AP FACT CHECK: Democrats drop below 50 percent in Kentucky

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Republicans have taken over Kentucky’s state government, electing majorities in the state House and Senate and a Republican governor for the first time ever.

But does their dominance extend to voter registration, which has long been ruled by Democrats? Monday, the Republican Party of Kentucky posted this to its Twitter account :

“For the first time in Kentucky history, the Democratic party has dropped below 50 percent registration! Thanks go to the hard work of our local county party to register new voters and change party registrations. Now on to victory in November! #kypol”


It’s true. Democrats are now below 50 percent. The latest report from the State Board of Elections says of the 3,372,374 registered voters, 1,683,898 are Democrats, or 49.93 percent.

But registered Democrats still outnumber Republicans, who account for 41.48 percent of voters, the report shows.

Is it the first time in history Democrats have dropped below 50 percent? That’s hard to say. Voter registration statistics on the State Board of Elections’ website go back to 1982. Anything before that would require a lengthy exploration of paper records. But given Kentucky’s political history, it is most likely true.

In 1982, Democrats had 1.2 million registered voters, giving them more than 68 percent of eligible voters. Since then, their registration rolls have grown by 35 percent while Republican registration rolls have swelled by 168.2 percent.

But the largest registration growth is voters registered as “other,” a catch-all category that includes independents and third parties. That segment has ballooned by 382 percent since 1982. While accounting for just 8.6 percent of the state’s total registration, it is technically the state’s fastest-growing category.

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