Monthly Trends: The month of September showed continued losses in membership for the Republican and Democratic Parties. The IPO lost membership at the same rate as the major parties as well.
While the “other minor parties” category has seen the most growth percentage wise and has about the same total growth in registrants as NAV, all of that growth has been attributable to the Working Families Party, which has grown from 4,351 in December 2012 to 8,939 in September 2013 -- an increase of 4,588.
So, in reality, the other minor parties have lost almost 2 percent. Keep in mind that “all other minor parties,” including the Working Families Party, still make up just 2.86 percent of total registered voters.
Here are the longer term trends:
Party_______Dec, 2012_________ July 2013 _______+/-_________+/-%
Dem 870,500 848,665 (21,835) (2.5%)
Rep. 682,731 667,571 (15,160) (2.22%)
NAV 492,419 496,067 +3,648 +.7%
IPO 95,394 97,165 +1,771 +1.87%
Other Minor 58,464 62,113 + 3,649 +6.24%
TOTAL VOTER 2,199,508 2,171,581 27,927 (1.30%)
Analysis: As long as a near equal number of Democrats and Republicans abandon the major parties, it seems unlikely that there will be any major changes. The less partisan voters who re-registered as NAV or i/Independent will still likely lean toward a Democratic or Republican position and vote accordingly.
Two things could change that calculus for these “leaners”
First, if the major parties move further right and left due to their loss of less partisan members and the influence of their more active partisans.
And second, if the IPO is able to field some capable, moderately-funded candidates to put on the ballot for the 2016 primary election.
This article was originally published by Washington County Independents on October 10, 2013.
Image credit: Asphalt&Rubber