Cover, Applied Analysis Clark County Voter Profile

March 2012

Younger Voters Add to Registration Totals, As Do Democrats

The Clark County Elections Department registered 9,459 new voters during the last three months of 2011, representing a 3.1-percent increase from the third quarter. New voter registration has increased for three consecutive quarters and is expected to continue trending upward through the general election in November. Nevertheless, the registration of new voters is not projected to reach levels witnessed during the last election cycle, when presidential primaries were hotly contested in both major political parties and population growth was still surging in southern Nevada. For comparison purposes, during the fourth quarter of 2007, new voter registration totaled 17,385 in Clark County, nearly double what was witnessed this last quarter.

The fourth quarter experienced some dramatic shifts in new registrations, likely due to forthcoming events including the Republican and Democratic caucuses and the City of Las Vegas special recall election in Ward 6. Republicans added 3,055 voters to their roll, or 32.3 percent of the overall total, a significant increase from their historical average of 24.8 percent over the prior four years. It has been more than five years since the Republicans last registered 3 out of 10 new voters, but it is important to note that this is likely due Nevada being an "early state" in the Republican Presidential nomination process. The party's ability to carry this momentum beyond their nomination will be key to winning any general election. That said, while not by any large margin, the Democrats still managed to outpace Republicans in new voters, registering 35.8 percent of the total. The balance of new voters went to Non-Partisans and other minor parties, with 23.4 percent and 8.5 percent of the total, respectively.

At the end of 2011, 713,956 active voters were registered in Clark County, or nearly 2 of every 3 active voters in the state. While this represents a significant decline in the active voter roll compared to last quarter, it is important to note that in an effort to maintain an accurate listing of active voters, the Clark County Election Department routinely moves voters from active to inactive status. Pursuant to the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 and section 293.530 of the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS), the law requires maintenance of the voter registration lists. Additionally, NRS 293.5303 and 293.5307 allows the county clerk to enter into an agreement with the United States Postal Service (USPS) concerning changes of addresses to correct portions of the voter registration list. A maintenance adjustment on December 6, 2011 designated 63,582 voters as inactive in large part to registered voters change of address with USPS. While the maintenance has an impact across all parties, a larger cohort of Democrats was moved to inactive status, nearly two for every one Republican.

After the adjustment, Democrats still maintain 45.0 percent of all active voters, while Republicans represent 33.2 percent of the total. The 11.8-percentage-point advantage Democrats hold is still significant, but with the latest maintenance of the voter roll, they lost an entire percentage point overnight. Additionally, they have lost nearly 3.6 percentage points over the Republicans since the Democrat-Republican gap was 15.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008. The balance of active voters is among Non-Partisans (16.3 percent) and other parties (5.5 percent).

Redistricting is causing a hiccup in what were several statewide single-party strongholds over the last ten years. Topped with a new Congressional District, a still struggling economy, and an election cycle that has relaxed the limits on corporate and union spending, the heat is on, as Glenn Frey would sing. Expect new voter registration to pick up between now and May 22, 2012, when in-office registration ends before the state and federal primary election on June 12, 2012.

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November 2011

Non-Partisans To Play a Key Role Going Forward

Mild voter turnout was reported in the September 13th special election to backfill Nevada's 2nd Congressional District left vacant by Dean Heller's appointment to the Senate. Of the 82 precincts within Clark County's portion of the district, 5,890 voters cast a ballot. For comparison purposes, 20,506 ballots were cast less than a year earlier in the midterm general election. Low turnout suggests the latest special election likely had little effect on new voter registration.

During the third quarter of 2011, the Clark County Elections Department registered 9,178 new voters, reflecting a 17.6-percent increase over the previous quarter (Q2 2011). For comparison purposes, during a similar period in the last election cycle (Q3 2007), new voter registrations are down 15.7 percent, when 10,893 voters registered within Clark County. However, comparisons are impacted by a number of factors. For one, population in-migration was likely greater as 19,925 out-of-state driver's licenses were surrendered in the third quarter of 2007, compared to the 16,450 in the same period of 2011. Population migration notwithstanding, other elements including organic demographic shifts in age groups being eligible to vote, the state's early caucuses, and candidates' abilities to sign up new voters each play a pivotal role in voter registration.

