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. Martha, Henderson, NV

    Gooo Hillary !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 25, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  2. Paul

    And how many are Republicans who purposely changed over to mess up the Democratic process??

    Rush Limbaugh was just bragging again yesterday that Republicans are purposely going to vote for Hillary to keep "Operation Chaos" going. Not because they actually want Hillary to win, but because they are enjoying see Hillary destroy the Democratic Party. They also did this in Texas and Mississippi.

    Congratulations Hillary, the Republicans and Rush have awarded you extra delegates. Why don't you use that argument to persuade those Superdelegates to fight for you?

    March 25, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  3. Ralph

    It will be nice to see HILLARY win the state, and not the LYING RACIST, OBAMA.

    March 25, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  4. CB

    Too bad most of the Clinton voters will be voting Republican in November!

    March 25, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  5. Adam FL

    Lets get out to the polls and vote for Hillary Clinton!!!

    March 25, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  6. Ted R.

    While a high voter registration total may be good news for Democrats, it may not be good news fro Hillary. One would expect that her supporters, normally the establishment-type Democrat, would already have been registered for years. Hence, the majority of these new registrants may be in Obama;s corner.

    While this may not be enough for Obama to win Pennsylvania, it could make the vote count much closer than expected, which would make Hillary's delegate gain much less significant.

    March 25, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  7. HP Boston

    Yes all coming out to vote for HILLARY

    They want no part of OBAMA/WRIGHT!

    No vote BO he is wrong to love WRIGHT!

    March 25, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  8. Harvey

    OK Republicans here is your change to do as your party requested go vote for Hillary Clinton stop Obama.....

    March 25, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  9. Tom

    Nice try Evan but apparently it's never too early to start fighting and it's why the dems will lose the war while they're still fighting the little battles.

    March 25, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  10. CNN watcher in L.A.

    So all of you young people who are new to voting and politics. This is why the democratic party loves the race between Hillary and Obama. All over the country there are record numbers for the democrates who are registering and this can only mean good come November. So now we know why Howard Dean isn't rushing to settle this race. I think it's a good thing

    March 25, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  11. Dave, SC

    I wonder if the voters in Pennsylvania know Sen. Clinton and her pending case in Cali versus Peter F. Paul due is due for court on March 25.?

    March 25, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  12. violet

    this is for greg.. if you vote democrate now you can't change in the nov elections to republican...

    March 25, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  13. J.L.

    Wonder how many the new "Democrats" are morons that listen to idiots like Limbaugh, trying to skew the vote in Hillary Clinton's favor?

    March 25, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  14. Dave, SC

    Correction 25 April 2008.

    March 25, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  15. Doug R.

    No Greg from PA, the biggest idiot from PA was Rick Santorium. Nothing but a big rubber stamp!! Good riddance he gone.

    March 25, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  16. Terry in Pensacola

    So much back room, arm twisting , dirty politics going on. The Republicans trying to get Obama nominated so McCain can win. Geesh...just let everybody vote their own( and true) heart! It's beginning to feel like a third world country manuver at best. Hillary will prevail or God help this country. my vote: Hillary, next choice: McCain, next....Obama???? NOT EVER!

    March 25, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  17. Stephen

    Right, they'll vote for Hillary and then switch back. Mark my words.

    March 25, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  18. Nathan, Charlotte

    Great news for both candidates! Now if we could only resolve the fighting between the two, then America could be the big winner!

    March 25, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  19. carrie


    March 25, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  20. Veterans for Obama

    Good job Obama supporters...Way to hit the streets!

    March 25, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  21. Bayou Joe

    Right ON Desert Rat. From the Bayou. Hillary needs to win. Republicans have a good candidate and Hillary would also be a good candidate. JUST SAY NO TO OBAMA.

    March 25, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  22. Michael Guinn Ventura, CA

    This is great news for ALL Democrats. And Jeff- the day any state goes 75-25 for Hillary is somewhere over the rainbow.

    March 25, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  23. ninja

    Wonder how many registered as Dems because Rush told them to...

    March 25, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  24. SusanNYC

    Vote for fresh new ideas, no more lies, or exaggerations. As a Democrat I don't want to hear these two candidates banter like 2 children in pre-K over who stepped on who's toe. My personal preference is my own and will be voted during the general election. I would like us to get back to the issues American's face. Poverty, War, Economics, Housing. Can we get back to issues concerning our nation instead of these back and forth personality wars between these two candidates.

    March 25, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  25. James

    I am not sure it's a good thing. These are republicans crossing over to vote for Hillary. If she wins by 15-20 that will confirm that. These people are going back to their party in November.

    March 25, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
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