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TO: Interested Parties

FROM: Doug Kelly, Executive Director; Geoff Wetrosky, Targeting Director


SUBJECT: Democratic Momentum Continues in 2010 Early Voting and Voter Registration
DATE: April 15, 2010

BACKGROUND
After two straight cycles of sweeping losses, national and state GOP leaders are desperately spinning a narrative about
an “enthusiasm gap” between the two Parties that will increase support for Republicans and even lead registered
Democrats to switch to the Republican Party. None of this is true – in fact, the numbers show just the opposite. Here
are the facts from the first two weeks of Ohio’s 35-day early voting period for the May primary election. Data is from 39
counties, including seven of the ten most populous counties, as current up to April 12, 2010i.

PARTY REGISTRATION: DEMOCRATS CURRENTLY HOLD A 1.1 MILLION PERSON ADVANTAGE.


More Ohioans are registering as Democrats – even
after 2008’s remarkable surge – while GOP
registration is declining.

In 2008, Ohio Democrats held a 986,495


registered voter advantage over the GOP.
Since 2008, Democrats have gained
100,000 more new registrants for a
1,084,537-person advantage, while GOP
registration has actually declined.

This registration advantage is not a single year


trend. Democratic registration in Ohio has
increased every election year since 2000. The last
year the GOP had a registration advantage over Democrats was 2002.

WHAT ENTHUSIASM GAP? DEMOCRATS ARE PULLING MORE PRIMARY BALLOTS.


Enthusiasm is higher among Democrats. Requests for Democratic primary ballots outnumber requests for GOP ballots
by nearly 38,000. This Democratic advantage exists despite there being more contested GOP primaries, and even
though the Ohio Republican Party is running a substantial mail and phone GOTV program to turn out early voters in
support of its endorsed candidates in contested primaries.

Total number of Democratic primary ballots requested .................................................. 176,598 (56%)


Total number of Republican primary ballots requested ................................................... 138,637 (44%)
INDEPENDENTS ARE ALIGNING WITH THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IN GREATER NUMBERS.
In addition, independent (unaffiliated) voters have requested more Democratic ballots than Republican ballots. These
voters did not vote in either Party's primary in 2008, and many of them are voting in a primary for the first time.
Total number of unaffiliated voters requesting Democratic ballots .................................. 30,432 (52%)
Total number of unaffiliated voters requesting Republican ballots ................................... 27,808 (48%)
Recent public polling in Ohio indicates that in order to be victorious, Republican candidates will need to win the
independent vote by a wide margin. If the best Republicans can do is split the independent vote, Democrats win.

PARTY-SWITCHERS: DEMOCRATS HAVE SEEN A NET GAIN SINCE EARLY VOTING BEGAN.
Party-switchers make up a very small portion of the total number of ballots requested for the May 2010 Primary.
Total ballots requested ................................................................................................................355,458
Total Democrats requesting Republican ballots ............................................................................16,997
Total Republicans requesting Democratic ballots ...........................................................................2,743
Keeping in mind that 30,432 unaffiliated voters have requested Democratic Primary ballots, the Democratic Party has
seen a net gain of 13,435 registrants since early voting began.

Number of Democratic Registrants Continues to Increase

30,432
Unaffiliated
Voters Registering
as Democrats
+
2,519,401
Registered Democrats

- 16,997
Party
Switchers

Furthermore, 54% of the 16,997 Party-switchers were registered Republicans prior to 2008. An additional 15 percent
of these Party-switchers were not affiliated with either Party prior to 2008. So 69% of the Party-switchers were never
really Democrats to start. In fact, nearly 3,600 of the Party-switchers were contacted by field staff and volunteers during
the 2008 presidential campaign and identified as John McCain supporters.

SUMMARY
Democratic momentum in Ohio continues to build for the sixth year in a row. Two years ago, more than twice as many
voters participated in the Democratic Primary than the Republican Primary. And those who are returning to their GOP
roots this year are being replaced by unaffiliated voters choosing to vote in a Democratic Primary for the first time. Ohio
Democrats still outnumber Republicans by a margin of 1.1 million, and the Democratic Party remains on track to cement
its status as the dominant Party in the state.

1
Data was collected from Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, Lucas, Montgomery, Stark, and Summit Counties on April 12. Data was collected from Ashtabula, Athens, Brown, Carroll,
Champaign, Clark, Clinton, Columbiana, Coshocton, Erie, Fairfield, Fayette, Gallia, Greene, Hardin, Harrison, Jefferson, Knox, Lake, Licking, Madison, Meigs, Morgan, Muskingum, Pickaway,
Ross, Seneca, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, Union, Warren, and Washington Counties on April 8.