The latest voter registration numbers from the Arizona Secretary of State’s office show that voters with no party affiliation outnumber any other voting bloc, and Secretary of State Ken Bennett says that mirrors what is going on nationally.
“About 40 percent of Americans identify themselves as independent and not affiliated with a political party, in Arizona they just crossed the 35 percent mark," he said.
About 3.25 million people are registered to vote in Arizona, Bennett said.
The trend towards more unaffiliated voters has been going on in Arizona for two decades.
Daniel Scarpinato, National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman, said the state has an independent streak, but some of the lost GOP voters can be blamed on the direction they saw the party going.
“It really harks back to 2008 and prior," he said. "I think that a lot of folks who were Republicans were not happy with the direction of the party five, six years ago and became independents.”
Typically, non-affiliated voters in Arizona don’t vote in primaries, with only about 10 percent of independent voters cast ballots in party primaries, according to the Secretary of State's office.
Independent voters can vote in the primaries, they simply have to request a ballot for one of the participating parties.
Elections officials said that is particularly important in some districts, because some races are decided in the primaries.