Trumbull Democrats hold edge in voter registration numbers

With municipal elections six weeks away, Trumbull Democrats appear to be on track to have the largest registered voter advantage of either party in at least the last decade.

According to the Trumbull Registrar’s Office, the 26,021 registered voters in town break down as 7,227 Democrats compared to 6,662 Republicans. In addition there are 11,891 unaffiliated voters and 241 registered with a minor party such as the Green, Independent, Libertarian, and Working Families.

The 565 voter edge represents an advantage of just over 2 percent, with 27.7 percent of voters registered with the Democratic Party, and 25.6 percent registered Republicans.

Tom Kelly, chairman of the Trumbull Democratic Town Committee, said the numbers were a result of years of work.

“We’ve been working hard to get greater involvement, and to make outreach efforts to people who are new in town or looking to get involved,” Kelly said. “They know our door is open.”

The Trumbull Republican Town Committee did not immediately return an email message seeking comment Thursday.

Kelly cautioned against reading too much into the numbers, though, pointing out that former first selectmen Tim Herbst a Republican, had unseated Democrat Ray Baldwin in 2009 despite the Democrats’ numerical advantage. Kelly also cited Trumbull’s large number of unaffiliated voters. Historically about half the town opts not to align with a party.

“Traditionally Trumbull has been split 25 and 25 between the parties, and 50 percent unaffiliated,” he said. “Now it’s more like 28-26-46.”

In 2009, Herbst soundly defeated Baldwin despite Democrats holding a 1.7 percentage point edge, 26.2 percent - 24.5 percent, about 423 voters. That gap slowly shrank over the next half decade until 2014, which was the first time in recent years that Trumbull had more registered Republicans than Democrats 6,124 - 6,083. In 2015, the year Herbst won a narrow race against current First Selectman Vicki Tesoro, the Republican edge had expanded slightly to 6,093 - 6,020, or about 0.4 percent.

Since that election, though, the Trumbull Democrats have added 1,207 registered voters, compared to the GOP’s 549.

Voter registration surged in 2016, with the town’s registered voter rolls expanding from 23,573 in 2015 to 25,921. Democrats (7,016) made up 27 percent of registered voters that year compared to 6,834 Republicans (26.3 percent).

By 2018 there were 469 more registered Democrats than Republicans and that number has grown by another 96 since then.