Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Thursday, August 13, 2015

AZGOP celebrates gaining 255 voters between April and June 2015; but lost 7,138 in prior quarter

The Arizona Republican Party is feeling its oats.

A press release issued yesterday:
Republican Presidential Nomination Contest Helps Drive Increase in Voters Registering as Republicans
Statewide Quarterly Report Shows GOP Registration Increase of 255, Democrats Decrease of 1,163
PHOENIX - This afternoon Chairman Robert Graham of the Arizona Republican Party announced progress is being made in increasing Republican voter registration over the Democrat counterparts. The party is capitalizing on the public’s increased interest in the Republican Party in anticipation of Arizona’s presidential primary election in March 22, 2016.
As of July 30 [sic], the state has 1,107,108 registered Republicans, up 255 voters from the 1,106,853 as of the end of April. Democrats had July 30 [sic] registration of 922,120 versus April’s 923,283, a loss of 1,163 voters.
This is probably the best place to point out that in three months prior to that 255 person gain, the Greedy Old Pricks Party lost 7,138 voters. And this statement was released AFTER the August 6th debate debacle. (check here, here and here for starters) Oh, yeah... they've got the Big Mo (momentum) as they say in athletic contests. The release continues...
“There’s been a lot of enthusiasm statewide about the Republican nomination for president, and now that the debates have begun we’re going to be seeing the trend continue with a great response from new voters getting excited about the Republican Party, taking action, and registering to vote with us,” said Arizona Republican Party Chairman Robert Graham. “The numbers also show the Democrats, meanwhile, putting on a shameful performance as they’re apparently omitting voters from the primary process in favor of Hillary Clinton being handed Barack Obama’s third term.”
The full report is available from the Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan here.
Beside the fact that the AZGOP completely misleads everyone with that nonsense release, it also misstates the dates by a full month. Oh, and the number of Independent (Other) registered voters rose by 17,707 between April and the end of June compared to Graham's ebullient joy over an increase of 255.

Why does the AZGOP think its registration increase is a big enough deal to proclaim (and for the Yellow Sheet to dutifully republish without analysis) while forgetting to mention that it lost more than SEVEN THOUSAND voters in the previous three months while Independent voters INCREASED by nearly EIGHTEEN thousand in the period in which the GOP gained a mere 255?

Yet, I'm also very concerned about the lackadaisical performance by the Arizona Democratic Party. I'm not going to sugar-coat the problem and pretend all is well with ADP. However, in spite of that slump, the number of registered Democrats in Maricopa County increased by 1,631 from April to June.

There are several reasons for the malaise. The bottom line is that AZDEM (the state party) has been rudderless for the first seven months of the year and election cycle. I don't think that was a wise course of action at all. We won't get those months back, but if the new leadership recognizes the serious groundswell for Sanders sweeping the state and country, we can more than make up for it.

A new executive director, Sheila Healy, has been hired. Unfortunately, she missed perhaps the most important opportunity available by not showing up at the LD26 (Tempe/West Mesa/Salt River Community) Democrats meeting on Tuesday night. I've pointed out several key missed opportunities to AZDEM staff over the last year. They better wake up now.

To illustrate, this week's LD26 Dem meeting had maybe 50 people attend. But just by posting meetup information at for the July 29 House Party held just a few blocks away (from the community center where this Tuesday's Dem meeting was held), 129 people showed up.

Is it fair to say the contrast between the two meetings reflects a palpable reluctance (not just in corporate media) by local and state organization Democrats to acknowledge and embrace the growing wave of enthusiasm for Democrat Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign?

It's a HUGE mistake for state and local Democratic organizations to refuse to recognize a genuine phenomenon and to not embrace it. Get over holding back in favor of the zombie Clinton campaign. Bernie Sanders is NOW. Bernie Sanders is generating authentic enthusiasm. Get on board. I don't give a shit where the big money to run the party apparatus might come from. Even more importantly, Democratic activists waiting to be activated care even less.

Without lighting a fire of enthusiasm under Democratic activists now, the Party risks losing ground for at least another two years.

Take NOTE Arizona Democrats. It is easily within your grasp to overwhelm the GOP in this state before the registration deadline (in February 2016) for the Presidential Preference Election (in March 2016).

Embrace the wave. #FeelTheBern

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