Disenchanted voters have left Republican Party enrollment in freefall since 2005, with more Americans registering either with the Democrats or no party at all. While changes in party membership are common, a sustained drop like that is remarkable, say psephologists. The shift might have little effect on this year's presidential race, but it bodes ill for GOP chances in state and local elections.
In 26 states with data, only three of them saw Republican registration rise, and two of those by less than 1%. But six states, including swing states such as Pennyslvania and New Hampshire, saw Democratic registration gain by more than 3%—including Nevada and Iowa, which have shifted from a majority of Republican voters in 2004 to Democrats. "Obviously, these are not good numbers for the party to be looking at," said former majority leader Dick Armey.
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