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Posted: 9/6/2008 8:10:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/6/2008 8:12:51 PM EDT by The_Macallan]

Dems post big gains in voter registration, GOP declines

CLAIRTON, Pennsylvania (AP) — Five days a week, Linda Graham trolls tattered neighborhoods of this once thriving steel city outside Pittsburgh for unregistered voters she can sign up as Democrats — one of thousands of unknown volunteers whose work outside the limelight has already altered the basic arithmetic of the November election.

The epic nomination battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton helped put millions more Democrats on the voter rolls while Republican registration declined. Now Graham, 45, has taken three months of unpaid leave from her job at Pittsburgh's Central Blood Bank in the hope of adding to those gains before the presidential vote.

She's encouraged by the response here. "They're all feeling the crunch" of lost jobs and a sagging economy, Graham said. "But people are feeling empowered. They're feeling like, you know what, I hold a little bit of power in this."

To counter this effort, the Republicans are counting on a formidable, high-tech get-out-the-vote operation that has helped them win the past two presidential elections.

Since the last federal election in 2006, volunteers like Graham combined with the enthusiasm generated by the Obama-Clinton struggle to add more than 2 million Democrats to voter rolls in the 28 states that register voters according to party affiliation. The Republicans have lost nearly 344,000 thousand voters in the same states.

The Democrats hope their voter registration efforts can boost Obama to victory in competitive states like Pennsylvania, Nevada and Florida and perhaps even give him a shot at winning traditional Republican states like Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.

Both Obama and his Republican rival, John McCain, are fighting for independent swing voters, and many of the new Democrats had been unaffiliated voters.

The number of unaffiliated voters dropped by nearly 900,000 since 2006. Many joined the Democratic Party to take part in the primaries and caucuses, and now they will now be targeted by an aggressive get-out-the-vote campaign.

"We feel that our supporters are more enthusiastic than we've seen in previous cycles," said Jon Carson, Obama's national field director.

The Obama campaign is taking the lead among the party organizations and labor unions that traditionally work on voter registration efforts.

Because party organizations and unions, like the Service Employees International Union to which Graham belongs, can raise unrestricted amounts of money, presidential campaigns typically rely on them to handle the bulk of voter registration drives, Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean said in an interview.

"This is the first campaign I've seen where the voter registration is done by the campaign," Dean said.

The Republicans are relying on a more traditional voter registration model, with the Republican National Committee leading the effort among state parties.

"We hope that the hard work we've done in the past will provide us with a strategic advantage," said Mike DuHaime, McCain's political director. "We will have the most technologically advanced ground operation ever."

DuHaime said the RNC is working with the state parties to register voters in every battleground state. He said there is extra emphasis on the fast-growing ones, including Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Florida and North Carolina.

He said the GOP's comprehensive voter database helps it track voters moving into competitive states.

"If you ever voted in a Republican primary and move without registering, we pick it up," DuHaime said.

Nationwide, there are about 42 million registered Democrats and about 31 million Republicans, according to statistics compiled by The Associated Press.

The Democrats have posted big gains in many competitive states, including Nevada, New Hampshire, Iowa, Colorado and Florida. They have also been targeting historically Republican southern states.

Since 2006, the Democrats have added 167,000 voters in North Carolina, while the Republicans have added 36,000. The Democrats' biggest voter registration goal is in Georgia, where the Obama campaign hopes to register 500,000 voters before the election, said Dean, who has spent the past month traveling the country on a voter registration bus tour.

"The Obama folks are serious about Georgia," Dean said. Georgia has added 337,000 voters since 2006, but the state does not identify them by party affiliation.

In Pennsylvania, the Democrats have added 375,000 voters since 2006 while the Republicans have lost 117,000.

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Obama's up by 5.0% in Pennsylvania and up by 4.3% in Michigan - both higher spreads than Kerry won with in 2004.

Get gettin' on!
Link Posted: 9/6/2008 8:16:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/6/2008 8:17:49 PM EDT by Treadhead]
What percentage (Give or take?) of those new dims are "Operation chaos" folks?