After falling for more than a year, the share of new voters registering Democrat rose to 39.9 percent, or 3,664 voters. Remarkably, 57.4 percent of the newly registered Democrats reside in Congressional Districts held by Republicans, which is nearly the same percentage of all actively registered Democrats in the two combined districts. Interest in not wearing a particular color or animal button, residents registering as Non-Partisan continued to increase. The middle-of-the-aisle group registered 2,382 voters during the third quarter of 2011, or 26.0 percent of the overall share of new voters. It is important to note that newly registered Non-Partisans outpaced new voters registering Republican too. This is becoming a more common occurrence; it has happened twice in the last four quarters, compared to six times in the last six years. In the third quarter, Republicans registered 25.9 percent of all new voters, or 2,373. For each party, the majority of new registrants were in the 18-to-34-year age group; however, Democrats registered two new voters for nearly each Republican in this same cohort. In contrast, Republicans gathered a larger share of their new voters in the two highest age groups, 45 to 54 and 55 and over. This is no surprise as it represents their largest base of constituents at 20.8 percent and 40.5 percent, respectively. The balance of all new voters was split among other parties for a combined total of 759 new registrants, or 8.3 percent of the total, which is the lowest share of new registrants in approximately three years.

By the end of the third quarter of 2011, 766,316 active voters were registered in Clark County, a 1.1-percent increase over the prior quarter (Q2 2011). Of those, 347,806 (45.4 percent) were registered Democrat; 249,625 (32.6 percent) were registered Republican; 126,342 (16.5 percent) were registered Non-Partisan; and 42,543 (5.6 percent) were registered among other parties. Both Democrats and Republicans witnessed their overall share of voters fall by 0.1 percentage points, shifting largely to the block of Non-Partisans who picked up 0.2 percentage points. Although Republicans (32.6 percent) have nearly a 2-to-1 advantage over Non-Partisan (16.5 percent) voters, it is important they pick up many of these voters as the Democrats still hold a 12.8-percentage-point lead, or 98,181 voters, over them.

Although the next general election is more than a year out, several upcoming events will likely spark additional new voter registration drives, including the approval of the new electoral boundaries through redistricting, presidential caucuses, and closed primary elections.

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August 2011

Democrat Registrations Trend Down as Non-Partisans Rise

New voter registrations rose during the second quarter of 2011, an occurrence likely due to the lead up of municipal elections in June. As expected, voter turnout was much less compared to historical federal or statewide elections, but a strongly contested match for Mayor in the City of Las Vegas did produce the largest turnout in at least the last ten years. The City of Las Vegas witnessed 24.6 percent of its registered voters participate in the June 7, 2011 election, of which 43.0 percent voted early. Overall, 18.9 percent of registered voters in municipalities participated in the last election. It is important to note that voters registered in unincorporated areas of Clark County do not participate in municipal elections.

The Clark County Elections Department registered 7,807 new voters during the second quarter of 2011. The latest period reflects a 13.8-percent increase in new registrations from the prior period (Q1 2011). However, the latest period indicates new voter registration is down 16.1 percent over the same period in the prior cycle (Q2 2007), partially attributable to a slowdown in new population over the last few years. It could also be attributable to the surge of voters registering during the second quarter of 2007, as it was the first quarter in which then-Senator Barack Obama was an official candidate for President. Thereafter, and due to a shift in Nevada's caucuses, new voter registrations swelled until the general election in November 2008. It is likely that new voter registrations will not outpace those in the prior election cycle.

During the second quarter of 2011, the share of new voters registering by political party shifted modestly toward Non-Partisans and other parties. The 2,104 newly registered Republicans represented 27.0 percent of all new registrants during the quarter, remaining flat compared to the prior quarter (Q1 2011). Although the Democrats registered 3,040 new voters during the second quarter, their 38.9-percent share of all new voters is down from the 40.1 percent reported in the previous quarter. The downward trend in Democrat registrations has come largely at the expense of rising interest to register as Non-Partisan. For comparison purposes, in the second quarter of 2007, the share of new voters registering Democrat was 46.3 percent. During that same period, Non-Partisans consisted of 15.4 percent of new voters, whereas in the second quarter of 2011 they represented 24.8 percent of the total share by registering 1,933 new voters. It is worth noting that 44.1 percent of all new voters were in the 18 - 34 year old age group, with 27.7 percent of voters in this age block registering as Non-Partisan. In this age group, the share of Democrats and Republicans registered were 39.0 percent and 23.6 percent respectively.

