet, last year’s elections proved to be a victory for Republicans in Virginia.
Iowa, which usually trends 2:1 Democrat, had flipped 2:1 Republican according to L2. The change is occurring in Ohio.
Florida was 58% Republican at the end of President Trump’s administration but has steadily increased to about 70% of the state’s voters. In Pennsylvania, the Republican voters increased from 58% to about 63% in the same period.
The AP found that in 168 of 235 suburban counties examined, 72% experienced a similar trend in the last 12 months. These included suburban areas in Georgia, Iowa, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Ohio, Virginia, and Washington.
Surprisingly, suburban counties like Larimer, near Denver, and Venture and Santa Barbara, near Los Angeles, showed the same trends.
The study showed that in Lorain County, Ohio, near Cleveland, almost every party switcher during the last year has gone Republican. The same era saw a similar percentage leave the Republican party to vote against the GOP in the last Presidential election.
Emily Seidel, who directs the Koch-backed grassroots organization Americans for Prosperity, said suburban voters are distancing themselves from Democrats who represent “extreme policy positions.”
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