Independent voters increasing in Arizona

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The number of people registering as independent voters in Arizona has kept increasing to the point where more Arizonans registered as independents in the last six months than signed up as Democrats or Republicans combined.

Data from the Voter Registration Database from the Arizona Secretary of State found:

  • Between May 1 and Nov. 1, 2023, there were 92,764 new voter registrations in Arizona.
  • 18.2% are Democrats,
  • 24.9% are Republicans,
  • 57.0% are PND (Party Not Declared) or other.

As of Nov. 1, the total active Registrations in Arizona show:

  • 29.7% are Democrats,
  • 34.3% are Republicans,
  • 36.1% are PND/Other

Thom Reilly, professor at the ASU School of Public Affairs’ Center for an Independent and Sustainable Democracy, joined Arizona Horizon to speak on this data.

“For the last six months, between 47% and 49% of people nationally identify themselves other than the two parties, more than the two parties combined. Now that’s not registration, that’s people who identify,” Reilly said.

These voters are all over the country, and they’re increasingly deciding races. They are also unpredictable, according to Reilly. For example, in the 2022 midterm, 40% of those who voted in Arizona were independents.

In response to the point that independents are apathetic and are not educated enough about the two main parties, there is new data showing people are embarrassed to consider themselves to be a part of a particular party and do not want to tell people which party they identify as, Reilly mentioned.

In recent research, it was found registered independents move in and out of independent status, and they don’t have party loyalty. The previous prevailing thought was that independents were leaners, Reilly said, but if data is analyzed for a long period of time, it’s found that this group is tremendously unpredictable, and it becomes harder to pinpoint a specific lean.

Thom Reilly, Professor at ASU School of Public Affairs’ Center for an Independent and Sustainable Democracy

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