Democratic Voter Registration Lagging Republican Registration in Key Midwestern States

Tom Edsall:

A Democratic strategist — who requested anonymity because his employer does not want him publicly identified talking about the election — analyzed the implications of the most recent voter registration trends for me.

In Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, he said, overall

registration is up by 6 points through August compared to the 2016 cycle, but net Democratic registrations are down by 38 percent. That’s about 150,000 fewer additional Democrats than were added in 2016.

In addition, he continued, registration among whites without college degrees

is up by 46 percent while registration by people of color is up by only 4 percent. That gap is made more stark when you realize that over the last four years, the WNC (white non-college) population has increased by only 1 percent in those states, while the number of people of color increased by 13 percent.

The pattern was more pronounced in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin than it was in Michigan.

On its own, increased registration among non-college whites would have only a negligible effect on total state voting, my source pointed out, but

it becomes troubling if it reflects greater interest more generally for these voters in those states. And there are good reasons to believe that if that is the case, those additionally energized voters are very underrepresented in surveys now.

Even if white non-college turnout reached the highest expectations, he cautioned, it would not “erase Biden’s current polling leads. But it does make the races much closer.”

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