Democrats have wide registration lead in key states

McClatchy NewspapersOctober 14, 2008 

WASHINGTON — Barack Obama's campaign said Tuesday that its army of nationwide workers has registered millions of voters and that Democrats now hold a 3.34-million voter edge in 13 battleground states.

With voter-registration deadlines past in most key states, Obama's aides said data show that in 13 swing states, there are 1.49 million more Democrats and 61,438 fewer Republicans registered than there were at the time of the 2004 general election.

"It looks like the Democratic registration in the last six months has outpaced the Republican registration by 4 to 1," Obama's campaign manager, David Plouffe, told reporters. Obama's campaign said it's erased GOP advantages in Iowa and Nevada, and dramatically increased its edges in Florida, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

Ben Porritt, a spokesman for Republican John McCain's campaign, didn't dispute the figures, but said that "in 2004, Democrats also had a voter registration advantage — and Republicans were successful."

"And in this election," Porritt said, "what's important to note is that John McCain is not a typical Republican. He appeals to crossover Democrats and will win a large number of independents."

The Obama campaign said that among 10 other swing states that don't list registrants by party, the total registration has increased by 1.4 million voters over 2004, reflecting the determined canvassing push.

The campaign, the first to forgo public financing, has "invested huge amounts" of money and both volunteer and paid staff to sign up voters, and to inform them of registration deadlines and early voting opportunities, Plouffe said.

The campaign cited figures from secretaries of state showing that Democrats have increased their advantages more than tenfold in North Carolina, from 18,274 to 198,557; among registered Florida voters from 368,757 in 2004 to 618,244; and by nearly triple in Pennsylvania, from 191,269 to 556,109.

In Iowa, Democrats reversed a Republican lead of 7,658 in registered voters in 2004 to take a 103,756-voter advantage heading into this year's election.

Democrats gained a 93,727-voter advantage in Nevada, overcoming a 4,431 deficit in 2004.

In Colorado, a state that Republican presidential candidates usually win, there are 49,280 more registered Democrats than there were in 2004 and nearly 80,000 fewer Republican registrants, the campaign said. In West Virginia, Democratic registration fell by 11,390 from 2004, while Republican registration rose by 224, but the Obama campaign said that Democratic registration in 2008 has outpaced the GOP's by 14,845.

In Maine, which allows citizens to register on the same day that they vote, the number of registered voters in both parties fell, with Republicans losing 32,888 and Democrats 18,340, yielding a 46,294-voter advantage for Democrats, compared with 31,746 in 2004.

In New Hampshire, Democrats nearly caught Republican registration, narrowing a gap of 38,746 voters to 5,932.

In New Mexico, Democrats increased their advantage from 190,956 to 212,324.

In Oregon, a GOP loss of 67,009 registered voters helped Democrats widen a 17,174-voter edge in 2004 to 102,010.

In Alaska, Republicans maintained their nearly 50,000-voter edge. It increased slightly since 2004 with each party registering about the same number of new voters.

The Obama campaign didn't disclose a breakdown of registration figures for the 13th battleground state, Nebraska, and it wasn't immediately available from the state's election officials.

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