LOSSES IN NEARLY EVERY PART OF THE STATE
Alaska has lost population — about 8,000-10,000 people is the estimate of the drop in residents in the past three years. That means a shift in the political landscape. Not only has the migration been to other states, but within the state, people are also on the move.
Some of the more interesting demographic numbers are found in the voter registration logs comparing Jan. 3, 2018 and Jan. 3, 2020.
(Keep in mind that the overall voter rolls are artificially high due to the new automatic voter registration with Permanent Fund dividend applications. Approved by voter ballot initiative in 2016 with Ballot Measure 1, the automatic voter registration puts unregistered voters into the Undeclared category.)
Here are some shifts that will be of interest to candidates, campaigns, and political activists this year as the election cycle ramps up:
- Interior Alaska (Districts 1-6) lost 348 Democrats, and lost 605 Republicans.
- Mat-Su (Districts 7-12) lost 65 Democrats and gained 1,448 Republicans.
- Eagle River-Chugiak (Districts 13-14) lost 45 Democrats and lost 116 Republicans. This is a heavily Republican area.
- District 13, however, was the only one in the Anchorage area to gain Republicans, adding 65. The district is served by Republican Rep. Sharon Jackson, who is running for reelection.
- Anchorage (Districts 15-28) lost 656 Democrats and lost 1,582 Republicans, a blue trend in the largest metropolitan area of the state. There are still 41,932 Republicans in these Anchorage districts, compared with 31,028 Democrats.
- Republicans lost voters in Anchorage Districts 15, 17, 18 21, 22, 24, 25, 27.
- Kenai lost 90 Democrats and gained 315 Republicans. The region lost Democrats in all three districts and gained Republicans in all three.
- Kodiak lost 45 Democrats and lost 135 Republicans.
- Southeast lost 240 Democrats and gained 55 Republicans.
- Rural Alaska lost 450 Democrats and lost 5 Republicans.
- Juneau District 33 lost 93 Democrats and picked up 59 Republicans; (there are 3,603 Democrats to the 2,107 Republicans in this district).
- Southeast Districts 34 and 35 lost 8 and 131 Democrats in respectively, while Republicans gained 78 and 40 voters in those districts.
OVERALL VOTER BASE SWELLS BY OVER 9 PERCENT
Alaska’s voter rolls are growing, in spite of the drop in population. Alaska lost about a half a percent of its population between 2018 and 2019, but increased voters by 9 percent between 2018 and 2020, a gain of 49,852 voters in those two years.
On Jan. 3, 2018, 531,749 voters were registered in Alaska.
- 141,636 were Republicans,
- 76,362 were Democrats
- 85,176 were Nonpartisan
- 200,461 were Undeclared.
By Jan. 3, 2020, 581,601 voters were registered in Alaska.
- 140,920 were Republicans
- 74,424 were Democrats
- 84,023 were Nonpartisans
- 253,960 were Undeclared.
During that time period:
- Republicans lost 716 voters, or .51 percent of the R voter base.
- Democrats lost 2.54 percent of the D voter base.
WARNING BELLS FOR SOME CANDIDATES
Republican registrations are sneaking up on Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, whose Southeast District 35 has continued to become more and more Republican. The district lost 131 Democrats and gaining 40 Republicans in just two years, a trend that has continued since Democrat Kreiss-Tomkins was elected in 2012.
2,419 registered Democrats and 2,986 Republicans call that Sitka-Hoonah-Angoon District 35 area their voting home.
Also at risk is Rep. Daniel Ortiz, who is not with a party but caucuses with Democrats since being elected in 2014. He is the only non-Republican to win in this district, which has voted for President Trump, Gov. Dunleavy, and the rest of the Republicans on the ballot year after year. The district is still 2:1 Republican over Democrat.
Neither Kreiss-Tomkins nor Ortiz have opponents yet for the 2020 cycle, but both are largely out of step with the regions they represent.