From David Yepsen's column:
Democrats have pulled ahead of Republicans in voter registrations in Iowa — the first time that's happened since 1994, according to state registration records.Gee, why is that?
A year ago, the GOP still led the Democrats. This change is another signal that 2006 could be a bad year for the Republicans.
As of Aug. 1, there were 606,168 active registered Democrats in Iowa and 590,165 Republicans. There were 724,925 no-party registrants, also known as independents.
That's a change from August of 2005, when there were 609,410 Republicans, 602,433 Democrats and 757,308 independents. So, in one year, Democrats gained registrations while the numbers of Republicans and no-party voters declined.
It couldn't have anything to do with Vilsack's blanket restoration of voting rights for convicted felons last year, estimated to have affected 30,000 to 50,000 criminals living in Iowa, could it?
Yepsen speculates in other areas, including the war in Iraq and currently laughable notion of economic jitters, but completely misses the boat when it comes the fact that Iowa now has more convicted felons registered to vote. It would make sense that these felons would vote Democrat, at least in Polk County.
On that note, I'm wondering why the Nussle campaign hasn't made Vilsack's blanket restoration of citizenship rights for convicted felons, including those who haven't paid their victim restitution, a campaign issue. After all, Vilsack rejected 24% of the applicants sent before him between 1999 and 2005.
All it would take is a couple of TV ads. One could have a voiceover and show a convicted child molester, released on parole, walking into an elementary school to vote. If that didn't work, maybe film some weeping crime victims who haven't been fully paid their restitution by a convicted criminal who served his time, but is now out of prison and who can now vote. Those kinds of TV ads would be very devastating to the Culver campaign and the far-liberal wing of the Democratic Party.