Monday, October 6, 2008

Registration Deadline

If you have not yet registered to vote, today is the last day to do it in a lot of states, including Florida.

That said, it seems that a lot of people have already registered to vote, and a lot of them are Democrats.

A look at the voter registration numbers in some battleground states suggests trends that appear to favor Obama.

Virginia, for example, has logged more than 300,000 new voters since the year began. The state does not record party affiliation, but it says that 41% of the new registrants are under the age of 25, and an additional 20% are between the ages of 25 and 34.

The influx of young voters, a core part of Obama’s voting coalition, is an encouraging sign for the Democratic nominee in a state that has not picked a Democrat for president in more than 40 years.

“This is exactly what we needed to do to change the electorate in Virginia in order to put Sen. Obama in a position where he could win the state,” said Steve Hildebrand, Obama’s deputy campaign manager.

In Nevada, another Republican state that Obama is trying to move into the Democratic column, Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than 80,000, according to figures posted by the state in September, before the voter registration deadline last Saturday. Four years ago, Republicans held a registration edge of 4,431.

Democratic registration has ballooned in Pennsylvania, presenting a challenge to Republicans who hoped to swing the state to their column. Obama’s party now outnumbers Republicans by nearly 1.15 million registered voters. In the 2004 election, the margin was about 580,000; in 2000, it was 486,000.

Of course, registration is one thing. Getting out and actually voting is something else.