March 20th, 2008
03:20 PM ET
13 years ago

Voter registration surges ahead of Pennsylvania deadline

(CNN) - With just days until the voter registration deadline arrives in Pennsylvania, voters are frantically registering and changing their party affiliations in order to vote in the state’s closed Democratic primary.

Pennsylvania, with 158 “pledged” delegates at stake, offers the largest bounty remaining to both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. It is expected to play a large role in deciding the Democratic party’s presidential nominee.

Barack Obama’s campaign has made voter registration their top priority in Pennsylvania for the past several weeks, sending teams of volunteers from across the country to register new Democrats in the commonwealth in advance of the March 24 deadline. “We need your help registering voters this weekend!” read a message on Barack Obama’s Web site, urging volunteers to spend the weekend convincing unregistered voters, Republicans and Independents to become newly-minted Democrats.

Between February 11 and March 17, Philadelphia County saw a 1.7 percent increase in Democratic Party registrations while all other parties – including the Republican Party – saw a 1.3 percent decrease in party registrations, according to Robert Lee, Voter Registration Administrator for Philadelphia County.

Since 2004, Democratic registration has increased by roughly 5 percent in the county - while Republican registration has decreased by more than 12 percent.

Patti Allen of the Montgomery County’s voter registration office described the situation in her county as “wild.” In the county, which includes many affluent suburbs of Philadelphia, 3,432 voters have changed their registration to the Democratic Party, since March 1, while just 149 voters have switched their affiliation to the Republican Party. The county has seen 1,243 new Democratic party registrations and 402 Republican party registrations since March 1. The county, despite it’s current wave of Democratic party registrations – more than 3-to-1 over Republican registrations – is still home to more Republicans than Democrats.

The Pennsylvania Department of State says that since January, more than 68,000 registered voters changed their party affiliation to either the Democratic or Republican party, and those who switched to the Democratic party out-number those who switched to the Republican party by a greater than 3-to-1 margin.

 –CNN's Jeff Simon

Filed under: Pennsylvania
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. Chris In California

    The fate of our country is truly in the hands of the Pennsylvania and Indiana voters. I am hoping that all of those who are changing their party affiliation are doing so in order to vote for Hillary Clinton. The Republicans already have their candidate. I think that, given all we've learned about Barack Obama over these past few weeks should send us in droves to the polls to ensure that the only two possibilities for President to take office in 2009 are John McCain and Hillary Clinton.

    March 20, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  2. Eith

    Y are Hillary supporters just so very negative? Just negative. It appears, they are not intellectually reasoning either with themselves or with the rest of us in their commentaries but are just plain, grossly negative, disinviting our apetite for them and for Hillary.

    March 20, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  3. Manuel TX

    Here we go again.

    Just as Republicans voted for Obama in earlier they're going to vote for Hillary.

    Talk about being played.

    I think that they need to make a few changes to the primary processs: no caucuses, winner take all, and only democrats registered for 4 or more years should be allowed to participate. 🙂

    March 20, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  4. sanford levine

    Wolf blitzer should be replaced as anchor for cnn until he can manage to control the wild people that appear on his program. He has no backbone and allows the vile comments to keep being aired by Jack without any attempt to keep him him civil. Sanford LEVINE

    March 20, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  5. Darth Vadik, CA

    This is great for Democrats but listen up...

    ...we cannot let McCain win this election, its nice to get excited like this about our primary candidates but after this, to use an overused slogan:


    can the country sustain another bruise from the likes of McCain?
    Think about it.

    March 20, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  6. Joan

    Don,t you people in pa know anything about Hillary,you better read up

    March 20, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  7. Annamica, OH

    Jermaine you're an idiot if you think she will win by less than 10%. Do you have your head in the clouds, has the light shifted and told you to vote for Obama? Or you've been drinking too much of that sketchy kool-aid?

    March 20, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  8. BatCat05

    Sounds like the Rush Limbaugh Crew trying to put a RUSH on things in Pennsylvania. Changing party affiliation for now to help Hillary and later voting for McCain in November. UNBELIEVEABLE! What is politically hidden in the White House thats worthy of protection from Obama? Makes you wonder. Hillary wants it so badly its, worth throwing the kitchen sink for it .

    March 20, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  9. Eith

    I would think: with 100K Reps in Ohio, 119K Reps in TX and 38K Reps in Miss... voting for Hillary, she'd know what to do. Call it quits. How can a Democrat count on such a large, ill-conceived Republican votes to "win against a fellow Democrat" and hope to stand before a Republican nominee and say: I am here to defeat you.

    What would McCain respond in such a moment? You are such a loser, you had willingly accepted Republcian votes to help you get here. The nations needs to realize what kind of a person you are. And that is why American needs to and will vote for me.

    March 20, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  10. James

    Trust me. Obama would win Pennsylvania. Voters are beginning to realize that Hillary is a lair.

    March 20, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |

    We're all waiting to stop out Obama as loud and as hard as we can!!

    March 20, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  12. Bacusla

    Again, YES WE CAN!

