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Posted at 04:53 PM ET, 10/09/2012

Surprise! Democrats still dominate in the District

 With Tuesday’s deadline to register to vote in the District here,  the local Democratic Party appears to have avoided a setback as they gear up for the Nov. 6 election: three out of four city voters remain registered Democrats.


(Jonathan Newton - THE WASHINGTON POST)

For years, about 75 percent of registered voters in the District have identified as Democrats, cementing the city’s status as one of the bluest places in the country.

In recent months, there had been signs that Democrats could narrowly slip below the 75 percent threshold as more voters choose not to identify with either party.  For much of the spring, for example, D.C. Board of Elections statistics showed Democrats were a few thousand voters shy of 75 percent membership rate.

But in newly calculated registration figures through Sept. 30, BOE lists 354,658 registered Democrats, 75.07 percent of all voters.

The September figures also show that city voter rolls have swelled in recent years,  up 10.7 percent compared to the 2004 presidential elections.

Statistics now show 472,390 registered voters in the District, up from 426,761 in November 2008.

Though the increase likely includes thousands of former residents who have moved or are deceased, it is also at least partially attributed to recent population gains.

Those gains, including more white residents, have been shifting the demographics of the city. But despite those changes, there is so far no evidence that the D.C. Republican Party been able to take advantage of the population trends.

New registration figures show just 6.45 percent of voters are registered Republicans, a slight decrease from the 7 percent of voters who identified with the GOP in November 2008.

There are actually now only 17 more Republicans in D.C. than there were during the 2008 election, records show,  despite the additional 45,000 registered voters. The GOP has even lost members in Wards 1, 3, 4, 7 and 8. 

Ward 3 in Upper Northwest continues to have the highest percentage of Republicans in the city, about 13.4 percent. Ward 7 east of the Anacostia River has the highest concentration of Democrats.

The fastest growing segment of the District electorate remains voters not affiliated with either party, who accounted for 17.27 percent of registered voters as of Sept. 30. Non-affiliated voters made up 16 percent of the potential voter poll in November 2008.

Wesley Williams, a spokesman for the Board of Elections, said he expects only very minor changes before final pre-election registration figures are released later this month.

Mike DeBonis contributed to this report 

By  |  04:53 PM ET, 10/09/2012

 
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