Bad news for one party, good news for another in Nebraska voter registration numbers

May 11, 2018, 10:42 a.m. ·


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The Nebraska Democratic Party is touting a “blue wave” of support and “astounding increase” in Democrats requesting vote-by-mail ballots. But voter registration numbers from the Nebraska Secretary of State’s office point to a much less positive trend.

There are 355,753 registered Democrats as of this week. A review of a half century of voting records shows that’s the lowest total since the 1972 primary. And Democrats now account for 29.7 percent of all Nebraska voters, the lowest since voter registration numbers were added to voting reports in the 1960s. This continues a gradual decline from 50 years ago, when Democrats were 46 percent of Nebraska voters.

About 48 percent of Nebraska voters (577,438) are registered Republicans, and that’s been fairly steady for decades, generally ranging between 52 and 48 percent of voters,

The difference is an increasing number of Nebraskans registering as non-partisan (252,907 or 21.1 percent) and although still small, the Libertarian Party is growing significantly. There are now 13,499 Libertarians, 1.1 percent Nebraska voters and almost double the number from the 2016 primary.

Overall, 1,199.660 Nebraskans are registered to vote, the most ever for a primary.

Nebraska Primary Election Voter Registration Since 2000


  • Nebraska voter registration in 1990 (primary): Republicans 438,757 (50.7%), Democrats 363,778 (42.0%)
  • Nebraska voter registration in 1980 (primary): Republicans 400,861 (48.8%), Democrats 372,074 (45.3%)
  • Nebraska voter registration in 1970 (primary): Republicans 358,597 (52.2%), Democrats 305,239 (44.5%)
  • In 2018, Republicans outnumber Democrats in 89 of Nebraska's 93 counties. The four Democrat-majority counties are: Dakota, Douglas, Greeley and Thurston.
  • In 1970, Republicans outnumbered Democrats in 82 of Nebraska's 93 counties. The 11 Democrat-majority counties were: Butler, Cedar, Douglas, Greeley, Howard, Platte, Saline, Sarpy, Saunders, Sherman and Thurston.