Donald Trump may be losing in the polls, but he is winning in an area that could tip the scales in November — new voters.
According to Politico, Republicans are picking up steam among voters in key battleground states, specifically Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Iowa. In Pennsylvania, for example, more than 85,000 voters have switched their registration from Democratic to Republican. And while Trump deserves some of the credit for this development, Charlie Gerow, a Pennsylvania GOP strategist, remarked, “My view is that a lot more of it is motivated by disgust that many Democrats have for the administration.”
The GOP also received good news from all-important Florida, where the Democratic Party’s lead in registered voters is less than half of what it was during the 2012 election. While voters don’t necessarily vote along the lines of their party registration, this is being rightly called a ray of hope for Trump. In 2012, President Obama won Florida by less than 100,000 votes. Now in 2016, Republicans have added about 70,000 more voters to their registration rolls than the Democrats have.
However, the Politico story was not all good news for Trump. According to Joe Henry, a representative of the League of United Latin American Citizens, the Republican candidate has helped drive up Democratic voter registration in many areas as well. Says Henry: “We’ve probably had a 20 percent increase [in voter registration] just because of concerns about the hate.”
Still, this surge in new voters should help buoy a Trump campaign trying to find new momentum heading into the fall. Combined with Trump’s shrewd staff changes last week, and the campaign’s shift to a more disciplined message, things might be starting to look up for the Republican nominee. When even #NeverTrump’ers are complimenting him for “the best speech he’s given this entire campaign,” there is a definite feeling of change in the air.
Kevin Dawson is Operations Manager for the American Principles Project.