Iowa: A Study in Democratic Decline

Iowa: A Study in Democratic Decline

Iowa: A Study in Democratic Decline

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 3 2012 1:58 PM

Iowa: A Study in Democratic Decline

URBANDALE, Iowa -- The center-left think tank Third Way passes on the new voter registration numbers from the Hawkeye state.

Since the beginning of November, Democrats are down 1,854 voters, putting them at 683,565 or a loss of 0.27%. Their total loss since 2008? 8.2% (61,006 voters).
Since November 1, Republicans are up 2,087—to 643,950 voters—an increase of 0.33%. Since 2008, they are up 2.3% (14,412 voters).
Since the start of November, Independent voters are also up 4,722 and now number 782,869—an increase of 0.61%. Overall since 2008, Independents are down slightly (1.4% or 11,335 voters), but the gains in the past two months are double that of Republicans.

So Democrats have fallen from a 115,033 voter advantage to a 39,615 advantage since Barack Obama won the state. It's odd -- if you analyze the numbers, a Republican should be pretty optimistic about taking the state back with a decent candidate leading the ticket. And yet if Romney wins today, based on the conversations I've had, it will be due to voters who think Obama is going to run one of the best campaigns in history and only a moderate can beat him.

David Weigel is a reporter for the Washington Post.