March 25th, 2008
08:50 AM ET
15 years ago

Democrats hit voter record, hold near majority in Pennsylvania


Jason Caroll reports on how black voters in PA will affect the Democratic primary

(CNN) - The pivotal presidential campaign in Pennsylvania is entering a new chapter, and the first pages may be a good sign for Democrats.

As the state hit a voter sign-up deadline Monday for upcoming primaries, a top official told CNN that a near-majority of all voters on the rolls are registered as Democrats.

This comes as all sides see Pennsylvania as a key battleground in November. The state thinly went to John Kerry in 2004 and has a split Congressional delegation.

Late Monday, Pennsylvania Commissioner of Elections Harry VanSickle told CNN Radio the state had just over 4 million registered Democrats and 3.2 million Republicans eligible for the April 22 primaries.

Van Sickle noted Pennsylvania had 8.2 million total registered voters at the time. Do the math and it shows 49% of Pennsylvania voters were registered Democrats as of Monday, compared with 39% for Republicans.

The primary registration numbers will not be final until later in the week, as officials accept mail-in forms post-marked by Monday.

Democrats may be benefiting from heavy publicity and interest in the Hillary Clinton-Barack Obama race, while John McCain has cornered his party's nomination and made Pennsylvania's Republican primary almost meaningless. However they did it, VanSickle says Democrats have set an all-time record for their party.

"It is a high, the best we can tell," VanSickle said. According to him, Pennsylvania Democrats in past weeks have netted up to 22 times as many party changers as Republicans.

As for April 22, VanSickle expects high numbers at the polls, especially for Democrats.

"With the activity that we've seen," he said, "I do think we're going to see a really good turnout."

–CNN Radio Correspondent Lisa Desjardins

Filed under: Pennsylvania
soundoff (99 Responses)
  1. Tariq

    I am a Brit...and watching the Democrats fight and lie and outstanding gaffes by's a circus at its best.

    March 25, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  2. Steven, Seattle WA

    No He Can't.

    Obama has brought out millions of young voters. Too bad the youth vote doesn't turn out in November.

    I may be blogging as " Obama made me vote republican" in November.

    I just hope the people of N.C. get it right and vote Clinton like the voters in PA will.

    March 25, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  3. white old lady for OBAMA




    March 25, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  4. Evelyn

    Pennsylvania- all eyes on you!

    You can make a strong stand in this Democratic Primary Election by voting overwhelmingly for the better candidate- Senator Hillary Clinton!
    She has the vision, the experience, and the concrete plans to lead our country in a new direction in a responsible way on the critical issues facing us- the economy, health care, the War in Iraq/foreign policy.

    IF the media had started vetting Senator Obama at the beginning of the Primary Season instead of near the end- Senator Clinton would already be our nominee. Because of this, Pennsylvania must lead the way for the remaining primaries to come to their senses and nominate the better candidate for the general election.

    AND Howard Dean and DNC Party Leaders must also come to their senses and do the right thing with Florida and Michigan. Who knew that the nomination process would take this long and be so tight?
    It is because the race is so tight that Florida and Michigan must be included.

    Neither candidate can win with the pledged delegates only- NEITHER!
    So it is the fair thing to do have a re vote in Florida and Michigan–the party politics of national and state level DEM leaders is disenfranchising voters who will matter in the general election in Nomvenber...

    March 25, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  5. Kentucky

    Go Hillary! Kentuckians are out to hear Bill Clinton today. The events have thousands of people. I am one of them and the enthusiasm is at a fever pitch. Hillary Clinton is going to win by a landslide.
    Go Hillary!

    March 25, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  6. Shawn, Takoma Park, MD

    All the Democrats who are threatening to boycott or vote for the Republican if their preferred candidate doesn't win the nomination should be ashamed of themselves! It's so stupid, selfish, vindictive and hypocritical.

    Way to show how little you actually care about the party, the country and the world. We have two very strong candidates and we should support whomever wins the nomination. This rivalry has brought out the absolute WORST in some Hillary and Obama supporters.

    Grow up.

    March 25, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |

    CNN!!!!!!!!!!!! Who won Texas! Did Rev. Wright do any good in his life?
    Wasn't he a Marine? Didn't he give to the poor? Good Fundraiser?
    Anything CNN. Didn't a outrageous # of Republicans vote Democrat
    in Ohio and Texas? How many. I heard like 16,000 in one state!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Voters are tired of being lied to.

    March 25, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  8. teresa from Canada

    This is all Hillary – she is so far ahead in the polls – she is collecting the new voters not Obama. Can't claim that now Obamainators. When she jumps so far ahead in this win – you can't say the new voters will be because of Obama they will be all Hillarys.

    The only change Obama should make is in his Pastor – oh I forgot he is all about judgement right.
    Getting it right – with the slum lord? with the pastror? with Nafta back room chit chat?
    Oh ya SURE he has the judgement.
    Just like this weekend – he is laying back in an ostentatious beach resort while Hillary is at home working.
    We have had enough of men he want to sit on their butts – go back to the beach – talk to the fishes with your reterick Obomba

    March 25, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  9. Darlene

    OH MY GOD!!!! Enough is enough people!!! Let's stop the name calling and get back to the issues. This is all about divide and conquer and wanting the in fighting to continue. Hillary is mad because she's not winning and should have gotten out along time ago. It's all about her ego and not winning the general election in November so we don't have another four years of Bush policies. It is truly time for a change and not another Clinton or Bush!!!! Wake up people because if we don't we're going to have four more years of nonsense. If Obama is not the nominee, I'm voting for whoever the Independent candidate is because there's no way I can vote for her.
    Also, to Ralph who called Obama a Lying Racist, I do believe he's the only candidate that has had to endure racism from both sides because he lives it everyday.

