Democratic Registration Jumps

As Oregon's presidential primary election nears, thousands of voters around the state are re-registering as Democrats.

From the Register-Guard:

Thousands of Oregon voters have been reregistering as Democrats — and more are expected to join them as that party’s Oregon presidential primary approaches.

The tight delegate race between Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama remains close, catapulting Oregon’s late-in-the-game May 20 primary from nominating obscurity to potential relevance. And since Oregon’s primaries are open only to party members, Lane County and Oregon as a whole are seeing a big jump in the number of voters switching their registration to Democratic.

“It’s going to continue and it will really escalate as the election gets closer,” said Annette Newingham, who oversees Lane County elections.

The party-switching movement picked up momentum last week — first when conservative talk radio host Victoria Taft encouraged it and then on Sunday when Oregonian columnist Dave Reinhard picked up on the “Democrat for a Day” campaign. Both commentators are encouraging Republicans to reregister as Democrats before the April 29 deadline so they can vote for the other party’s presidential candidate whom they believe gives Republican nominee-in-waiting John McCain the best chance of victory in November.

Despite Taft and Reinhard's motives, the vast majority of party switchers have honest intentions:

It turns out that many GOP voters were making the switch even before the “Democrat for a Day” — or “dummocrat” as Taft puts it — movement got going.

From Feb. 1 through last Thursday, 7,318 Oregon voters reregistered as Democrats — including 2,644 who had been Republicans. The Oregon Republican Party, meanwhile, picked up just 1,426 party switchers, of which 596 had left the Democratic Party.

But interviews with some of Lane County’s Republican-turned-Democrat voters suggest that sabotaging the other party’s nomination isn’t their goal but voting Democrat is.

Among the 13 Republicans-turned-Democrat interviewed, all said they had already grown weary of the Republican Party, and particularly, its top member.

“I’m just Bushed out,” said John Antone, 68, of Springfield.

Read the rest. Discuss.

  • (Show?)

    Following the Reagan realignment, I recall liberals chiding Reagan Democrats as half-witted dupes. For a decade, Dems didn't come to terms with their own culpability in that realignment.

    Watching the Republicans now chiding "dummocrats" makes me smile.

  • Steve Bucknum (unverified)

    As I noted earlier here in Blue Oregon, in Crook Co. we have seen a very dramatic rise in the numbers of younger voters registering as Democrats - way before the Republican move to be a "Democrat for a Day" started.

    I wish the Register-Guard had taken it one step further, and done a break out on age. I for one would like to know if State wide we are seeing a surge in young voter registration.

  • naschkatzehussein (unverified)

    I am one of those who made the switch, from non-affiliated to Democrat. I intended to vote for Obama in the general anyway and have donated to his campaign, but after the Texas and Ohio primaries, I was angered that so many Republicans were crossing over just in order to vote for Clinton to supposedly make their chances better in November so I decided that I would be an Obama vote canceling out a Republican for Clinton.

    Clinton is now claiming that Michigan not being able to get a revote is a violation of civil rights. I must say I am a little disappointed that the Obama campaign doesn't address this more loudly. One of the things Clinton wanted was that Republicans who had not voted in the original Michigan primary be allowed to vote in the Democratic revote in June. This is not provable election fraud, but to me it smacks of it when Republicans are voting in a Democratic primary in order to sabotage the Democratic vote and have no intentions of voting for the Democrat in November.

  • BCM (unverified)

    So much for that lasting Republican majority, Karl...

  • LiberalIncarnate (unverified)

    And how many of these are actually ingonito Republicans that will vote for Clinton to try for an upset?

    How evil can these people be?

  • (Show?)

    I don't believe that Obama's appeal across all ideological lines can be overstated. A reader of my blog, who is herself a self-described conservative (albeit, with a very strong independent streak), made the following observation while discussing Obama's recent speech which has recieved so much positive commentary over the last few days:

    I was as impressed as Becky was--and the man very likely wrote this speech himself. That's unusual.He's extremely talented, intelligent, and insightful. <u>Even my very, very conservative husband, the man who mutes Hillary, listened to it all and made favorable comments</u>. (emphasis supplied)

    I believe that she and her husband live in California and thus aren't really relevant to what registered Oregon voters are doing. But I do believe that it is indicative of why many of the Oregon Republicans who are switching are doing so.

  • Jacquelyn Burns (unverified)

    To Howard Dean and the Democratic Party:

    I am a woman in my mid-50's. I have been a Democrat all of my life. I also live in Michigan and know several people in Florida. If Michigan and Florida do not get their votes to count from the primary, you have lost so many Democrats, it is not funny. The states leaders may have screwed up, but we had nothing to do with that. I, and thousands others gave our votes in good faith. Don't lose all of us because you want to prove a point. Find another way to punish them. You take our vote away now, and you'll never see support for the Democrats from us again! At a time when the country needs the party in office more than ever. Can you really afford to lose these 2 great states?

    Please reconsider, and don't hurt us because a few people made a mistake.

    Sincerely, Jacquelyn Burns

  • Les Lambert (unverified)

    What the most recent campaigning has demonstrated very clearly is that there is a world of difference between Clinton and Obama. Hillary wants to be President, whereas Barack wants to lead this country. What Hillary seems to be willing to do to win the nomination looks like the definition of Pyrrhic victory to me.

    <h2>I think that being forced to divert Democratic resources from the general election campaign (for costs of primary re-runs in MI & FL) in order to prolong the Democratic primary indecision is ludicrous. Karl Rove must be grinning from ear to ear with what his Florida Republican colleagues have accomplished. I don't believe that re-runs in either MI or FL will resolve anything, nor will the remaining primaries. Barack will wind up ahead in delegates, either way. It will be up to the superdelegates. If Hillary will not stand down, someone in DNC should step in and find a way to end this farce, sooner rather than later.</h2>
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