Magazine article Politics Magazine

Seismic Shifts

Magazine article Politics Magazine

Seismic Shifts

Article excerpt

The electoral map underwent some drastic changes in 2008. From Indiana to Virginia, states that hadn't gone blue in decades voted for President Barack Obama. And states that had been firmly in battleground territory, like Pennsylvania, shifted significantly.

Here are 10 states that have seen major party registration shifts. Keep this map on hand when you're figuring out what it all may mean for 2010 and 2012.

--Shane D' Aprile and Karen Anderson


2004  D: 429,808  R: 434,239
2008  D: 626,891  R:513,246

Obama may have had an easy win in the Silver State, but this was one of the places where a GOP registration slide didn't occur. Republicans actually gained registrants from '04 to '08--the party gained just shy of 80,000 voters, while Democrats gained nearly 200,000. The key for Dems: big gains in Clark County, where the party saw an increase of more than 160,000.


2004  D: 942,025    R:1,118,597
2008  D: 1,051,643  R:1,063,347

Colorado is emblematic of the shifting political, demographics of the West. Obama's solid victory in the state in '08--54 percent to 45 percent--was anchored by solid margins in the Denver suburbs. Arapahoe County saw the largest shift. Dems now hold an advantage in Arapahoe and have narrowed the GOP margin in neighboring Jefferson County--two key electoral counties in the state.


2004  R:650,090  D:646,721
2008  R:629,538  D:744,571

The state where Barack Obama jumpstarted his presidential run turned bluer in 2008. Republicans lost just over 20,000 registrants in Iowa as Democrats gained some 97,000. The shift turns a 4,000 voter registration deficit for Iowa democrats into a 100,000 plus advantage.

New Mexico

2004  R: 359,563  D:550,519
2008  R: 378,351  D:596, 938

Despite a big Obama win in what has been a battleground state over the past couple of cycles, Democrats didn't make substansial registration gains in New Mexico this past year. The party gained less than 50,000 registrants, while Republicans gained just shy of 20,000.


2004  7,972, 826  registered voters
2008  8,164, 823  registered voters

Ohio was yet another battleground state where large registration gains came in Democratic areas of the state. One of the largest increases was in Cuyahoga County, which houses Cleveland. Registration there increased by nearly 90,000 voters.


2004  4,298,602  registered voters
2008  4,514,759  registered voters

Obama's win in Indiana was one of last year's biggest electoral surprises. …

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