Those numbers, when compared to the registration numbers for 2006, show some very favorable trends for AZ Democrats.
Statewide, overall registration has increased 5.6%, with Democratic registrations increasing at more than twice the pace of Republican registrations. Democratic registrations are up 5.9%; Republican registrations are up 2.7%.
Of course, both major parties should take heed of the fact that Independent/non-affiliated registrations are up 9.7%.
In CD5, the numbers are even more eye-opening. (Apologies for the formatting - I haven't figured out how to set up a neat table in Blogger. :( )
Party, Jan 2008 #s, Oct 2006, Raw change, % change
Democratic Party, 92201, 86743, 5458, 6.3%
Republican Party, 139265, 139057, 208, 0.15%
Independent, 94457, 87060, 7397, 8.5%
Overall, 328145, 315185, 12960, 4.1%
To sum up - In CD5, the trends indicated by the statewide numbers are even more pronounced. Independent registrations increased at more than twice the pace of the increase in overall registrations. In addition, Democratic registrations increase at a greater pace than the overall pace.
As for the Republicans? They virtually maintained status quo, while everyone else moved up.
The short-term trends are even more encouraging.
Since October 2007, the date of the voter reg report immediately prior to the current one, in CD5, Republican registrations have decreased .19%, Independent registrations have decreased 2.53%, and overall registrations have decreased by .47%.
As for Democratic registrations? They increased by 1.48%.
The indication of decreased Independent registrations is attributable to Arizona's closed primary system for the presidential preference primary election. Many independent voters registered with a party in order to vote in that party's primary. Most, but not all, will change back after February 5th,
The fact that Democratic registrations increased while the overall registration numbers decreased suggest that most of the independents registered as Democrats.
This idea is supported by the national trend of record Democratic turnout in the caucuses and primaries in New Hampshire, Iowa, and Nevada.
Simply put, average voters are far more excited by the slate of Democratic contenders for the presidency than they are by the slate of Republican contenders.
Add to that the continued voter dissatisfaction with the status quo (war without end, economy stalling, health care that doesn't care, economy tanking, immigration rhetoric founded on blind hate not substance, economy in recession) associated mostly with the Republicans, and you have a trend that should continue to favor the Democratic Party, both nationally and here in AZ.
The trends in LD8 and LD17 are similarly positive for Democrats -
In LD17, Democratic registrations are up 5.8% since October of 2006 (down .54% since October 2007), Republican registrations are up only 1.1% since 10?06 (down 1.4% since 10/07). Overall registrations are up 5.1% since 10/06 and down .5% since 10/07.
Of course, even in the slightly negative news for Democrats (down a little since October 2007), one shouldn't lose sight of the fact that they still did better than the Republicans in LD17.
Oh, and for the first time in recent memory, there are more registered Democrats in LD17, 25,530, than Republicans, 25,383!
An advantage of 147!
In October of 2006, the Republican registration advantage was 970, for a net change of 1117 more Democratic registrations than Republicans.
In LD8, the trend is even better (though the Reps still have a huge registration advantage there).
LD8 Democratic registrations are up almost 8% since October 2006, Republican registrations are up almost 1% and overall registrations are up 5.1%.
Those are pretty encouraging numbers, but the short-term numbers are even better -
Since October 2007, Republican registrations are down .5% while Democratic registrations are up 2.11%! (Overall registrations in LD8 are down almost .5.)
These numbers, both locally and statewide, won't make any difference on February 5th - that election is 'party-only.'
Come November, however, these trends could spell trouble for Republican candidates up and down the ballot.