Republicans have an even bigger voter registration advantage in Congressional District 8 than they had two years ago, when GOP candidate Jesse Kelly narrowly lost to Democrat Gabrielle Giffords, according to figures released by the secretary of state Friday.

There are currently 156,361 Republicans registered to vote in CD8, which covers Southern Arizona, including much of the east and north sides of Tucson. That's down from 159,045 in the fall of 2010.

But Democratic registration numbers have fallen off even more significantly, from 140,114 in 2010 to 130,645 today.

That gives Republicans a 25,716 registration edge in the June 12 special election to replace Giffords, compared to the 18,931 voter advantage they enjoyed two years ago, when Kelly lost to Giffords by just 4,000 votes.

This year Kelly is taking on Giffords' former district director, Democrat Ron Barber and Green Party candidate Charlie Manolakis.

Greens have also lost ranks since the 2010 election, dropping from 859 then to 808 now.

Independent registrations have been a bit more stable, slipping from 124,649 to 124,127 over the two years.

Over all, registration is down in the district from 427,510 in 2010 to 414,494 today.

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