Undercurrent

GOP has slight edge among older voters; Dems have huge edge among younger ones

By: - July 7, 2021 3:33 pm
coulda mailed it tho

If you’re nonpartisan during a primary election – like this one in 2020 – then all you really got to vote for was all those judges. (Nevada Current file photo)

coulda mailed it tho
If you’re nonpartisan during a primary election – like this one in 2020 – then all you really got to vote for was all those judges. (Nevada Current file photo)

Independent voter registration has been climbing nationwide for decades. In Nevada, independent voters outnumber Republicans among voters under age 55. Of voters under age 35, independents dramatically outnumber Republicans in Nevada, roughly 182,000 to 103,000, according to the Nevada Secretary of State’s June voter registration report.

In total, Democrats had 649,101 voters, Republicans had 566,916, and independents accounted for 472,937. Another roughly 150,000 Nevadans are registered with assorted third parties.

Of Nevada registered voters aged 55 to 64, Republicans lead Democrats, 116,043 to 106,738. Among voters aged 65 and over, Republicans outnumber Democrats 175,969 to 162,2017.

Combine the two groups, and Republicans lead Democrats among voters 55 and over by about 23,000 voters.

Among Nevadans under the age of 55, Democrats lead Republicans by about 115,000 voters – 380,146 for the Democrats to 274,904 for the Republicans.

Among all the under 55 age groups, Republicans are closest to Democrats among those aged 45 to 54. Democrats hold only a very slight edge, with 96,084 voters to the GOP’s 93,848.

no primary for independent voters tho

But the younger the Nevadans, the bigger the Democratic advantage.

Democrats lead Republican registration among those aged 35 to 44 by 100,281 to 78,169. For the 25-34 age group, the Democrats have 112,842 voters, to 68,495 for Republicans.

And there are also roughly twice as many registered Democrats as there are Republicans in the 18-24 age group, where Democrats have 70,939 voters to the GOP’s 34,392. 

Combine all voters under age 45 and Democrats lead Republicans 284,062 to 181,056.

The numbers are in line with a plethora of studies indicating younger voters are far more likely to vote for a Democrat than a Republican, while older voters … aren’t.

But tempting as it may be among some observers to point to the age gap and declare the Republican Party is bound to become smaller and smaller, the same fate may be awaiting Democrats.

For instance, it’s that youngest group – voters aged 18-24 – where independents have a whopping majority over Republicans, but they also outnumber Nevada Democrats, 71,784 to 70,939. It’s a slim difference. But one that will almost certainly will get bigger. 

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Hugh Jackson
Hugh Jackson

Hugh Jackson was editor of the Las Vegas Business Press, senior editor at the Las Vegas CityLife weekly newspaper, daily political commentator on the Las Vegas NBC affiliate, and author of the Las Vegas Gleaner political blog. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, he was a reporter and editor at the Casper (Wyoming) Star-Tribune.

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