Jim: comparing voter registration trends of current nationally organized third parties in the US since 1970

Posted by Jim in Open Thread:

For most states I used numbers closer to the election than those that are in the November BAN. The numbers that I used for the Constitution Party, Working Families Party, and Reform Party are within a few hundred of the number in BAN. But, the more updated numbers that I used I used added 2,300 to the Green Party and 18,800 to the Libertarian Party. Almost half of the difference for the LP came from California. Richard Winger used the 60 day pre-election report while I used the 15 day report.

It will all go in the same imgur album as before. There will be some new stuff in there, too. Most of it won’t be done until late January or early February.

https://imgur.com/a/YsovX

The [Libertarian Party] fall in the 1980s is due almost entirely to a steep decline in California’s numbers. A few other states, like Arizona and Nevada, increased during the decade. But California amounted to 87% – 98% of all registrations in the 1980s. It probably had a lot to do with Reagan being Governor there. And Justin Raimondo was publishing letters in LP News asking people to quit the LP and join the Republican Party. Also contributing to about 2,000 of the decline: 11 states reported LP stats in 1980, but only 7 did so by 1990.

The 90s was a reverse of all of those things. By 2000 California had added 44,000, rebounding back above its 1980 level. The number of states reporting increased from 7 to 21. And there were also some states besides California with rapid growth. Pennsylvania added 30,000, which moved it up to 2nd place behind California, where it remains today. No states finished 2000 with fewer registrations than 1990.

California lost about 7,000 between 2000 and 2008, but those came back by 2010, leaving it flat for the decade. The dip in 2002 is entirely explained by the fact that Pennsylvania did not report the LP registration stat that year (it would have been around 32,000.) The dip in 2006 was caused by North Carolina and Nebraska going to zero, wiping out around 18,000. And Massachusetts peaked in 2004 at 24,000 and began a slide that didn’t stop until 9,000 in 2016. The number of states reporting only rose from 21 in 2000 to 25 in 2010, and the 4 added states didn’t contribute much. 6 state parties had a net loss during the 2000s.

The number of states reporting in 2018 was 31. Combined those 6 additional states contributed 24,000 to the 567,000 total. The rest has been pretty widespread growth. Since 2010, California is up 58,000, Colorado 29,000, North Carolina 28,000, Florida 15,000, Nebraska 14,000, Maryland 13,000… Only two states have a net loss since 2010: Alaska and Massachusetts. And those two combined are only down 1,600.

11 thoughts on “Jim: comparing voter registration trends of current nationally organized third parties in the US since 1970

  1. Seebeck

    It would be interesting to a more apples-to-apples comparison between the states by coming up with a rate of increase per population increase to see how growths are happening relative to population growths in each state.

    For example: Since 2010, California is up 58,000, Colorado 29,000, North Carolina 28,000, Florida 15,000, Nebraska 14,000, Maryland 13,000

    Now, California has about 7x the population of Colorado, but only doubled Colorado in new registrations. If the populations of each are static (and they aren’t), that means that Colorado outperformed California in new registrations by a factor of 14. However, the population deltas have to be factored in to get legitimate comparisons over that period of time. That means the numbers absent those deltas are not accurate.

    Where does all of this go? To point out where the registration successes are happening first, and then to figure out why and how to export those messages and methods, if possible, to the lesser states to boost their own numbers and efforts.

  2. Jim

    The problem with doing that for voter registrations is that states report that number inconsistently. If I started in 2006, for example, only 21 of the 31 states that reported LP voter registrations in 2018 did so for that entire time.

    Instead I used signature members per million population, for which I have data for all 50 states and DC back to year end 2005. I used the Federal Reserve’s annual population estimates for each year.