Anyone got a clue?  Last I heard "OC" generated something on average of 3% (New dim voters) nationally.

EDIT:  BTW though!, don't stop your efforts in the swing states folks!
Link Posted: 9/6/2008 8:16:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/6/2008 8:17:43 PM EDT by Waldo0506]
Thats a bunch of crap.

I have water heaters sold to a guy in April and wood flooring a guy bought in February sitting on the shelf.

I tell a guy to send me a bill for something and it takes him 6 months to mail it out.

Credit reports often have multiple accounts still open on them that havent been used in years.





This article insinuates that people are actively changing their party affiliation? BS. They don't care, they register and vote how they want. If they turn hippie they rarely think about changing what is on their card, they just change their vote.

Shoot, most people don't EVER change their transmission fluid.
Link Posted: 9/6/2008 8:19:03 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Waldo0506:
This article insinuates that people are actively changing their party affiliation? BS. They don't care, they register and vote how they want. If they turn hippie they rarely think about changing what is on their card, they just change their vote.


By hook or crook they're getting/conning unregistered voters to become Democrats.

Link Posted: 9/6/2008 8:21:07 PM EDT
Obama can eat a dick.  He isn't going to win...
Link Posted: 9/6/2008 8:25:28 PM EDT
I personally know dozens of people in my state who voted for Hillary Clinton in the primaries just to muddy the waters.  I suspect many, many more did the same throughout the state.  If the Dems think those votes are going for Obama in the general election, they're delusional.
Link Posted: 9/6/2008 8:26:33 PM EDT
If I had as much money as T.Boone Pickens I would airdrop Olde English and Colt .45 to select cities such as Detroit, New Orleans, Philedelphia and Atlanta... ensuring most of these 'newly registered' voters would stay home with hangovers.
Link Posted: 9/6/2008 8:28:31 PM EDT
HELL i registered democratic to vote for Clinton in the primaries! im a republican
Link Posted: 9/6/2008 8:30:27 PM EDT
We need to hope it rains on election day! Not really, this stuff is so overblown it isn't even funny anymore.
Link Posted: 9/6/2008 8:45:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Macallan:

Originally Posted By Waldo0506:
This article insinuates that people are actively changing their party affiliation? BS. They don't care, they register and vote how they want. If they turn hippie they rarely think about changing what is on their card, they just change their vote.


By hook or crook they're getting/conning unregistered voters to become Democrats.


or the article is leaving something out...

Why don't they use 2004 numbers? We have an election that mentions a democratic candidate 8 billion times but uses numbers from 2006

Link Posted: 9/6/2008 8:53:35 PM EDT
Take out the pets and the dead.
Link Posted: 9/6/2008 9:01:35 PM EDT
Barely matters.

My sister is a registered Democrat because the D's control local politics but votes Republican for national offices.

I'm a registered independent on principle.
Link Posted: 9/6/2008 9:15:58 PM EDT
I am registered as no party because of all the junk mail you get. I swear I am not voting for the messiah. I would much rather see the 2 conservative hotties in the White House.
Link Posted: 9/6/2008 9:21:54 PM EDT
this is one of Obama's very very strong points.


he's got an outstanding ground game and he WILL field more voters than usual.  it worries me every time.  between real voters,  dead people and double voters,  he's going to get a bunch of voters out that normally wouldn't.
Link Posted: 9/6/2008 9:23:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/6/2008 9:23:44 PM EDT by ORinTX]
It's easy to register.  You have to actually get off your ass to go vote.

Remember, in some states people don't declare a party affiliation when they register.

ETA: Also, remember that we have an electoral system.  Unless these folks are all in states that were barely red, it's irrelevant.
Link Posted: 9/6/2008 9:29:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Macallan:

Originally Posted By Waldo0506:
This article insinuates that people are actively changing their party affiliation? BS. They don't care, they register and vote how they want. If they turn hippie they rarely think about changing what is on their card, they just change their vote.


By hook or crook they're getting/conning unregistered voters to become Democrats.



Yeah, but will they show up on election day?
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