As the political landscape continues to shift underneath us, the American citizenry has begun to understand the intricacies of its motion.
Often we experience the jittery, jigsaw-like skittering of the day-to-day tumult as just another frequency to manage. The kids are acting up, but at least Washington’s sane. The government might get overthrown, but at least we had a coupon for that last oil change.
But there are time in which tectonic shirts occur, and they can scare the bejeezus out of us.
This could very well be one of those times, as the Republican Party looks to be experiencing some serious issues.
In California, more than 33,000 registered Republicans left the party during the three weeks after the Washington riot. In Pennsylvania, more than 12,000 voters left the G.O.P. in the past month, and more than 10,000 Republicans changed their registration in Arizona.
An analysis of January voting records by The New York Times found that nearly 140,000 Republicans had quit the party in 25 states that had readily available data (19 states do not have registration by party). Voting experts said the data indicated a stronger-than-usual flight from a political party after a presidential election, as well as the potential start of a damaging period for G.O.P. registrations as voters recoil from the Capitol violence and its fallout.
The numbers are staggering:
The biggest spikes in Republicans leaving the party came in the days after Jan. 6, especially in California, where there were 1,020 Republican changes on Jan. 5 — and then 3,243 on Jan. 7. In Arizona, there were 233 Republican changes in the first five days of January, and 3,317 in the next week. Most of the Republicans in these states and others switched to unaffiliated status.
Democrats had previously experienced similar trouble, as that party, too, cleaved in half with extremists on one side and moderates on the other.