A look at voters who switched party affiliations during the election

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As the election nears, we are taking a look at how party affiliations have changed over the year.

This year we are not seeing as much of a party affiliation change like we did back in 2016, however still around 3,000 voters changed their affiliation this year.

“Most often the changes take place at the beginning of the year when people start to think about the primary election and who they are going to have a chance to vote for,” said Doug Smith, Clerk of Elections.

Political Analyst Joe Morris said that research shows many develop their party affiliation starts with your family.

“More likely than not you will be the same ideology, the same party as your parents. It’s just the way things work. Having said that, there are other agents of socialization that come along, make appearances in your life and help to change that ideology,” said Dr. Joe Morris, Political Analyst.

When taking a look at the 2016 election, there were a lot of voters that went from the Democratic affiliation to the Republican side. Now this year, it seems to be about even.

Which party affiliation grew the most? In 2020 the Republican party has increased it’s rolls by 1,556 voters. The Democratic party has grown by 1,029 voters.

More people are switching to the GOP in Erie County following the same trend as the last presidential election year.

One area voter said that she believes the construct of the political system is the issue.

“I think what is wrong with the political system right now is with people having too much faith in their parties. I try to go for which candidate resonates well with me and with what I think will be best for the rest of the country,” said Lilly Smith from Mercyhurst University.

We spoke with one man who changed his party from Democrat to Republican.

“I did that two weeks ago. What I could see, what Trump has done to the past three and a half years. I think he deserves another chance,” said Melvin Dolan, Changed Party Affiliation.

Dolan was a registered Democrat for ten years.

“I do a lot of listening to the truckers report out of Ohio. What they say is Trump is a better guy than the Democrats are,” said Dolan.

Dr. Morris added the question lingering, will the party affiliations change after the election? For this, Dr. Morris said that it is unknown.

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