Back on the 8th, the Columbus Dispatch ran a story by Mark Niquette titled “GOP swelling as Ohio voters switch parties” that was breathlessly picked up by just about every major newspaper in Ohio.
After reading it, you’d expect that you are the only person in Ohio who hasn’t left the Democratic Party for the Republican Party, and therefore, are missing out of the hottest political fad.
Except it’s all bullshit.
The Ohio Democratic Party has researched the story and found it to be one part highly misleading and one part out right false.
First, the Ohio Democratic Party focused only on the voters that Niquette focused on, voters that voted Democratic in 2008, but are now voting in the Republican Party.? In this research memo, the Ohio Democratic Party found:
- 54% of the 16,997 Party-switchers were registered Republicans prior to 2008.
- An additional 15% of these Party-switchers were not affiliated with either Party prior to 2008.
- Therefore, 69% of the Party-switchers were never really Democrats to start.
- 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.
In other words, reason there’s a large number of “Democratic” voters switching back to the GOP is because Operation Chaos is over.? These folks were never truly Democrats and this is exactly WHY Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner was correct in enforcing a uniform standard in handling voters wishing to switch parties in primaries.
But when you look at the broader electorate of the primary voters this year, you get a complete different picture.? Oh, one that looks like this:
Yes, actually the number of Democrats in Ohio has actually INCREASED since 2008 while the number of Republicans DECREASED to the lowest levels since 2002 despite the fact that Operation Chaos voters are coming “home” to the Republican Party in droves.
I’ve circled the numbers in red because so far not a single newspaper that covered yesterday’s ODP press conference on this issue has managed to include that fact in their reporting.? Ohio Democrats have reproduced like jackrabbits over the past decade, over doubling their size, while Republicans have been stagnant.? This, of course, means that the Ohio Democrats are DOOMED come November if you’re a member of the Ohio Fourth Estate.
So, how are the Democratic numbers in Ohio still increasing?? Well, remember how the Ohio media keeps telling you how Independents just HATE the Democrats now and they’re going to let the world know in the ballot box?? Well, they’re definitely saying something at the ballot box alright:
More of them are saying that they’re now Democratic voters.? Maybe it’s a self-loathing thing.
Oh, and you know how the contested GOP primaries and the Tea Parties have Republican voters just dying to get the polls while Democrats are cowering in fear?
Not so much…
This is horrible news for Lee Fisher, who all indications are, has done little to no tracking of early voters while Brunner’s campaign has been very effective in reaching such early voters.? It also counters the media narrative that the high level of undecideds in public opinion polling in the Senate primary translate to a lack of interest in the race.? The Democratic Senate primary is the ONLY reason why people would request a Democratic primary ballot as it’s the only contested statewide primary race.
Ohio Democrats have over a million voter advantage in the State and growing.? Not even during the GOP heyday of the 1990s did they have this kind of advantage.? We have over 1.7 times as many voters as Republicans.? And yet, the Ohio newspaper media is perpetuating a disproven myth that changes in voter registrations is favoring the GOP, not the Democrats.
[UPDATE]: The Ohio Republican Party was asked to comment on this data.?? Suffice it to say, they had nothing substantive to refute these hard numbers.? NPR has the story.