AP — Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama's Oregon campaign says it will continue its push to sign up new voters for the November election, an effort that could help produce the largest number of voters ever registered for an Oregon election.
So far this year Democrats have added 122,518 registered voters statewide, mainly because of the heated May primary race between Obama and Hillary Clinton and the Obama campaign's intensive effort to register new voters. Republicans have lost 13,349 voters since the start of the year.
At a news briefing Monday, Obama's state director, Rob Hill, said the 700,000 eligible but unregistered voters in Oregon will be a key campaign focus in the weeks ahead.
"If we saw 100,000 new Democrats between the primary the general election, we'd be feeling pretty good," Hill said.
If it's achieved, that number of new Democrats alone would push total overall registration past the 2.14 million record that was set in the 2004 presidential election, in which Democrat John Kerry defeated President Bush to win Oregon's seven electoral votes.
If current trends continue "we could certainly reach that level by the Oct. 14 registration deadline," said Don Hamilton, spokesman for the Oregon secretary of state's office.
As of right now, Democrats make up 43 percent of registered voters in Oregon while Republicans account for 33 percent. The rest are registered as third-party or nonaffiliated voters.