West Virginia voters switching political parties

Published: Jun. 17, 2016 at 6:23 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- More than 20,000 West Virginians have switched their political party affiliation since the first of the year.

Most voters are going from Democrat to Republican.

Locals are saying it's the presidential candidates that are forcing them to cross party lines.

"I voted for Kasich in the primary. I thought he would've been a great option as president. I think he had the experience and the leadership and he actually acted like a president," Jared Cornwell said.

Cornwell describes himself as a Democrat, but crossed party lines when it came time to vote in the primary.

Now that Trump is the Republican candidate, Cornwell isn't sure what he'll do. He's even looked into the Libertarian and Green party.

"It's like comparing getting shot or poisoned. You lose either way," Cornwell said.

According to the West Virginia Secretary of State, of the 20,000 voters who switched their political party in 2016, 60 percent of the people who switched were registered Democrats.

The former Democrats are now registered with the GOP or a non-affiliated party.

Bob Bailey, Cabell County Commissioner and Democratic County Chair, has noticed Democrats shifting to other parties.

Bailey agrees the candidates are to blame.

"When you're elected to an office, you're elected by the people to represent the people in your county and your district, and that's what you're supposed to do. But it's gone astray from that in Washington D.C." Bailey said.

As of April 19, the last day to register for the primary, more than 10,000 West Virginia voters have switched over to the Republican party.