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Nevada Democrats reverse recent voter registration trend

After several months of watching their party’s voter registration lead over Republicans dwindle, Democrats have bounced back with renewed vigor.

June marked the third consecutive month that Democrats outpaced Republicans in registering more voters in the Silver State. According to the Nevada Secretary of State’s office, the number of active registered Democrats increased by 8,623, while Republicans added 5,830 to their rolls. Nonpartisan registration grew by 3,502 in June.

“Critical to our success in November is increasing the margin over Republicans,” Nevada Democratic Party communications director Helen Kalla said, noting that the Nevada party received a six-figure infusion from the Democratic National Committee to boost voter registration.

For nine months in a row, Republicans cut into the Democrats voter-registration advantage, which had grown to nearly 90,000 in 2016. But in April, the edge had shrunk to fewer than 60,000 for the first time since March 2016.

U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, who is facing a strong challenge from U.S. Rep. Jacky Rosen in one of the country’s most watched Senate races, told a group of Republicans at a private luncheon in early April that if the party could continue to lower that gap he and other Republicans would win come November.

Now Democrats have an advantage of more than 65,000. registered voters.

Kalla said the boost is due to Democrats working with high schools to register voter-aged students and the party has seen a dramatic increase in volunteers.

“Compared to this time in 2016, we’ve completed almost four-times as many voter registration volunteer shifts,” she said.

Those efforts seem to helping to buck the trend from the last mid-term election cycles — 2014 and 2010 — that saw Democrats barely maintain their registration advantage.

Keelie Broom, state communications director for the Republican National Committee, said the party still feels good about its voter registration efforts. She pointed out that the GOP increased its numbers by nearly 6,000 and held in more than 40 events statewide where staffers pushed voter registration.

“We’re confident about our voter registration progress cycle to date and our teams will continue to work tirelessly to identify, register and persuade voters,” Broom said. “We’ve made tremendous progress in closing the voter registration gap, and the Democrats’ voter registration advantage has shrunk by more than 25,000 voters since June 2017.”

Contact Capital Bureau reporter Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4638. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

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