A Look at Voter Turnout in Tuesday’s Primaries
The state’s Democratic Party outnumbers the PA GOP by more than 900,000 registered voters, but Republicans turned in better participation rates in all federal and statewide elections on Tuesday.
1,643,180 Democrats voted in the presidential race out of more than 4 million registered Democrats, a 40.45% voter turnout rate.
Across the aisle, 49.5% of Republicans showed up at the polls, with over 1.56 million of the 3,162,164 registered with the GOP making their pick for the presidential nomination.
28.1% of PA Republicans turned out for Republican front-runner (and self-declared presumptive nominee) Donald Trump, who won the race over Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich 57-22-19%, respectively.
Hillary Clinton – who is now almost certain to win the Democratic nomination at the second time of asking – beat Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders by 12 points (55.5%-43.5%), picking up just 22.5% of the state’s total Democratic base.
In the 2012 general election, almost 3 million Democrats turned out to re-elect Barack Obama and 2.68 million Republicans voted for Mitt Romney. President Obama defeated Romney by a five-point margin, 52-47%.
Almost 150K Democrats voted for a presidential candidate but not for a Senate candidate. Turnout in the Democratic Senate race, won by Katie McGinty, was under 37%, while 41.7% of Republicans voted for Sen. Pat Toomey in his unopposed race for the GOP nomination.
McGinty won the Democratic nomination with support from just 16% of the state’s Democratic base.
Voter turnout in the hotly contested Democratic AG race was similar to the Senate race at 37.1%, with just over 1.5 million casting votes. The victor, Montco Commissioner Josh Shapiro, was backed by 17.5% of all registered Democrats in the state.
40% of PA Republicans voted in the closer-than-expected-but-still-not-close GOP AG primary. State Sen. John Rafferty picked up the nomination with support from just over a quarter of registered GOP voters.
Two-fifths of registered Republicans also cast ballots for Congress, with more than 1.25 million voting in congressional primaries in 16 districts.
Just 26.5% of registered Democrats voted in congressional primaries. Just 14 districts had Democratic candidates for the U.S. House, eliciting a little over a million votes.
Obviously, both parties will hope for higher turnouts in November – when over a million non-major party voters in the state will be able to participate – and will look to their presidential nominees to push the vote down-ballot.
As of a week ago, PA also has more than 665K voters with no political affiliation and almost 420K registered with third-parties.