By the end of the second quarter of 2011, 757,721 active voters were registered in Clark County, a 1.0-percent increase over the prior quarter (Q1 2011). Of those, 344,679 (45.5 percent) were registered Democrat; 247,437 (32.7 percent) were registered Republican; 123,885 (16.3 percent) were registered Non-Partisan; and 41,720 (5.5 percent) were registered among other parties. Narrowing slightly by three basis points, the Democrat-Republican gap fell to 12.8 percent by the end of the second quarter. While the current Democrat advantage is still larger than the 10.6 percent gap witnessed during a similar period in the last election cycle (Q2 2007), it remains significantly down from its peak of 15.4 percent reached more than two years ago (Q4 2008).

With a vacated seat in Nevada's Congressional District 2, a statewide special election is set for September 13, and while only a small portion of the district lies within Clark County's boundary, this and increased voter registration efforts from presidential candidates will likely increase the new voter rolls from now until the next general Federal election in November 2012. Registration by mail and online for the special election will close on August 13, while in-person registration at the Election Department offices will remain open until August 23.

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March 2011

As expected, the first quarter of 2011 witnessed a decline in new voter registrations as the midterm elections passed, and a new election cycle began. Although municipal elections intensified during the first quarter, the March 15th deadline for new voters to register to participate in the Primary Election taking place on April 5th did not produce many new voters. It is important to note that voters registered in unincorporated areas of Clark County do not participate in Municipal Elections.

The Clark County Elections Department recorded 6,860 new voters during the first quarter of 2011. The latest period reflects a 57.0-percent decline from the prior period (Q4 2010), largely due to the end of the midterm election last November. The latest period also indicates a new voter decline of 16.4 percent over the same period in the prior cycle (Q1 2007), partially attributable to a slowdown in new population over the last few years.

During the first three months of 2011, the share of new voters registering by political party shifted modestly toward Republicans when compared to the prior three months. The Democrats continued to maintain a majority of new voters. Adding 2,752 to their ranks during the first quarter, the party's share of newly registered voters fell from 40.5 percent to 40.1 percent during the period. New voters among Non-Partisans also declined from 27.1 percent in the prior period (Q4 2010) to 24.0 percent in the first quarter of 2011. Republicans on the other hand edged upward, registering 1,851 new voters during the last three months, or 27.0 percent of all new voters. During the fourth quarter of 2010, they had registered only 22.9 percent of all new voters, representing an increase of 4.0 percentage points over the last period. Measuring shifts in new voters registrations from one three-month period to another does not necessarily indicate a trend, but for comparison purposes, it is relevant to point out the shifts compared to the last cycle four years ago. Of the 8,209 new voters in the first quarter of 2007, 47.5 percent registered Democrats, Non-Partisans represented a much smaller 15.3 percent, and Republicans registered 28.3 percent during the period. Looking back to a similar period four years ago, it is clear that the two major parties have been less successful in recruiting new voters, while the number of Non-Partisans continues to rise. While new voters are vital to political parties and their representatives, it is the long-term shift in active voters that helps define victory come any election.

In an effort to maintain an accurate listing of active voters and in accordance with the requirements and procedures of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 and section 293.530 of Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS), 26,148 voters were transferred from active to inactive status on February 14, 2011.

By the end of the first quarter of 2011, 749,890 active voters were registered in Clark County. Of those, 341,819 (45.6 percent) were registered Democrat; 245,364 (32.7 percent) were registered Republican; 121,842 (16.2 percent) were registered Non-Partisan; and 40,865 (5.4 percent) were registered among other parties. Partially attributable to maintenance of the voter file, the Democrat-Republican gap narrowed 15 basis points to 12.9 percent in the first quarter. While the current Democrat advantage is still larger than the 10.5 percent gap witnessed during a similar period in the last midterm election cycle (Q1 2007), it remains down from its peak of 15.4 percent reached more than two years ago (Q4 2008).

