Arizona has seen a dramatic population increase since 2018, and demographic shifts have put the Democrats within striking distance of the GOP. Before the 2018 primary, the Republican Party held 34.3 percent of registered voters to the Democratic Party’s 28.9 percent. Unaffiliated voters (aka “Independents”) controlled the largest share of the 2018 electorate with 36.8 percent.
The latest voter registration numbers from the Secretary of State’s Office have some good news! The Republican Party’s share of the electorate rose by only 0.5 points in two years, to 34.8 percent. Democratic Party affiliation, meanwhile, spiked to 32.2 percent, a 3.3 percentage-point change during the same period.
In other words, the 5.4-percentage-point voter registration advantage that Republicans held in 2018’s midterm election has shrunk to a mere 2.6 percentage point advantage. The spike in Democratic registration noticeably came at the cost of unaffiliated voters, whose percentage dropped by 3.9 points between 2018 and 2020.
The majority of the drop in unaffiliated voters, and the uptick in Democratic voter registration since 2018 can be attributed to the Presidential Preference Election – only Democrats were allowed to participate, and from January to February this year, Democrats saw a 1.3 percentage point increase, while independents dropped by 1 percent. However, the broader statewide Dem gains are more likely attributable to the state’s population growth and demographic changes.
Our challenge now is to keep those newly registered Democrats committed to voting come November.