Tens of thousands of voters drop Republican affiliation after Capitol riot

Source: The Hill | January 27, 2021 | Reid Wilson

More than 30,000 voters who had been registered members of the Republican Party have changed their voter registration in the weeks after a mob of pro-Trump supporters attacked the Capitol — an issue that led the House to impeach the former president for inciting the violence.

The massive wave of defections is a virtually unprecedented exodus that could spell trouble for a party that is trying to find its way after losing the presidential race and the Senate majority.

It could also represent the tip of a much larger iceberg: The 30,000 who have left the Republican Party reside in just a few states that report voter registration data, and information about voters switching between parties, on a weekly basis.

Voters switching parties is not unheard of, but the data show that in the first weeks of the year, far more Republicans have changed their voter registrations than Democrats. Many voters are changing their affiliation in key swing states that were at the heart of the battle for the White House and control of Congress.

Nearly 10,000 Pennsylvania voters dropped out of the Republican Party in the first 25 days of the year, according to the secretary of state’s office. About a third of them, 3,476, have registered as Democrats; the remaining two-thirds opted to register with another party or without any party affiliation.

By contrast, about a third as many Pennsylvania Democrats opted to either join the Republican Party (2,093 through Monday) or to register with no party or a minor party (1,184).

Almost 6,000 North Carolina voters have dropped their affiliation with the GOP. Nearly 5,000 Arizona voters are no longer registered Republicans. The number of defectors in Colorado stands north of 4,500 in the last few weeks. And 2,300 Maryland Republicans are now either unaffiliated or registered with the Democratic Party.

In all of those areas, the number of Democrats who left their party is a fraction of the number of Republican defectors.

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