Formal declaration of candidacy has already begun with Nevada representatives seeking a national office in 2012. Yet, the resignation of Nevada's Senator Ensign and what will be a vacated seat by Nevada's Congressman Heller, a statewide special election set for September 13th will likely increase voter registrations over the next two quarters, along with the ensuing media frenzy.

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December 2010

As expected, the fourth quarter of 2010 witnessed a decline in new voter registration, with the deadline for new voters to register and participate in the latest November 2nd general election ended on October 12th.

During the fourth quarter of 2010, Clark County recorded 15,944 new voters. Of those, 6,340 (39.8 percent) were registered during the first twelve days of October. Our special election report in the prior quarter (Q3 2010), which also included the 6,340 new registrations, measured 25,414 new registered voters. Adjusting for the first 12 days in October in the prior report, new registrations fell 16.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010. This is common and largely due to the increased interest to register before the election deadline.

As political rhetoric and vitriol heated up before the midterm election, new registrations made no dent in the landscape of already registered active voters. In the last three months of 2010, the share of new voters registering as Democrat edged up 3.2 percentage points to 6,451, while those registering Republican fell 2.9 percentage points to 3,657. New registrations during this period fell 0.1 percentage points among Non-Partisans and other minor parties. It is also important to note that for the second consecutive quarter, new voters registering Non-Partisan overshadowed those registering Republican by a margin of 667, or 4.2 percentage points. While this has occurred in the past, Non-Partisans have never outnumbered new Republican registrations for two consecutive quarters, indicating a trend may be developing. On the other side of the aisle, nearly 40.5 percent of all new registered voters during the fourth quarter identified themselves as Democrats, a level the party had not seen in the first three quarters of the year.

Voter registration statistics do not often highlight a trend in a short period, but one has been emerging over the last several years. During the fourth quarter of 2006, Democrats and Republicans represented 45.0 percent and 28.6 percent of all new voters, respectively. Compared to the latest quarter, the share of new voters registering Democrat and Republican have fallen nearly 4.5 percentage points and 5.6 percentage points, respectively. These major parties have had difficulty in attracting new participants at the levels they once enjoyed, with increasing shares of new registrants gravitating toward Non-Partisan or Other. If the trend that has played out over the last four years continues (assuming population growth and in-migration of new voters remains comparable), the total number of Non-Partisans could outnumber Republicans around 2020. Nevertheless, both major parties already know they cannot win a major race without the support of independent voters, who largely attribute themselves as registered Non-Partisan.

By the end of 2010, a total of 770,561 active voters were registered in Clark County. Of those, nearly 352,078 (45.7 percent) were registered Democrat; 251,772 (32.7 percent) were registered Republican; 125,012 (16.2 percent) were registered Non-Partisan; and 41,699 (5.4 percent) were registered among other parties. The Democrat-Republican gap remains at 13.0 percentage points, much higher from earlier in the decade, but down from its peak of 15.4 percent reached two years ago (Q4 2008).

While we expect to see lower levels of new voter registration over the next year, candidates wishing to run for national office in 2012 will likely declare their candidacy with the Federal Election Commission within the next six months. Doing so allows them to prepare their campaign operations and begin donation collections, the first step in jumpstarting a new election cycle.

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September 2010

Non-Partisans To Play a Key Role

With the final push for new voter registration having ended October 12th, data from the Clark County Election Department reported 736,802 active voters will be able to go to the polls for early voting between October 16th and October 29th, culminating with general election day voting on November 2nd.

From the beginning of the third quarter of 2010 through the voter registration deadline, Clark County recorded 25,414 new voters, more than double the 12,492 new voters registering during the previous quarter (Q2 2010). While the current data includes twelve additional days due to the voter registration deadline, the substantial rise in voter registrations suggests increased motivation among voters in electing local and national representatives. Compared to the same period in 2006 - the last mid-term election cycle - new voter registration is up 78.3 percent.

