Heading into the 2018 midterms, Republicans hold several advantages – majorities in the Senate and House and occupying the Oval Office being most notable – but Democrats have the edge in one key area: voter registration.
The basic facts: In 19 states and the District, there are more registered Democrats than Republicans. In 12 states, there are more registered Republicans than Democrats. In aggregate, 40% of all voters in party registration states are Democrats, 29% are Republicans, and 28% are independents. Nationally, the Democratic advantage in the party registration states approaches 12 million.
The question becomes whether Democrats can turn those registrations into votes.
Republican Donald Trump found a route to victory in 2016 that went through the party registration states. He scored a near sweep of those where there were more Republicans than Democrats, winning 11 of the 12, while also taking six of the 19 states where there were more Democrats than Republicans — a group that included the pivotal battleground states of Florida, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.