The latest voter registration numbers in Connecticut may not help forecast the likely winners on Election Day, but they do indicate the polls will be crowded.
With the Nov. 1 deadline to register to vote online, by-mail, or in-person less than two weeks away, Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said there are now 2,080,383 registered voters in Connecticut and that 261,166 people have registered since the start of 2016.
A closer look at the numbers showed that there are a total of 785,430 Democrats registered to vote; 448,759 Republicans; and 820,603 unaffiliated voters.
That means, with 10 days to go, the Democrats have 17,254 more registered voters for this presidential election than they did in 2012. For the Republicans, they have 18,195 more registered than they did in 2012.
Of those that have registered to vote since the start of the year in Connecticut, 97,792 have signed up as Democrats; 49,609 as Republicans; 107,708 as unaffiliated.
Additionally, the Green Party has signed up 277 new voters since the start of the year; the Libertarian Party has signed up 728. Jill Stein is running for president on the Green Party ballot and Gary Johnson is on the presidential ballot in Connecticut as the Libertarian Party candidate.
What the heavy registration means — for both the presidential race between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton and the lesser races on the ballot in the state of Connecticut — depends on who is talking.
Connecticut Republican Chairman J.R. Romano said Wednesday the heavy registration indicates “the strong anxiety that many people in Connecticut are feeling. It is because of the Democratic Party’s failed results in our state.”
Romano recently told the Waterbury Republican-American that “There is no question that there is a mass enthusiasm gap between Hillary Clinton supporters and Donald Trump supporters.”
On Wednesday, Romano added that it is his belief that “Hillary Clinton has almost no coattails. We have a serious opportunity to take back the General Assembly in the state of Connecticut.”
Currently, Democrats hold a 87-64 majority in the House of Representatives in the General Assembly in Hartford and a 21-15 majority in the State Senate.
But the state’s top Democrat — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy — disagrees with Romano’s assessment.
Malloy, who is also chairman of the Democratic Governors Association and a Clinton surrogate, has said he disagrees with those who believe there is an “enthusiasm gap’’ with Clinton.
“No, I don’t think there is an enthusiasm gap,’’ Malloy has said. He added he also believes that many voters registered as independents in Connecticut would vote for Clinton.
Merrill said, “Voter registration deadlines are fast approaching and people are wisely taking advantage of every available way to register.”
This is the first year the state will allow voters to register on Nov. 8.
“Same-day registration will be in effect on November 8, however, voters must realize that there could be very long lines on Election Day,” Merrill said. “The safest way to be sure you will be able to vote for president in 2016 is to register before Nov. 1 and check your existing registration to confirm that it is up to date.”
Citizens have until Nov. 1 to register to vote online, by mail or in-person. Election Day registration is in effect on Nov. 8, though Merrill is warning those that wait that long that lines are expected to be long.