While the electorate has surged, as expected before the midterm election, the distribution of these new voters has shifted modestly since the previous quarter but differs considerably from four years ago. Compared to the previous quarter, the share of new voters registering as Democrat edged up 0.1 percentage points, while those registering Republican fell 3.6 percentage points, which is largely attributable to the 3.2-percentage-point and 0.3-percentage-point gain among Non-Partisans and other minor parties, respectively. It is also important to note that new voters registering Non-Partisan overshadowed those registering Republican by 364 voters. This is only the third time new Non-Partisan registrations have outnumbered a major political party and the first time since the previous presidential election cycle, suggesting an increasing number of constituents associate less with the ideologies of a single political party.

Compared to the same period of the previous election cycle (Q3 2006), the trend of new voters is more compelling. Four years ago, Democrats represented 43.6 percent of new voters compared with just 37.3 percent today. The Republican Party has been dealt a similar blow, registering nearly 31.9 percent of all new voters during the previous cycle, compared to the current 25.8 percent. Again, most new voters have been drawn to registering as Non-Partisan and other parties, which gained 10.4 percentage points and 2.0 percentage points, respectively, compared to four years.

Understanding the dynamics among new voters is important, but with the general election around the corner and registration closed for the current cycle, only current active voters will be able to decide the outcome of Nevada's newest elected officials. Of the 736,802 active voters, 45.6 percent are registered Democrat, 33.1 percent Republican, 16.0 percent Non-Partisan, and 5.3 percent registered among other parties. While the share of voters among parties has not shifted much from the previous quarter, Democrats remain the beneficiaries of a large push in registrations during the 2008 presidential election in 2008 when the Democrats held a 15.4-percentage-point lead over registered Republicans. While the Democrat-to-Republican gap remains at a lower 12.5 percent, it is still well above the 10.2 percent reported during the previous midterm election cycle (Q3 2006). Today, there are 91,673 more registered Democrats than registered Republicans. Yet, with Non-Partisan voters representing 16.0 percent or 118,042 active voters, most candidates would be hard-pressed to win without significant support from this cohort of likely voters.

Incumbents and their challengers will continue to focus their strategies in hopes of swaying undecided independents and producing high turnouts among their party's base. Of course, much of this will persist with political maneuvering, heightening animosity toward "political-lifers" and uncertainty surrounding inexperienced candidates, which will only continue through the end of Election Day November 2nd, 2010.

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June 2010

Followed by the primary election June 8, the Clark County Election Department added 12,492 new registered voters during the second quarter of 2010. The latest period reflects a 62.7-percent increase from the 7,677 new voters added during the previous quarter (Q1 2010), and a quarterly growth rate last outpaced in the third quarter of 2008. The growth rate is also well above the 46.0-percent boost witnessed in the second quarter of 2006, a similar period within the last midterm election cycle. Compared to the same election-cycle period, the latest quarter posted a slight 1.4-percent increase from the 12,322 new registered voters four years ago. While the increase may be marginal, the share of party affiliation is much different.

Four years ago, 46.8 percent of new voters registered Democrat compared to 37.2 percent in the second quarter of 2010. The lost advantage has led to gains throughout the other parties with Republicans moving up from 27.5 percent of new voters in the previous midterm cycle to 29.4 percent, and other partisan entities (e.g. Independent American Party, Libertarian Party, Tea Party of Nevada, Reform Party of Nevada, Green Party of Nevada) jumping 1.3 percentage points to 9.3 percent, today. Yet, the party that has benefited most from this shift is no party at all. New voters registering as non-partisan have made significant ground, representing 17.7 percent of new voters four years ago, to nearly one in four, or 24.1 percent of all new voters during the second quarter of 2010.

Despite the shifts, with 37.2 percent, the majority of new voters continue to register with the Democratic Party. However, it is important to note that the party's current levels have been severely cut since its peak in the first quarter of 2008 when 56.1 percent of all new voters affiliated themselves as Democrat. The second quarter of 2010 is the third consecutive quarter (and seven out nine quarters) in which declines were reported in the share of new voters registering as Democrats. Additionally, the current share of 37.2 percent is the lowest level ever reported by Applied Analysis, which began tracking voter registrations in 2003. The ongoing trend is a sign that new voters may hold increased incumbent animosity or a mixture of views that do not fall within the ideologies of a single traditional political party. The trend is not unexpected given economic conditions and record-high unemployment in southern Nevada.

