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. Stephanie

    Hillary will win Pennsylvania. GO HILLARY!

    March 25, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  2. Jeff

    its annoying when most of my comments are censored, but I constantly see comments totally unrelated to the article.

    Anyhow, this is great news for Democrats. I don't think the General Election will be much of a problem, as long as we have our nominee decided soon. If Hillary gets less than 80% of the vote in Pennsylvania, it will be impossible for her to legitimately get the nomination. Please Pennsylvania, for the good of the nation and the world, ensure we can move forward to the General Election by awarding Hillary less than 80% of the delegates.

    If she does not drop out then, it proves she cares very little for our country.

    March 25, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  3. JD, Pittsburgh, PA

    Pennsylvania is Hillary country. Go Hillary go! Pennsylvanians can join the charge to make you the democratic nominee and win the state and the general election in November.

    March 25, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  4. Ann

    Obama is too weak to be the president of United States!!!!

    In the bottom of his heart, he needs that person, the famous pastor to be his "spiritual adviser."

    Spiritually, he is too weak to stand on his own.

    Once he becomes the president, who will be his spiritual adviser?
    The same one????

    March 25, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  5. Shawn, Takoma Park, MD

    I'll happily support either Obama or Hillary in November.

    Let's go DEMS!!

    March 25, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  6. Lucas, Nashville TN

    This is INCREDIBLE news for Obama. He wins with new voters EVERY TIME, and this is a great sign. If he loses at this point, it will be by a THIN margin.

    Hillary is the old, and Obama is the new. OUT WITH THE OLD.


    March 25, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  7. Wanda Reed

    It is a sin the Democrats allow Republicans to vote in their primaries. No wonder Obama is winning so much. The democratic party is being set up again by the Republicans. We all know that the Repubs will destroy Obama in the general election.
    I don't think it has been a fair fight for Hillary. And that is a real shame.

    March 25, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  8. Roy Arellano (San Antonio)

    It is obvious, reps and independents who vote rep will vote for whoever they feel is the weaker of the two to put her/him up-against McCain.

    March 25, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  9. Gary

    Can't wait for the PA primary where Obama will loose big time!!!! Your time is done Obama! Next is Indiana and North Carolina!

    GO HILLARY!!!!

    March 25, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  10. TheLeftNut

    If Democrats lose in November, it will be the fault of the "Obama never Clinton" and "Clinton never Obama" people.

    Shame on you! You all are no better than the Limbaugh Lemmings.

    March 25, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  11. Vince

    This of course is good for the Democratic party and will be good for America if the Democrats can win in November.

    The Clinton and Obama supporters need to stop attacking each other and prepare to unite behind the party's candidate.

    I'm backing Obama, but will vote for Hillary in November if she wins the nomination.

    March 25, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  12. DKaylan

    What I would be interested in seeing is how many of these "registered Democratic voters" in Pennsylvania were previously registered as Republicans. I hear Rush Limbaugh is up to his dispicable, underhanded strategy of having the Republicans vote Democratic/Hillary in order to help get her in the nomination, giving McCain a better chance of winning the general election in November. He did it in Texas and other states – I think it's completely unacceptable that he's being allowed to do this, and he's openly talking about it on his talk show.

    March 25, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  13. Candi South Carolina

    Pennsylania people make sure that Russ Limburger don't tell you guys to vote for Hillary unless you really want her to win and not just to keep the primary going until November. This is important because it will not do us any good in November. Vote from your heart. Hillary creditiblity is a little wack so now you have to decide if she can really lead this country.

    March 25, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  14. Ann

    Republicans vote for Hillary,

    Because they don't want to see Obama to be elected, is that simple?

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

    Obama is no longer a viable candidate.

    I'm sure the result of this Primary will prove it once and for all.

    I'm looking forward to no more "Hate" arrows from a camp that is no longer viable.

    We want to hear Hillary’s plans without interruptions!

    We are looking forward to years of Peace and Prosperity!

    March 25, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  16. michael, ny

    Hillary said: "the first time in 12 years or so, I misspoke".

    Does anybody have another video of Hillary saying I misspoke in the last 12 years?

    That will make a great story.

    But again, she will say I misspoke on mispeaking.

    March 25, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  17. SHARON

    Go Obama!!!!!! For all you Haters God doesn"t like ugly. Before you
    throw stones. Make sure your house and closet is clean.

    March 25, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  18. therealist

    Polls also show that 25% of dems will vote for McCain if Obama wins the democratic nomination and that most black voters will stay home in Nov if Hillary wins..

    So realistically, the actual numbers are:

    49% – 12.25%(25% of dems) = 36.75% Democrats
    49% – 19.6%(40% not voting) = 29.4% Democrats


    39% Republicans

    March 25, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  19. Sue, NY

    PA – Hillary is the senator of NY and she is not that good......she promised many jobs for NY...esp. Buffalo and none have materialized....move on for change....stop the nonsense and Obama so we can finally start running against McCain. Hillary is bashing her opponent to the point that she is raising McCain's campaign from the dead. Her campaign friend James Carvel has called Richardson a traitor for endorsing Obama and yet she is a traitor to her democratic party by putting another democrat down below the level of a republican. Wake up. She will do anything to win. She is not that good ....just listen to her embelish her experience in Bosnia and then the tape....she's living in another world.

    March 25, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  20. austbill

    Go Hillary, you can do it and you will do it!!!

    March 25, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  21. Jessica, Brownsville, Texas

    With 4 million registered Democrats in Pennsylvania, who says Hillary can't catch up in the popular vote?

    Go Hillary!

    March 25, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  22. phillip

    this is truly a good thing but we also have to be aware of the rush limbaugh factor of republicans voting for hiliary to keep this nasty campaign going . but i do agree that this is a great thing

    March 25, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  23. Monte Brown

    If Obama gets the nomination, McCain will win the general easily.

    March 25, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  24. austbill

    Hillary is my choice, not becase of any reason other than she is THE qualified candidate for president.

    March 25, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  25. Carolyn -california

    Go Hillary!!!!!!!!!!! Oops, I'm sure Pelosi, and the DNC will come up with something new to make Obama look better than he is!

    With friends like Richardson, who needs enemies !!!!!!!!!!!!

    Hillary 08!!!

    March 25, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
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