With the gubernatorial election approaching, it seemed worth pointing out the changing demographics in Morris Township, if only to dispel the myth that an individual vote doesn’t matter.
In the Greater Morristown area, every vote is essential. The demographics of the area are changing.
Both the Town and the Township have a growing population, and the political views of long-time residents are changing.
Focusing on the Township, here are a few numbers:
For the 2016 primary, 558 switched party. By the end of the year a total of 700 had switched parties. The change in Democratic registrants since 2004 is 91% or roughly 2000 people. By comparison, the Republican rolls rose by about 350 or 7%.
So by 2017, there was only a difference of 256 between registered Republicans and registered Democrats. “That’s the lowest I have ever seen.” said Cathy Wilson, chair of the Morris Township Democratic Committee.
Wilson and former congressional candidate John Arvanites are running against the GOP team of Deputy Mayor Louise Johnson and Nicole Saphier M.D. for Township Committee.
Interesting also is that the number of unaffiliated voters (UNAs) has climbed, both in absolute number and relative to those affiliated with parties.
There are more UNAs than Republicans or Democrats. It’s hard to notice though, since UNAs don’t sponsor a booth at the Fall Festival!
The number of voters registered with other parties such as the Green Party, the Tea Party and the Libertarian Party, is not statistically significant. In the chart of registered votes, it is hard to even see the orange bar.
So Morris Township is bucking the trend of areas becoming less politically competitive.
It hasn’t bucked the overall economic trends though.
For most Township residents the household income went down – and that’s in real dollars.
Data in the chart have not adjusted the 1999 data to be at 2015 dollars. The rich have gotten richer by about 50 percent.