Although just 14 percent of voters in Alaska are registered Democrats, fully 32 percent of the 49,000 Alaskans who signed the initial Recall Dunleavy petition this summer were Democrats.
14,494 Democrats signed, which is nearly 20 percent of the 74,115 registered Democrats in the state.
Not surprisingly, they are overrepresented on the petition by about 100 percent. Democrats may be small in numbers in Alaska, but they sure don’t like Gov. Michael Dunleavy.
Republicans, on the other hand, constitute 28 percent of the Alaska’s voter file (there are currently 140,562 Republicans).
But only 7 percent of those who signed the recall petition are registered Republicans. They are underrepresented by about 400 percent on the petition.
Some of those Republicans are people like petition signers Scott Kendall, Andrew Halcro, and Bonnie Jack, registered Republicans known to work against Republicans at every opportunity. Others are moderates who simply don’t like the way Dunleavy has governed in his first few months.
Undeclared and Nonpartisan voters make up 50 percent of Alaska’s voter rolls, with 253,688 voters Undeclared and 83,835 Nonpartisan.
The 16,806 Undeclareds who signed the petition represents 6 percent of the Undeclared voters in Alaska.
The 9,838 Nonpartisans who signed the petition amount to 12 percent of the Nonpartisans registered with Division of Elections.
Undeclareds and Nonpartisans are typically different voters. The Nonpartisan voter is considered to be liberal leaning. They are well-educated, are often government workers who don’t want to be labeled, and they trend heavily toward Democrat candidates — about 80 percent of the time.
Nonpartisan is a good place to hide for liberals in a red state. Political consultants estimate that Nonpartisans are supervoters — voting in most, if not all, elections. They make up about 15 percent of Alaska’s overall voter file, but are 21 percent of those who signed the petition — again, overrepresented.
When Nonpartisans are added together with the Democrats on the list, 53 percent of petition signers were in the Democrat-voting category. Here’s the break down:
- Democrats signed: 14,494, or 32%
- Republicans signed: 2,994, or 7%
- Nonpartisans: 9,838, or 21%
- Undeclareds: 16,806, or 37%
- Other: 1,809, or 4%
Undeclareds, as the largest category of voters in the state, are the true swing voters in Alaska. However, unlike Nonpartisans, they do not vote as frequently, and they split their votes fairly evenly between Democrat candidates and Republicans. They are the voters with whom those in the political persuasion business has the most challenge in reaching.
The 49,000 who signed the petition roughly equal the battleground for the upcoming recall fight, should judges allow the matter to go to the ballot. The breakdown shows that the true messaging battleground for Republicans will be among the Undeclared voters of Alaska, and the true messaging battleground for Democrats will be the Democrat, Nonpartisan, and Undeclared voters that are identified as super voters, or those with a higher propensity to turn out.
Both sides, but particularly Republicans, will have their work cut out for them getting their people out to vote in a special recall election.
WHAT ABOUT THOSE JUDGES?
The Supreme Court in Alaska is comprised of one registered Democrat, two Nonpartisans, and two Undeclared. The Attorney General defending his decision on the recall petition language will be challenged by having a predominantly Democrat-voting Supreme Court judging the merits of a highly partisan recall attempt.
For now, the case involving the validity of the recall petition is in the hands of Anchorage Superior Court Judge Jennifer Henderson, a registered Nonpartisan.
Henderson’s decision on the validity of the recall petition will likely be offered this week. After that, the case will be appealed by one side or the other to the Alaska Supreme Court, where it will be heard by the entire panel of judges.