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Newly Registered Voters choose “Party” over “No Preference”

Posted at 3:02 PM, Nov 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-20 18:00:28-05

PHOENIX — New data shows Arizonans are more likely to register with a major party instead of choosing "no preference" than they were in the past. This report represents the first time since 1950 that “No Party Preference” has grown at a slower rate than one of the major parties in two consecutive November reports. “No Party Preference” was the leading choice for voters this year in only 1 of Arizona’s 15 counties.

The voter registration report released yesterday by the Arizona Secretary of State proves, once again, the state’s battleground status in the 2020 election. The report, which is released quarterly, shows that Arizona now has a little over 3.8 million registered voters. This represents an increase of almost 300,000 since the November 2016 election.

The Democratic Party was the slight favorite for Arizonans who have registered since the last report was released in July. The party picked up 21,402 registrants, outpacing newly registered Republicans by 3,702. Most of these gains came from Maricopa county, where Democrats picked up 14,475 to the Republicans 10,977. “No Party Preference”, meanwhile, picked up the least amount of registrants at 10,540.

For most of the state’s history, Arizona was a Democratic stronghold, with as much as a 40 point advantage over Republicans in 1950. It was not until the 1986 midterm elections that Republican registration surpassed that of the Democratic Party.

Republican registration has been at an advantage ever since, reaching a peak of six points in 2006. During that same time period, “No Party Preference” registration also exploded in the state, going from 11 percent of the state’s registered voters to 26 percent. This most recent registration report marks the most narrow year over year advantage that Republican registration has had since November of 2009.

An analysis done by ABC 15 estimates that the state will have over 4 million registered voters leading up to the 2020 election.

Watch Arizona’s Voter Registration Growth through the years: