More than a million voters across 43 states have left the Democratic Party and registered as Republicans in the last year, according to an analysis of voting data by the Associated Press.
Of the 1.7 million voters who have changed parties in the last year, around two-thirds registered Republican, AP found. The voting data showed the phenomenon is almost universal throughout the country.
The AP's findings come just one week after President Joe Biden’s approval rating at this point in his term fell lower than any president in recorded history.
The largest shift to the Republican Party occurred in well-educated suburbs of large cities in Georgia, Iowa, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Ohio, Virginia, and Washington. Some counties, such as Lorain in Ohio, saw nearly every party switcher join the Republicans. Even Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties outside of Los Angeles reported a GOP upswing.
These statistics reflect a dramatic change in only one year. Under the Trump administration, Democrats made marginal gains with swing voters. But the GOP's advantage in voter registration is massive, driven by parents' and suburban voters' frustrations with issues such as drawn-out pandemic-related school closures, vaccine mandates, skyrocketing inflation and gas prices, and baby formula shortages.
One voter shared with AP her concerns about the direction of the Democratic Party.
"The party itself is no longer Democrat, it’s progressive socialism," said Jessica Kroells of Colorado, who said she used to be a reliable Democrat voter but feels the party has left her behind.
The party is scrambling to cope with Biden’s low popularity and a lack of confidence in his prospects for a second term. Vice President Kamala Harris is even less popular than Biden, and fellow Democrats have increasingly turned against their party in hopes of securing reelection this November.