    This is the per million signature member count in 2017 minus the per million signature member count in 2005:

    212 New Hampshire
    193 Virginia
    159 Indiana
    150 Ohio
    149 Montana
    149 North Dakota
    142 Tennessee
    135 Maine
    132 Colorado
    130 South Carolina
    129 Alabama
    123 New Mexico
    122 Nebraska
    118 Missouri
    118 Michigan
    116 Wisconsin
    113 Vermont
    112 Connecticut
    110 Pennsylvania
    109 Rhode Island
    108 Louisiana
    105 Mississippi
    104 Kentucky
    102 Wyoming
    101 South Dakota
    101 Alaska
    99 Iowa
    99 Illinois
    98 Minnesota
    98 Arkansas
    98 Nevada
    97 Maryland
    92 Kansas
    91 Delaware
    90 Oklahoma
    84 West Virginia
    84 Florida
    83 New York
    83 Washington
    81 Texas
    81 North Carolina
    79 Arizona
    78 Hawaii
    73 D. C.
    73 Idaho
    72 New Jersey
    62 Georgia
    56 Utah
    54 Oregon
    49 Massachusetts
    21 California

    New Hampshire obviously benefited from the Free State Project. And the good news is that all states grew faster than their population growth. These numbers are from after the 1st list purge in April, 2017, but before the second one in January, 2018. So doing this again at the end of this year might knock some states down slightly.

    You can see the maps here:

    https://i.imgur.com/Cd6hX5l.png
    https://i.imgur.com/LVE4EYY.png

  3. robert capozzi

    If the y axis was 130 million, we could not see these microscopic differences, I’d note.

  4. paulie Post author

    Good thing it’s not, so we can be way ahead of the curve in spotting the trend it will take those folks longer to notice.

  5. Gene Berkman

    Mike Seebeck says “Now, California has about 7x the population of Colorado, but only doubled Colorado in new registrations. If the populations of each are static (and they aren’t), that means that Colorado outperformed California in new registrations by a factor of 14”

    If California has 7x the population of Colorado, and doubled Colorado’s new registrations, it means that
    Colorado outperformed California by a factor of 3.5.

    Still impressive, but we want the math to be accurate.

  6. Jim

    Libertarian voter registration percentage by state:

    1.30% Alaska
    1.21% Nebraska
    1.18% Colorado
    1.00% Nevada
    0.99% Utah
    0.96% Kansas
    0.88% Idaho
    0.85% Arizona
    0.79% Wyoming
    0.76% California
    0.75% New Mexico
    0.72% Oregon
    0.65% Iowa
    0.55% Maryland
    0.54% Maine
    0.53% North Carolina
    0.52% Pennsylvania
    0.52% West Virginia
    0.49% Louisiana
    0.41% Oklahoma
    0.35% Massachusetts
    0.34% South Dakota
    0.27% D.C.
    0.27% Kentucky
    0.25% Florida
    0.25% Delaware
    0.19% New Jersey
    0.14% Connecticut
    0.07% New Hampshire
    0.07% New York
    0.02% Arkansas

    0.50% National

  7. dL

    Colorado outperformed California by a factor of 3.5.

    Still impressive, but we want the math to be accurate.

    Yes, x/y divided by 2x/7y = 7/2.

    But getting a better per capita factor for a smaller state vs the most populace state is not that surprising. But I am kind of surprised that Cali is beating out New Hampshire RE: the percentage.

  8. That Guy

    An activist group in California started doing concentrated education and outreach efforts in 2005 called Alive Free Happy. Over the years they have performed tremendously in state wide initiatives for legalizing marijuana and concentrated a great deal of energy in those several campaigns to register new Libertarians. They have also accumulated a small activist army in those 13 years and have been supporting candidates with comprehensive campaign tools including the winning Jeff Hewitt campaign.

    There is no other outreach effort in California. The party itself is dysfunctional with Republican saboteurs holding highest offices. The activists tend to do all of this work recruiting, educating and running candidates all the while dodging the LP leadership’s directed destructive influence on its own members.

  9. Pingback: Jim: Libertarians set new third party record for ballot access coming out of 2018 midterm | Independent Political Report

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *