Republicans are gaining more new voters than Democrats in states Biden really needs to win

A protester carries a 'Register to Vote' sign
(Image credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Joe Biden may be winning the polling battle, but President Trump is winning the voter registration war.

National and swing state polls continue to give the Democratic nominee a slight advantage in the 2020 race, with leads in the critical states of Pennsylvania, Arizona, Florida, and North Carolina. But new voter registration in those states isn't looking so good for Biden, as more and more voters continue to register as Republicans than as Democrats, NBC News reports.

Trump won those four states in 2016, and they're also states where voters can register with a party, revealing how the parties are appealing to new voters. For example, while polls have pointed to Biden locking up Pennsylvania once again this year, and Democrats have overall registered more voters than Republicans in the state since 2016, recent registrations point the other direction. Pennsylvania gained 135,619 Republican voters between its June primary and the last week of September, while Democrats only gained 57,985.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

In North Carolina, a state that typically leans Republican but has narrowly polled for Biden this year, Republicans added 83,785 voters between their presidential primary and the end of September, while Democrats added 38,137. Republicans also registered 31,139 more voters in Arizona than Democrats, and more than 100,000 more in Florida.

In all of these states, though, tens of thousands of voters did register without choosing a party. Given that Florida went to Trump by just 112,911 votes in 2016, those voters could easily make all the difference.

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.

Kathryn Krawczyk

Kathryn is a graduate of Syracuse University, with degrees in magazine journalism and information technology, along with hours to earn another degree after working at SU's independent paper The Daily Orange. She's currently recovering from a horse addiction while living in New York City, and likes to share her extremely dry sense of humor on Twitter.