    March 25, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  10. jon in pa

    I'm one of the few young voters in PA that can see right through Obama's fakeness. He preaches change. He says he's different. It's funny, because each time we learn something new about Obama, we find that he's just 'politics as usual'. That, and he's played the race card one too many times.

    Young male voter, and I'm not ashamed to say I'm voting Hillary.

    March 25, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  11. Jama OHIO

    Penn. vote like Ohio, Texas and R.I. Vote Hillary 08

    March 25, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  12. Rick

    I request all Republicans who registered as Democrats to vote for Hillary. Imagine you guys having OBAMA as your president with his evil pastor sitting next to him.

    March 25, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  13. Justin

    Too bad most of the new "Dems" are Limbaugh Republicans voting for Hillary to screw up the primary.

    March 25, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  14. MyBad

    Michelle Obama's speech on "this is the first time in my adult life, I am proud to be an American" and Obama's Preacher speech, will hurt them. Go Pennsylvania. You are now on the map regardless who you chose.

    March 25, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  15. Latrece

    why are Republicans signing up to vote? To taint he democratic party. They are going to vote for Hillary.... I hacve faith in Obama. He is the change in America that we need.

    March 25, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  16. Tom

    I switched from Independent to Democrat - so I could vote for Hillary!

    March 25, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  17. Jama OHIO

    If Clinton don't win. All Hillary backers will Vote for McCain. Sorry Obama. Wright will not be happy.

    March 25, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  18. Ulysse from Canada

    It is true that many republicans want to interfere in the democratic party nomination. However, I still find incredible the number of idiots who support Hillary seing what a liar she is. Oh man! She was in so much danger in Bosnia, she should have wored a Kevlar helmet to greet that little girl in case the infant would want to shoot her. This is ridiculous, it just shows how power hungry Hillary Clinton is.

    You know, it is never a good thing to award power to the one who wants it the most because when the person gets it, it is going to be "screw you, im the one in charge." In this case, the one who would kill for it is clearly Hillary. In antiquity, a dictator was nominated among the population to solve a crisis and was then send back to the fields he came from, the cultivate and plow. He then did his duty for the time being and went back to his former duties afterwards. With time, the term dictator evolved into the meaning we all know today, a power hungry person who will do anything it wants because it simply feels it can and does.

    To me, Hillary Clinton fits that definition perfectly. America is not supposed to be a Monarchy were every Clinton gets crowned just because there family name is Clinton. What next? Chelsea Clinton in 2016? What a joke. The democratic party looks like a fool to the rest of the world right now for allowing this to go on. FACT : The rest of the world sees Obama has a positive person, and Hillary as a negative person. Who do you think would help the amrican image in the world?

    Ulysse from Canada

    March 25, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  19. Marsh

    Obama has ignited the Democratic Party by bringing in young voters and inspiring hope for a new beginning. The argument from Hillary’s camp that Obama can't win the general election unless he wins the Pennsylvania primary is pure nonsense. If the majority of registered voters in Pennsylvania are Democrats, Obama can take Pennsylvania in the general election regardless of what happens in the primary,

    March 25, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    The more I learn about Obama, his voting record and his "friends" the more I see him as a wolf in sheep's clothing. Wake up all who fall for his sugar coated speeches.

    March 25, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  21. Kris

    Hillary will win!
    If Obama wins the nomination, I'll vote for McCain in the general election in November. At least he isn't a racist like Obama is. People in this country better wake up and see Barrack Obama for what he really is. Unpatriotic! He is the only member of Congress NOT to wear the American Flag lapel pin after 911. The comments that his wife has made plus the hate filled sermons that his preacher spoke should give this country a clue as to what will be in store if Obama should winn the presidency. Trust me, Hillary isn't my first pick but I'd rather have another Clinton in the Whie House before Obama!

    March 25, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  22. Brian B.

    PA Democrats DO NOT let this give you a false sense of security. Some Republicans are switching parties so they actually have somebody to vote for in the primary. Their REAL candidate (John McCain) already has the nomination wrapped up and is the only person on the Republican primary ballot, what fun is that. Then they plan to switch back after the April primary to show their true colors again. My fear is these FAKE democrats are going to cast their vote for either Clinton or Obama based on who they think will be easier to beat in the general election so their TRUE candidate John McCain will have a better chance of winning the presidency. This is a very scary scenario. I implore all TRUE Democrats’ to make sure you vote on April 22nd keep doing what you’re doing. Turn out in record numbers at the poles. Vote for which ever Democrat whom you feel will be the strongest candidate against John McCain in November. Encourage as many other TRUE Democrats to do the same thing. What if something very far fetched happened and a majority of party members switched sides only for the sole purpose of getting the weakest candidates to eventually run against each other in a general election. This is a very bad scenario for our country. Don't let it get a foot hold here in PA.

    March 25, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  23. Sandy/Florida

    I hope the people of PA reads about her "mispoke" episode before they cast their vote for this liar. No wonder why she supported Bus on the war. Birds of a feather flock together. Both of them are notorious liars. And how can Obama stand a chance, when the governor of PA came out and said that PA would never support a black man.
    But everyone will see no weapon form against Obama will prosper.
    Everyone will be amazed. We might as well keep in Bush if we are going to replace him with that lying, cheating, and selfish pair known as the clintons.

    March 25, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  24. Tom Swift, Shopton

    Too bad for Hillary it's too little, too late.

    Gore/Obama '08

    March 25, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
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