Thousands of Arizona voters drop Republican affiliation after Capitol riot
PHOENIX – Thousands of Arizona GOP voters have switched their party affiliation since Jan. 6, according to data received from Arizona’s secretary of state.
Just over 3,300 voters changed their registration between Jan. 6 and Jan. 15, immediately after the planned insurrection at the United States’ Capitol as electoral college votes were counted by Congress.
From Jan. 13 to Jan. 24, a total of 4,356 changed their affiliation.
Political expert Emily Ryan, with Copper State Consulting, believes this is something that’s been building for a while.
“Your average self-selected conservative just doesn’t identify with a planned insurrection at the United States’ Capitol,” she said.
Ryan added some voters have left because they do not identify with state party chair Kelli Ward or untethered tweets from the state party’s official account.
“Not only do they not identify with it, they don’t want to be publicly associated with it,” she said.
Ryan forecasts the switch in party affiliation will also impact how politicians campaign in upcoming elections, explaining independents can no longer be taken for granted moderates.
“Political candidates of all persuasions are going to have to recognize that group of independents now contains some die-hard purest conservatives who don’t buy into the Trump agenda,” she said.
In an email to KTAR News 92.3 FM, Sophia Solis with the secretary of state’s office said “generally, there is a lot of shifting before and after elections.”
However, Solis clarified the data provided “is not exactly precise” because the date the party affiliation is changed in their system could be different from the date a voter submitted their registration form, which might not be processed for several days.