Republicans and independents increased their voter registrations, while Democrats fell for the fifth month in a row, according to the latest numbers for South Dakota.
The web site for Secretary of State Shantel Krebs shows that, as of April 10, Republicans remained the dominant party, with 253,845 registered voters. That was a slight — nine total — downturn from March 1. But it was an overall increase from the 252,116 Republicans registered for the November general election, and the 243,523 Republicans registered for the June primary.
Then we have the independents and No Party Affiliation voters. Their combined total as of April 10 was 122,373. That was an increase of 662 since March 1. More significantly, it was an overall increase from the 118,669 independents and NPAs registered for the November general election, and the 110,839 registered for the June primary. Independents and NPAs climbed 14 months in a row.
Now for the Democrats: They have fallen five months in a row. As of April 10, there were 169,688 Democratic voters registered in South Dakota. That was a decrease of 369 since March 1. It also was an overall decrease from the 170,694 Democrats registered for the November general election. It was an increase, however, from the 168,301 Democrats registered for the June primary.
As for the smaller political parties, the Constitution Party stood at 493 on April 10, down from 500 for the November general; it became an officially recognized party again on March 31, 2016. The Libertarian Party had 1,682 registered voters on April 10, an increase from 1,620 for the November general. The Libertarians became an officially recognized party again on June 17, 2016.
Flip the calendar back to July 2009: Democrats stood at a peak of 206,086, while independents and NPAs totaled 86,310. At the rates they have changed since then — Democrats down more than 36,000 while the independents and NPAs up more than 36,000 — the independents and NPAs could overtake Democrats within seven to eight years.
If not sooner.