POLITICAL observations & opinions

* Democrats post big gains in voter registration

Posted by Lew Weinstein on September 7, 2008

Since the last federal election in 2006, volunteers like Graham combined with the enthusiasm generated by the Obama-Clinton struggle to add more than 2 million Democrats to voter rolls in the 28 states that register voters according to party affiliation. The Republicans have lost nearly 344,000 thousand voters in the same states.

The Democrats hope their voter registration efforts can boost Obama to victory in competitive states like Pennsylvania, Nevada and Florida and perhaps even give him a shot at winning traditional Republican states like Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.

Both Obama and his Republican rival, John McCain, are fighting for independent swing voters, and many of the new Democrats had been unaffiliated voters.

The number of unaffiliated voters dropped by nearly 900,000 since 2006. Many joined the Democratic Party to take part in the primaries and caucuses, and now they will now be targeted by an aggressive get-out-the-vote campaign.

By JULIE PACE and STEPHEN OHLEMACHER, Associated Press Writers

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