Friday, August 7, 2020
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How many Republicans in Md. have switched?

When conservative commentator George Will announced he was switching his Maryland voter registration as a Republican to Unaffiliated in early June, I admired his decision, on account of Donald Trump’s inevitable nomination for the office of president of the United States.

Donald Trump, 2011, CPAC convention
Donald Trump in 2011. (Gage Skidmore / Flickr CC)

Maryland, Mr Will’s place of residence and voter registration, is one of slightly more than 30 states in which people can choose a political party when they register to vote. If they don’t pick one of the parties, they can’t vote in the presidential primaries every four years. PJ Media quoted him as saying, “This is not my party.”

Based on a simplistic snapshot of data from the Maryland State Board of Elections, many people joined Mr Will in switching his voter registration away from the Republican Party in June.

Party Count Left in June Percent Joined in June
Republican ~ 1.0 million 5,006 0.5 12,459
Democratic ~ 2.1 million 8,281 0.4 28,288
Unaffiliated ~ 0.7 million 16,411 2.5 13,608
Other < 0.1 million 1,917 3.5 941

But as shown, Republicans—even given the imminent nomination of Mr Trump—have only a slightly greater chance of leaving their party than Democrats. And people who started out the month unaffiliated with any political party were about five times more likely than either Republicans or Democrats to change during the month of June.

The above data are based on a report published by the Maryland State Board of Elections, which was cited in commentary out of Texas published by Politifact Texas, in partnership with the Austin American-Statesman, the San Antonio Express-News, and the Houston Chronicle.

According to Maryland, the state’s popular Republican governor, Larry Hogan, will not be throwing his support behind Mr Trump. And although there are people in the Republican Party who are invigorated by his campaign anger, I haven’t met one of them yet who really supports him in the office of president.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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