CARSON CITY – Democrats continued to outpace Republicans in their voter registration efforts in August, signing up 12,163 new voters to 5,042 for Republicans, the Secretary of State’s office reported today.
Registered nonpartisans increased by 6,575 during the same time period, also exceeding the registrations by the GOP.
Of the 1,122,236 active registered voters statewide, 41.3 percent, (463,229), are Democrats, 36.3 percent, (407,513), are Republicans and 16.7 percent, (186,941), are nonpartisans.
The August efforts mirror those reported from July, when Democrats registered 8,121 active voters compared to 3,705 active voters for Republicans. Active registered nonpartisans increased by 4,946 during the same time period.
Voter registration efforts are expected to play an important role in the presidential race in Nevada, one of a handful of battleground states expected to determine whether President Obama wins a second term or if his challenger Mitt Romney succeeds him in 2013.
But the presidential contest isn’t the only race in play. In addition to the U.S. Senate race between Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., there are many other important down ballot races.
Among those viewed as vital by both parties are five state Senate seats, which will determine if Democrats retain their majority in the 2013 legislative session or if Republicans take control of the 21-member Senate.
Democrats have added to their totals in the seats since the end of registration for the May primary.
Democrats now have an 11-10 edge in the state Senate, and Republicans are trying to take control for the 2013 session. Republicans need to win four of the five seats to take an 11-10 majority. Four of the five seats in play are in Southern Nevada and the fifth is in Reno.
In Senate District 5, where Republican and former Henderson city councilman Steve Kirk is facing Democrat and former state Sen. Joyce Woodhouse, Democrats have added to their registration edge. Democrats had a 1,680 voter advantage as the close of registration for the June primary and a 2,127 edge as of the end of August. Democrats are 40.4 percent of the voters in the district; Republicans are 36.6 percent.
In Senate District 6, where GOP attorney Mark Hutchison faces Democrat Benny Yerushalmi, Democrats had a 1,890 voter advantage at the primary and now lead by 2,797. Democrats have 41.7 percent of active voters in the district compared to 37.1 percent for Republicans.
In Senate District 9, where Republican Mari Nakashima St. Martin faces Democrat Justin Jones, Democrats have improved their advantage from 1,917 voters at the primary to 2,648 at the end of August. Democrats have 39.9 percent of voters compared to 34.3 percent for the GOP.
In Senate District 18, where Republican Assemblyman Scott Hammond faces Democrat Kelli Ross, Republicans have seen their 1,653 voter edge as of the primary decline to 1,351 as of the end of August. Republicans have 39.9 percent of the voters compared to 37.6 percent for Democrats.
In the Reno race in Senate District 15 between Sen. Greg Brower, R-Reno, and former state Sen. Sheila Leslie, D-Reno, Republicans have seen their 1,404 GOP edge as of the primary decline slightly to 1,355 at the end of August. It was a tiny gain for the GOP from July, however. Republicans have 39.7 percent of voters to 37.8 percent for Democrats.