For the first time ever, more Palm Beach County voters are registered with no party or minor parties than with the GOP, according to today’s voter statistics from the county elections office.
As of this afternoon, there were 235,487 registered Republicans in the county and 235,508 voters registered with no party affiliation or with minor parties, according to the county elections website, which updates daily. There are also 366,450 registered Democrats in the county.
The numbers posted on the elections website fluctuate and it’s possible Republican registrations will nose back ahead of the “Other” category. But the long-term trend lines have pointed for years toward independent voters overtaking GOP registrations in the county, as PostOnPolitics.com noted in January.
The percentage of Republicans in the county has fallen from 40.2 percent in January 1994 to 33.2 percent in January 2004 to 28.1 percent today. The percentage of registered Democrats has slipped as well, but the drop hasn’t been as steep. Dems were 48.2 percent of all county voters in 1994 and are 43.8 percent today.
“It’s not a big shock,” county GOP Chairwoman Anita Mitchell said today. “I think the country is moving in that direction. It makes it more important that we articulate our message and make it clear why those people should vote Republican.”
Mike Coleman, a county Democratic Party precinct leader who’s active in registration and turnout efforts, said he doesn’t see the same level of interest that Republicans had in 2010, when the GOP won control of the U.S. House of Representatives.
“It’s not 2010, I can tell you. We have so many people who are not interested in joining a party on either side…pretty much anybody under 40 goes that way,” Coleman said.
Coleman and Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher, who regularly watch the daily totals, said today is the first day that independent voters have moved ahead of Republicans in the county.