New voters may indicate the beginning of long-term shifts in the political landscape, but the 12,492 voters added to the election roll during the second quarter represent only 1.8 percent of the overall active voters in Clark County. It typically takes one or two full election cycles to witness dramatic change in market share party affiliation. Over the last full election cycle (going back to Q2 2006), the Democrat's share of voters have fallen a trivial 0.2 percentage points, from 46.1 percent of all active voters to 45.9 percent. Republicans have felt a larger 2.4-percentage-point drop, comprising 33.5 percent of all active voters today. Therefore, while Democrats are registering new voters at a less aggressive pace and with less market share over the last several quarters, the Democrat-to-Republican gap remains at 12.4 points. What is likely to play a more increasing role are the non-partisan and other party voters, which now represent 15.6 percent and 5.0 percent of all active voters in Clark County, respectively. It is crucial for the more established political parties to capture a significant share of these swing voters if they are to declare victory in the general election.

We are likely to see similar voting registration trends continue as Clark County gears up for the general election during the next several months. We also expect the demand for voter registrations to rise as candidates increase their campaigning, set out on debates, and expand their party's voter registration drives before the October 2nd (by mail) and October 12th (in person) deadlines. Early voting will take place from October 16th - 29th, with general election voting from 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. on November 2, 2010.

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March 2010

Ahead of the primary election to be held on June 8, Clark County registered 7,677 new voters during the first quarter of 2010, a 23.3 percent increase from the 6,225 new voters added during the previous quarter (Q4 2009). The latest period signifies a considerable percentage increase compared to the previous two quarters, which recorded growth rates of 2.9 percent (Q4 2009) and 10.3 percent (Q3 2009), respectively. The number of new voter registrations is down 9.1 percent when measured against the last mid-term election cycle (Q1 2006). Although new voter registrations are down, compared to the growth witnessed during the last mid-term election, increases are outpacing population growth suggesting the potential for increased participation among southern Nevada residents. The majority of new voters continue to register with the Democratic Party, with 3,031 or 39.5 percent of all new voters during the first quarter. Nevertheless, the party's ability to attract new voters has been slipping for some time. The first quarter of 2010 is the second consecutive quarterly (or six out of eight quarters) decline in the share of new voters registering as Democrats, and the current share (39.5 percent) is well off the peak advantage of 56.1 percent reported in the first quarter of 2008. It is also worth noting that this is the first time since Applied Analysis began tracking voter registration at the beginning of 2003 that the share of new voters registering Democrat has fallen below 40 percent. The Democrats loss cannot be attributed to an advantaged gained by a single party, as the others have each gained momentum over the last several quarters. The Republican Party registered 2,005 new voters, or 26.1 percent, up from the 25.2 percent of new registered voters during the previous quarter. Non-partisan and other parties added 1,828 voters (23.8 percent) and 813 voters (10.6 percent), respectively. This is the first time other parties have registered more than 10.0 percent of new voters during a quarter, a sign that new voters may hold increased incumbent animosity, turning their vote into a voice against the more established political parties.

By quarter-end, there were 686,643 active voters in Clark County, a reduction of nearly 8.2 percent compared to the previous quarter (Q4 2009). In an effort to maintain an accurate listing of active voters, the Clark County Election Department routinely moves voters from active to inactive status. Pursuant to the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 and section 293.530 of the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS), the law requires maintenance of the voter registration rolls. Additionally, NRS 293.5303 and 293.5307 allows the county clerk to enter into an agreement with the United States Postal Service (USPS) concerning changes of addresses to correct portions of the voter registration list. A maintenance adjustment on February 26, 2010, designated 70,321 voters as inactive in large part to registered voters change of address with USPS.

The latest figures suggest that registered Democrats have taken the largest hit among maintenance of the voter registration list as they now represent 317,207, or 46.2 percent of active voters. Over the last year, for every Republican moved to inactive status, more than two Democrats were moved in tow. On the other side of the aisle, 228,176 voters are registered Republican, or 33.2 of all active voters. The shift in active registered voters between the two majority parties has been played out in the Democrat's lead over Republicans, currently an advantage of 13.0 percent and a lead they have not been accustomed to since late 2007. The balance of active voters registered as non-partisan or with other parties make up the remaining 15.6 percent and 5.0 percent, respectively; this is a level materially unchanged for several quarters. It is important to note that this report no longer separates The Green Party registered voters, as they no longer have ballot access. Those individuals have been moved to the "other" category.

