Yesterday, the Oklahoma Election Board released the official 2015 voter registration stats for Oklahoma. This new data shows that Republicans officially outnumber Democrats in the state.
As of January 15th, 2015, Republicans have 886,153 registered voters while Democrats have 882,866 voters, a difference of 3,467 voters. This continues the trend of more Oklahomans choosing to register as Republicans while fewer are sticking with the Democratic party.
However, what is not getting much exposure in the media is that Independent registrations are growing at a much faster rate than the Republican party. While Republicans have seen a 3.7% increase over last year’s registrations, Independents have seen a 9.44% increase. The 10 year increase is similarly stacked in favor of Independents, with 7.78% increase for Republicans and a 15.08% increase for Independents.
The Oklahoma Democratic Party has had a worse time as of late. They lost 0.33% registrations since last year and 19.77% registrations in the last 10 years.
While raw numbers still have Independents trailing far behind the duopoly parties, the fact that they are growing at a consistently faster rate bodes well for Oklahoma politics. As Independent registrations grow, it will be harder and harder for the Legislature to ignore the needs and desires of Independent voters and the parties they wish to form.
Finally, if we average the rate of change over the last 20 years and project these numbers out to 2025, we see some major shifts. This assumes that nothing else changes in Oklahoma, just voter registrations. In this projection, by 2025 we will have a split of 33% Democrats, 46% Republicans and 21% Independents.