Capitol reporter Mary Wilson covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.
Voter registration rolls are almost closed for the November election, showing a Democratic voter advantage slightly smaller than it was four years ago.
In 2008, registered active and inactive Democratic voters outnumbered Republicans by 1.2 million, when President Obama won the election by 600,000 votes over Republican presidential candidate, U.S. Sen. John McCain. The latest state data shows the Democratic advantage is now about 1.1 million voters.
It’s a slight change, and Tim Kelly, manager for Republican David Freed’s campaign for state Attorney General, said it means a statewide GOP race still has to campaign hard in Philadelphia suburbs and the population-dense western counties.
“Republicans have to perform very well to make up for the voter registration disadvantage and for traditionally high presidential year turnouts in the Philadelphia market,” said Kelly. “So we’re certainly focused on turning out our voters and appealing to the moderate Democrats, the Independents and the straight-up Democrats.”
The state’s Democratic Party chairman said the registration advantage is less significant than campaign organization and voter enthusiasm.
“You don’t look on a piece of paper ever and just assume because your party has a registration advantage that you do not have to work,” said Jim Burn. “The minute you do that you’ve lost your registration advantage, you’ve lost the election.” He also noted the registration numbers don’t mean Democrats will be ignoring moderate Republicans or Independents this election cycle.
Which organization around the party, which organization around the candidate has the best staff, the best message, and the best ability to take a logistical approach to reaching those voters and not just those registered Democrats, but disenfranchised moderate Republicans or Independents.
The deadline to register to vote in the November election is Tuesday, October ninth.
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