Democrat and Republican Affiliation Drops While Libertarian Party Numbers Surge

At a time when Libertarian Party membership continues to rise, a recent Rasmussen Report survey indicates that Republican Party affiliation continues to decline while Democratic Party affiliation is decreasing, as well.

Republican numbers have been dropping since the November 2004 elections and they continue to decrease with no bottom in sight. For the last four consecutive months, the amount of self-identified Republicans continued their decline - from 31.1 percent to 30.8 percent in a telephone survey of 15,000 adults.

The number of self-identified Democrats fell to 36.3 percent, its lowest number in seventeen months. Democrats have suffered losses in the last three consecutive months, resulting in a six month decrease of 4.5 percent.

At the same time, Libertarian Party membership numbers have been on an upswing. For the last five months, people willing to pay at least $25 per year for Libertarian Party affiliation have increased at a rate of approximately 2.7 percent per month, which is a 14 percent increase from December’s figure. . .

You can read the entire Libertarian Party press release here.

12 Responses to “Democrat and Republican Affiliation Drops While Libertarian Party Numbers Surge”

  1. Austin Cassidy Says:

    I just thought the wording of this release was kind of funny. Republican identification falls 0.3% in the last four months with “no bottom in sight.” And then, much less dramatically, Democratic ID falls 4.5% (15 times as much) in the last six months. The RNC should be touting these numbers, and yet it’s worded to make it sound like Republicans are in much worse trouble than Democrats.

  2. [email protected] Says:

    The release would have been stronger if it hadn’t tried to compare apples (major party voter affiliation polling numbers) and Hummel figurines (LP continuing contributor numbers).

    Those are two very different kinds of numbers, history says that they don’t necessarily track each other well (the LP had more than half again as many dues-paying members in 2000 as it did in 1996—and its presidential vote total went down by about 20%; the presidential vote total then held steady in 2004 even though membership had declined well back toward its 1996 level),

    Also, the organizations/voter bases being compared are just completely out of scale with each other anyway.

    But hey, you gotta flog what you’ve got. The release was interesting in any case.

  3. Paul Wayne Snyder, PhD Says:

    Mister Knappster, point well taken——and then sloppily taken away!

    So much of the Anti Democratic Party and the Anti Republican Party postings Third Party Watch take on the trappings of pure, and even, mishandled, propaganda. Yes commentary is differentiated from pure [hard] news, but when commented on like Quirk, G_E, and others of the ‘Rah-rah’ peanut gallery—-they lose their edge.

    Not every reader stops at the Headline! Take those two so-called conservative hacks: Gary Wills and Robert Novack.

    Wills, ‘a strange little man’ who loves the odd and boring game of base ball to a degree of Compulsive Disorder, is a wanna be academic who does not even pretend to play by the rules [of fair play]! He presents the arguement with all the zeal of a North Carolina District Attorney going after white male LaCrosse athletes. He has a grasp of the whole cloth, but leaves lots of the pattern in the shredder or trash can.

    Bob Novack uses a different technique. Instead of leaving appropriate, important stuff out, he throws in inappropriate [if factual] details. [Like the potentially lethal identities of once secret, clandestine government agents!]

    All around the global, the bi-lines of these two truth benders signals the reader that a full review of the facts IS NOT FORTH COMMING.

    Former Nixon Speech writer Ben Stein has a much better reputation—-inspite of the fact that he is a known, professional comedian. At least Mister Stein makes a pretense of hitting both sides of the issue———occationally! [His nearly 200 IQ probably does not hurt too much either!]

    “ya gotta flog what ya got….’ [No, no, no! ]

    You carefully analyze [tear apart] and synthyze [put togeter] your argument, including occationally ‘letting things go’ and NOT COMMENTING ON the condiction. Remember, the other guys ‘can not quote ‘Silence’ !’

    Fact: What ever unhappiness you have with Non Democrats and Non GOP, it has been the two headed political monster of the establishment parties which have brought the one and only global super power to mimic the Soviet World Empire and its path into the rubbish bin of History.

  4. Trent Hill Says:


    Your crap is nearly impossible to read.
    Also, as Knapp already pointed out—the LP doesnt release actual registration numbers. I believe those have dropped since 2004 significantly.

  5. George Phillies Says:

    Richard Winger with some frequency releases registration numbers for third parties. The Constitution Party numbers are disordered by the American Independent numbers, because many voters think that is how you register independent.

    On the other hand, when we have canvassed L voters in MA, the obvious conclusion has been that the party registration data is almost completely meaningless.

  6. Seth Says:

    Speaking of LP candidates, this is a good place to ask why G_E (aka G.E. Smith) is running for president when he’s not old enough to take the office?

  7. Bill Wood Says:

    Hmmm, in last months LP News the number of dues paying members and non-dues paying members were listed. I believe they were also posted here on TPW. They did not list the numbers of people who are registered as Libertarian in the handful of State that allow Party affiliation. Only official LP Party Members.

    The total number of LP party members as of March 1st (I think that was the date) was over 116,000.

    Last time I have seen the Party affiliation numbers were a couple years ago and that stood around 225,0000.

  8. George Phillies Says:

    “116 000” is the number of people who have ever signed the pledge. (Probably. A national director in the 1990s threw out all the older records.)

    The number of people who are “sustaining members” is someplace around 12,000.

  9. Bill Wood Says:

    George, I’m glad to know someone else here reads the LP News, ;-)


  10. Carl Says:

    12,000, wow. We are down in the range of where the LP was when I joined—in 1981. Except $25 was a lot more money back then. (Caveat: not sure if membership required $25 back then, but it does fit my recollection.)

    I wonder what sort of sustaining membership numbers the LP would have if dues kept up with inflation…

  11. Bill Wood Says:

    Last year when the LP went to the “Zero Dues” the number of people paying yearly dues dropped by half since dues were no longer necessary. In order to get the LP NEWS you had to pay $25.00 for a year.

    The LP still grew, just the $25.00 per person dropped. The amount of money the LP had per year dropped, but the interesting thing according to the yearly reports, when the LP had more money coming in they overspent. Now the LP has climbed out of debt and is running in the “black” and this with less money coming in. So my hat is off to Bill Redpath and the LPHQ “merry little band” for turning this around.

    I don’t think the LP tries to hide membership numbers or anything sinister. They list the names of new members and the renewing members every month in the LP NEWS.

  12. Carl Says:

    + Third party politics is more acceptable than when I joined the LP.

    + There are many more outreach avenues for third tier political candidates and movements: Internet, talk radio, cheap desktop publishing, cheap movie editing…

    - Paid membership is down, especially when you factor in inflation.

    +- Actually dues have gone up lately, since we no longer have UMP. To be both a state and federal dues-paying member requires more bucks than in the UMP days.

    - This was also the case in the early 1980s.
    - In other words, during the days of peak membership, dues were way down from historical levels. Not only had teh $25 level been inflated down, but the LP also had UMP.

    Can the LP break through the concrete ceiling?

    Does it want to?

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