US registered voters hit record-breaking 200 mln

Washington, Oct 20 (IANS) More than 200 million Americans are registered to vote in this year’s presidential election, a record high in US history, TargetSmart, a Democratic political data firm, said.

National registration now stands at 200,081,377 voters, Tom Bonier, CEO of TargetSmart, told on Wednesday.

The figure meant more than 50 million new people have registered to vote in the past eight years, Xinhua news agency reported.

Only 146.3 million were registered as recently as 2008, when President Barack Obama first won the White House.

Overall, TargetSmart found that 42.6 per cent of the new voters registered this year lean toward Democratic, with 29 per cent leaning toward Republican and 28.4 percent favouring independent.

“As we cross the threshold of 200 million registered voters for the first time, there are signs of an ever diversifying electorate, and one that is more favorable to Democratic candidates,” Bonier said.

A Pew Research Centre study said earlier this year that the 2016 electorate would be the “most racially and ethnically diverse ever”, forecasting 31 per cent of the vote would come from ethnic minorities, up from 29 per cent in 2012.

However, it is difficult to tell if there will be record-setting turnout on November 8 due to widespread frustration caused by steady spray of venom as a sharply negative campaign enters its final weeks.

The USA Today/Rock the Vote poll issued on Tuesday showed that the impact of continuous venomous attacks in this cycle is apparent among the country’s largest and rising generation, making their voting enthusiasm dipping.

Previously, the biggest turnout in US presidential election history came in 2008, when 131.4 million people voted, according to a report from the Politico news widespread frustration website.

US voters’ turnout dipped slightly to 129.2 million in 2012.

The electorate has been growing by leaps in recent years, with Hispanic population growth behind much of the surge. Two decades ago, in 1996, there were not even 200 million people of voting-age population in the US, let alone registered voters.