Iowa Republicans edge out Democrats in registered voters - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa Republicans edge out Democrats in registered voters

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BLACK HAWK COUNTY (KWWL) -

The Secretary of State released new voter registration counts this week -- suggesting that, for the first time since George W. Bush was president, more voters are registered as Republicans than Democrats.

The Black Hawk County GOP are seeing similar growth in their membership, and recently moved into a larger office space to accommodate. The night of Iowa's caucus, Black Hawk County saw a big spike in registration.

"We had, I think, 859 new Republican registrations that night," said Garland "Mac" McDonald, Black Hawk County GOP Chair.

They weren't alone. State-wide, registered Republicans now outnumber registered Democrats for the first time in six years. According to the Iowa Secretary of State's office, 611,990 people are actively registered with the Republican party. Registrations with the Democratic party number only 607,999.

But as Iowa's Democratic Party Chairwoman Sue Dvorsky pointed out -- the majority of people are still classified as "No Party." When you look over the same timeframe in Black Hawk County, things aren't quite as rosy for the Republicans.

"Democrats went up about 10%, Republicans went up about 2%, and no-party went down about 7%. So, it doesn't look like it's matching the state-wide trend," said Black Hawk County Auditor Grant Veeder.

"We're still behind the Democrats, still behind the Independents. But we're gaining ground," said McDonald.

Veeder said, the report likely doesn't have much reflection on who Iowans support for president. But the voter registration numbers will become more significant as we head into summer -- and get closer to the 2012 General Election.

"That's when we'll get a better picture of what direction it's going," said Veeder.

Both parties will spend the summer and fall rallying support, and voters, before November 6th. In the meantime, McDonald believes the caucus turnout, and the report out this week, shows things are moving in the GOP's favor.

"We've kind of turned this ship around. It's a big ship, but I think we've got it turning in the right direction," said McDonald.

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