As inflation and gas prices rise under President Joe Biden, so are Republican voter registration numbers in battleground states. The AP reports that in states where partisan registration data is available, 680,000 voters changed their voter registration in the last year, with 430,000 of those crossing over to the GOP.
At the end of Trump's Presidency there was a decline in Republican registrants, especially following the events of January 6. As the political environment and discourse shifted back to kitchen table issues, where polling tells us Republicans win overwhelmingly with voters, many of those voters are coming home. This trend is visible in important battlegrounds of the 2022 Senate map. In Arizona, Republicans have grown their voter advantage from 93,000 to 132,000. In Nevada, Republicans have closed the registration gap to the closest it has been since 2004. Pennsylvania has also closed the gap by half a million voters – noteworthy because the gap in the last election in which Republicans won statewide was +916,274 Democrat voters. Similarly, the Democratic advantage in North Carolina has fallen to 283,000 from 645,000 in 2016.
Partisan registration alone will not guarantee electoral success. Battleground states all have a large number of independent voters. Quinnipiac University’s recent polling shows 62% of all Americans disapprove of President Biden’s handling of the economy. This includes 91% of Republicans and 67% of independents. Republican candidates must be aware of issues that turn off swing voters. For example, 47% of independents said they believed President Trump committed crimes associated with January 6, while only 48% said he did not.
A red wave is moving across the nation this year, but it’s depends on Republican candidates and messaging. More victories will come from discussing issues where Republicans perform better than Democrats, and that a concentration on inflation, the cost of living, and gas prices. A GOP focused on winning issues coupled with the best voter registration advantages in a decade will leave Republicans poised for success in the 2022 Midterms.