Democrats continue to gain

After a sharp increase in the 2008 presidential year and the two years afterward, voter registration in Ulster County will be down slightly from last year when polls open next Tuesday. And while Democrats continue to enroll twice as many voters as Republicans, that trend has leveled off, according to statistics obtained from the county board of elections.

Voter registration jumped form 92,205 in 2007 to 100,880 the following presidential year. It increased by about 4000 registrants each of the following two years, peaking at 108,612 last year. As of last month, registration was at 107,993.

During the four-year period 2007-2011, Democrats showed an increase of 6668 registrants to this year’s number of 36,991. Republicans lagged behind with 26,915 registrants in 2007 compared to 28,964 this year, up 2049. Democratic enrollment is growing more than twice as fast as Republican enrollment.

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Major-party enrollment decreased marginally from 2010 to 2011, Democrats lost 225 registrants, Republicans 449. Non-enrolled voters — those with no party affiliation — decreased to 33,086 this year, down 54 from last year. Democrats have been the fastest-growing part of the electorate since 2007, gaining 22 percent as compared to non-enrollees at 17 percent and Republicans at seven percent.

The trend in the past decade hasn’t changed much. In November 2001, Republicans were the dominant party in Ulster County with 32,177 registrants, compared to 29,975 Democrats. Independent voters totaled 32,725, almost a third of the county’s 101,800 registered voters. Now there are 8000 more Democrats than Republicans and non-party registration has been virtually flat.

The Independence Party shows the strongest growth from 2007, growing from 3523 members in 2007 to 5093 now, an increase of 45 percent.

Democrats hold particularly commanding registration pluralities over the GOP in Kingston (4700 to 2186), Woodstock (2571 to 654), Rosendale (1548 to 916), and New Paltz (3726 to 1448). Republicans hold sway in Ulster (2435-2005), Shawangunk (2513 to 1469) and Marlborough (2098 to 1364).

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