    When all the bad blood flows through & Obama roundly beats the status-quo of the Clinton-ians to the ground, all of us would have come to learn not to be negative & counter-productive against our party's base. Obama continues to rise above the fray in character & carriage. When he was not a muslim – he was being made to answer for his pastor's bigotry – yet as seconds tick away & become Minutes, then hours & eventuallly days, weeks, months & the inaugural comes along – Barack is sworn-in & America's dignity is restored ...

    Some people will realize that it is almost impossible to oppose CHANGE we can that has been tangibly fealt.

    Think. Vote. Obama '08

    March 20, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  13. Frank Smith

    "Right On" must be one of those uninformed Clinton "racists"; those who cannot even LISTEN and repeat correctly what they are being told. May the Good Lord help us all out of this mess. Racism, whether you like it or NOT is alive and well in America.

    You kidding, is there anyone in this Universe, age 20 and older who is not aware of how the Clintons have given the U.S. several "black eyes" with scandals? ("thou shalt not commit ...). If so, count yourself a "racist!"

    March 20, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  14. Laura Long

    I think this is terrible – the Republicans switching just to vote for Hillary because she will be easier to beat. I wish Howard Dean would show some leadership and resolve this.

    March 20, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  15. Frank Smith

    Those who are "celebrating for Hillary" now may need to wait until the Republicans open the Clinton files; the Obama stuff will look small!

    March 20, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  16. the end game

    I like to see a 85% win for Clinton. After all Obama believe all black churches preach in the style of Trinity. I sure hope not.
    Philadelphia know better and will move many African American voters to Clinton.
    Clinton may see an up swing in African American voters, as they still love her too.
    If not then, DNC will be the reason Republican return to the white house.

    March 20, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  17. not enough hillary

    pennsylvania will not be enough for hillary to win. i'm sorry people but it's true. i am yet to pick a side but i am leaning towards obama. hillary will probably do or say something crazy in the next couple weeks that will remind america of her february hysteria.
    i'm telling you if she's our nominee- mccain will win

    March 20, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  18. Annoyed

    Obummer needs to go home and cry to his pastor. Hillary will win because she's done her homework, knows what this country needs and will achieve it. Obummer has yet to have an original plan or thought when it comes to the issues. How many times in every debate did he AGREE with everything Hillary says?? Now he gets caught in a lie.. I was at church, I wasn't at church, here now he claims to be so honest and righteous, get a grip. Wake up America and see this man for who he is.. another politician but even worse, one that wants to meet with terrorists, one that is standing by his pastor while the rest of the world distances themselves from him. Ridiculous. To compare Hillary standing by her faith and working things out with her husband to this awful Rev Wright is an heinous. Obummer, go home and leave the real work to the real workers. I'm tired of your speeches.. but your nose to the grindstone and get some real work done.

    March 20, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  19. ME

    everytime We learn something new about Obama, his supproters blame Hillary . Wait until we here more about him before fall he will loose because eveyone is sooo blind. I voted for him and now I feel cheated and many others feel the same way.

    March 20, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  20. LatinoNation

    Why not wait till the election? why say anything on either side ? let it be and lets see what happens grow up!!

    March 20, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  21. vicki $$$$$$$$

    This Primarary process should never have been allowed to drag out this long, with Hillary involved she is dragging the party into the mud. The media follows her hairbrained schemes and drags this out to the piont where the democrats will lose because of her. Before Texas and Ohio she started throwing the Kitchen sink at Obama. and the media folowed her and ran the Pictures insinuating that he is Muslim which he is not .so why run the pictures over and over and over every 15 minutes. he should charge the media with slander and he would have every right too then the Mccain Guy was run every 20 minutes Hillary could never have afforded to run all these ads so THE MEDIA DID IT FOR HER and these things were not even true. Do the Employees truly believe that Obama is racist. If it is not true STOP INSINUATING that it is true He does not agree With REV Wrights comments. By running these things over and over you are creating fear in people over things that are not true YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED of yourselves. So the media cannot say it is just the wright story BUT THEY THEMSELVES that SLANDERED OBAMAS reputation You guys need to take credit were credit is due.

    I believe Obama would be the best President we have had in a long time. Hillary is a disgrace I want a president I can respect, This is not an honorable way for someone to become President.

    March 20, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  22. Michael

    Sen. Clinton will probably win PA. However, anything she gains will be negated by the results of the North Carolina primary. With the outcome that the MI and FL re-votes will not take place, I think we can all honestly agree that this race is over. It is time for us to rally around Obama, even if you support Hillary. I think everyone is too busy fighting each other instead of focusing on the fact that our country is doomed if we elect another president committed to an unjust and costly war.

    March 20, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  23. vicki

    P.S. I am from PA and still plan to vote for Obama . No matter how hard the media tries to change our minds We heard rev Wright and believe Obama does not share his views.

    March 20, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  24. Bess Cannon

    What makes anyone think that our country is such a gluton for punishment that the Republicans will win in November? If he does, then don't whine and complain when things go further south than they are because you asked for it. If you haven't learned by now, you deserve worse! If you act like fools, expect to be treated like fools!!!

    March 20, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  25. Antoinette

    The Obama campaign has been registering voters before each primary and caucus

    The updates are always there on the website. This is nothing new at all.

    Obama '08

    March 20, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
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