Americans are growing more fed up with the Biden administration and the Democrats’ policies every day. Polling shows this; the president is 17.2 points underwater in the RealClearPolitics average of job approval numbers as of this writing. The generic congressional ballot favors the GOP by 3.4 points as well, according to RealClearPolitics.
But the Associated Press is reporting that voters may be sending a strong message to Democrats by switching their party affiliation to the GOP. Over a million voters have shifted their registration to Republican over the past year.
“The previously unreported number reflects a phenomenon that is playing out in virtually every region of the country — Democratic and Republican states along with cities and small towns — in the period since President Joe Biden replaced former President Donald Trump,” write Steve Peoples and Aaron Kessler at the AP.
Perhaps most notable about this shift is that many of the voters moving their registrations are in the suburbs. Democrats have relied on suburban voters to pump up their numbers in recent election cycles, and the move toward the GOP may mean that the Democrats won’t be able to count on the suburbs like they used to. In 72% of the suburban counties that the AP researched, Republicans picked up registered voters.
“While party switching is not uncommon, the data shows a definite reversal from the period while Trump was in office, when Democrats enjoyed a slight edge in the number of party switchers nationwide,” Peoples and Kessler explain.
“But over the last year, roughly two-thirds of the 1.7 million voters who changed their party affiliation shifted to the Republican Party,” they continue. “In all, more than 1 million people became Republicans compared to about 630,000 who became Democrats.”
Does this massive change signify a coming red wave? Not so fast, says the AP; in fact, Peoples and Kessler seem to go out of their way to make sure that Democrats don’t panic and Republicans don’t spike the football.
“The broad migration of more than 1 million voters, a small portion of the overall U.S. electorate, does not ensure widespread Republican success in the November midterm elections, which will determine control of Congress and dozens of governorships,” they write. “Democrats are hoping the Supreme Court’s decision on Friday to overrule Roe v. Wade will energize supporters, particularly in the suburbs, ahead of the midterms.”
Even conservative groups are tamping down big expectations. The report quotes Emily Seidel of Americans for Prosperity (which, apropos of nothing, Peoples and Kessler refer to as “Koch-backed”) as stating that just because a voter switches parties doesn’t mean that he or she is ready to vote against the old party. Still, switching party affiliation is significant and something that voters don’t take lightly. Many voters who have switched parties believe that the Democrats have “left [them] behind.”
The two reporters do point out that Democrats haven’t come up with a way to combat Joe Biden’s tanking popularity, and the GOP is taking advantage of it every chance it can. And it’s paying off in registrations. Here’s hoping it’ll pay off in November, too.