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Louis Gurvich speaks during the Louisiana GOP Unity Rally at the Pontchartrain Convention Center in Kenner, La., Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019.

Republicans cracked, for the first time ever, the 1 million mark in registered voters when the Secretary of State released the tallies on Oct. 1.

Of the 3,054,334 voters in Louisiana, 1,004,537 or 32.9% of the total, registered as Republicans, according to the Secretary of State.

That’s almost double the GOP tally taken 20 years ago, when registered Republicans made up 552,768 or 21.8% of the 2.5 million registered voters in October 2000.

Though Democrats still have the most with 1,248,613 voters registered, the party’s numbers have been dropping for years and Republicans have dominated state politics for the past decade or so. Republicans hold majorities in both legislative chambers, the state’s congressional delegation along with all the statewide seats – with of the exception of the governor’s mansion, John Bel Edwards won in 2015. Louisiana voters have overwhelming supported Republican presidential candidates since 2000.

“It shouldn’t take more than a very few years before we surpass the Democrat Party in total membership. That will be a tectonic change in Louisiana politics, as Democrats once dominated the political landscape,” Chairman Louis Gurvich wrote in an email to Republican Party of Louisiana members and donors.

The Democratic Party had dominated Louisiana politics in 1877 when Francis T. Nicholls wrested political control from Republicans supported by the federal military after the Civil War. Republican Dave Treen won the governorship in 1980 starting an era of divided political control of government, except between 1992 and 1995, when Democrats held all the power and 2011 to 2015 when the Republicans were totally in charge.

“It tells you that a significant number of independents, other party members, and even Democrats, are basically conservative voters. Given the state of the Democrat Party today, there shouldn’t be any conservatives giving aid and comfort to a party which trashes its country’s origins, history, and accomplishments,” Gurvich continued, then ripping a page from the partisan playbook that seems to require likening political opponents as Marxists and anarchists. He also noted that Republicans ended slavery in America.

Most historians, however, attribute the GOP’s growth since the 1960s to Southern Democrats disaffected with the party’s embrace of voting and civil rights.

African-American voters account for 31% of Louisiana’s registered voters, but makeup 59% of the Democratic Party membership – only 2.2% of the Republican registrants.

Email Mark Ballard at mballard@theadvocate.com.