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Elections, Politics

The polls are wrong! Registration gap trends towards GOP in IA, FL, NV, NM, NC, PA, and CO

Posted: September 26, 2012 at 10:45 am   /   by

Tell me again why we should be trusting the polls we’re being fed? Why are pollsters insisting that 2008 turnout models will be predictive this time? Why are they insisting that trends have moved in the direction of the Democrats when the opposite is true?

Registration advantages and shifts
(Data from Jim Geraghty at the Campaign Spot


2009: D+ 110,000
2012: R+ 20,000
Shift to R: 90,000



D: 4,800,890
R: 4,106,743
Advantage: D+694,147

D: 4,627,929
R: 4,173,177
Advantage: D+ 454,752



D: 531,317
R: 430,594
Advantage: D+ 100,723

D: 447,881
R: 400,310
Advantage: D+ 47,571


New Mexico

D: 594,229
R: 375,619
Advantage: D+ 218,610

D: 582,656
R: 385,898
Advantage: D+ 196,758


North Carolina

D: 2,866,669
R: 2,002,416
Advantage: D+ 864,253

D: 2,778,535
R: 2,008,609
Advantage: D+ 769,926



D: 4,479,513
R: 3,242,046
Advantage: D+ 1,237,467

D: 4,185,377
R: 3,099,371
Advantage: D+ 1,086,006



D: 1,056,077
R: 1,065,150
Advantage: R+ 9,073

D: 739,778
R: 837,732
Advantage: R+ 97,954


One of the most fascinating takeaways here is how, in many cases, both parties are losing registered voters. That is a subject of longer-term interest. But for now, the big story is this:

  • The Democrats are losing more members than the Republicans. In every one of these states, the Republicans either gained registered voters or lost fewer of them than the Democrats did.
  • The shift since 2008 has been towards the GOP and away from the Democrats.

So, how can any poll that uses 2008 turnout as a model be useful for 2012?

The answer is that they cannot. The pollsters are either intentionally misleading you in order to create a bandwagon effect for Obama, or they are incompetently missing obvious trends.

Christopher Cook

Christopher Cook

Managing Editor at Western Free Press
Christopher Cook is a writer, editor, and political commentator. He is the president of Castleraine, Inc., a consulting firm providing a diverse array of services to corporate, public policy, and not-for-profit clients.

Ardently devoted to the cause of human freedom, he has worked at the confluence of politics, activism, and public policy for more than a decade. He co-wrote a ten-part series of video shorts on economics, and has film credits as a researcher on 11 political documentaries, including Citizens United's notorious film on Hillary Clinton that became the subject of a landmark Supreme Court decision. He is the founder of several activist endeavors, including (now a part of Western Free Press) and He is currently the managing editor of and principal contributor to
Christopher Cook

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The polls are wrong! Registration gap trends towards GOP in IA, FL, NV, NM, NC, PA, and CO