With the county clerk certifying the list of candidates in the 2010 election on March 30, the race to win the primary election on June 8 is driving on all cylinders. Producing a record number of candidates, the ballot will be full and the rhetoric raucous. We anticipate an influx of active voters ahead as the deadlines to register to vote in the primary election by mail (May 8) and in person (May 18) during the second quarter.

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March 2010

Ahead of the primary election to be held on June 8, Clark County registered 7,677 new voters during the first quarter of 2010, a 23.3 percent increase from the 6,225 new voters added during the previous quarter (Q4 2009). The latest period signifies a considerable percentage increase compared to the previous two quarters, which recorded growth rates of 2.9 percent (Q4 2009) and 10.3 percent (Q3 2009), respectively. The number of new voter registrations is down 9.1 percent when measured against the last mid-term election cycle (Q1 2006). Although new voter registrations are down, compared to the growth witnessed during the last mid-term election, increases are outpacing population growth suggesting the potential for increased participation among southern Nevada residents. The majority of new voters continue to register with the Democratic Party, with 3,031 or 39.5 percent of all new voters during the first quarter. Nevertheless, the party's ability to attract new voters has been slipping for some time. The first quarter of 2010 is the second consecutive quarterly (or six out of eight quarters) decline in the share of new voters registering as Democrats, and the current share (39.5 percent) is well off the peak advantage of 56.1 percent reported in the first quarter of 2008. It is also worth noting that this is the first time since Applied Analysis began tracking voter registration at the beginning of 2003 that the share of new voters registering Democrat has fallen below 40 percent. The Democrats loss cannot be attributed to an advantaged gained by a single party, as the others have each gained momentum over the last several quarters. The Republican Party registered 2,005 new voters, or 26.1 percent, up from the 25.2 percent of new registered voters during the previous quarter. Non-partisan and other parties added 1,828 voters (23.8 percent) and 813 voters (10.6 percent), respectively. This is the first time other parties have registered more than 10.0 percent of new voters during a quarter, a sign that new voters may hold increased incumbent animosity, turning their vote into a voice against the more established political parties.

By quarter-end, there were 686,643 active voters in Clark County, a reduction of nearly 8.2 percent compared to the previous quarter (Q4 2009). In an effort to maintain an accurate listing of active voters, the Clark County Election Department routinely moves voters from active to inactive status. Pursuant to the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 and section 293.530 of the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS), the law requires maintenance of the voter registration rolls. Additionally, NRS 293.5303 and 293.5307 allows the county clerk to enter into an agreement with the United States Postal Service (USPS) concerning changes of addresses to correct portions of the voter registration list. A maintenance adjustment on February 26, 2010, designated 70,321 voters as inactive in large part to registered voters change of address with USPS.

The latest figures suggest that registered Democrats have taken the largest hit among maintenance of the voter registration list as they now represent 317,207, or 46.2 percent of active voters. Over the last year, for every Republican moved to inactive status, more than two Democrats were moved in tow. On the other side of the aisle, 228,176 voters are registered Republican, or 33.2 of all active voters. The shift in active registered voters between the two majority parties has been played out in the Democrat's lead over Republicans, currently an advantage of 13.0 percent and a lead they have not been accustomed to since late 2007. The balance of active voters registered as non-partisan or with other parties make up the remaining 15.6 percent and 5.0 percent, respectively; this is a level materially unchanged for several quarters. It is important to note that this report no longer separates The Green Party registered voters, as they no longer have ballot access. Those individuals have been moved to the "other" category.

With the county clerk certifying the list of candidates in the 2010 election on March 30, the race to win the primary election on June 8 is driving on all cylinders. Producing a record number of candidates, the ballot will be full and the rhetoric raucous. We anticipate an influx of active voters ahead as the deadlines to register to vote in the primary election by mail (May 8) and in person (May 18) during the second quarter.

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