N.J. adds 500,000 new Democrats in ’08

Over half a million voters have registered as Democrats during the last six months, according to the Democratic State Committee.

The DSC put out a press release today saying they’ve quantified the numbers, and that their party’s enrollment has increased by 48% in wake of the high turnout February 5th presidential primary.

The group said that Republicans had also caught “some of a tailwind,” inducting about 150,000 new voters to their ranks.

"This is more than a trend, it's a remarkable increase in Democratic votersthat will have a lasting impact," said Democratic State Chairman Joe Cryan. "The people can't wait to bring the Bush era to an end and the best way to do that is to elect Democrats. It's not enough that the Bush Administration is coming to a close, the voters are rejecting everything with the Republican brand name."

Cryan acknowledged that the new registrants aren’t necessarily the most stalwart or active Democrats.

“These may be our voters, but we know we'll have to continue to work to keep them,” he said.

But it’s likely that most of those new registrants were already Democratic voters, said Eagleton Institute Director Ingrid Reed. What will be telling is how many of those voters participate in next week’s primary.

“We’ve never had a primary in February, or that kind of a presidential primary where so many people seemed to be engaged,” said Reed.

Although some of those previously unaffiliated voters would have probably already wound up targeted by Democratic campaigns, Reed said this could make them easier to identify.

“One of the thing for the parties that’s a good thing is these people are now identified on the voter roles, so they can direct their campaigns to them,” she said.

N.J. adds 500,000 new Democrats in ’08