Commentary: Democratic Voter Advantage is Well Over 1 Million
This is a rebuttal to last week’s commentary by GOP consultant Christopher Nicholas.
Democratic Registration Edge Over 1 Million According to Official Pennsylvania Department of State Records
By Mary Isenhour
According to official records from the Pennsylvania Department of State, Pennsylvania Democrats still enjoy a healthy registration edge with nearly 1.2 million more registered voters than Republicans.
Some call a large slice of these voters “in-active” voters. However, from 2003 through 2006, Democrats reached out to many of these voters, communicated with them and turned many of them out to vote – even in odd-year elections where there seems to be little interest. This led to a 73% statewide win record for Democrats during this period. By reaching out to the so-called in-active voters, Democrats picked up seats from the statewide appellate courts to county commissions and municipal boards across the Commonwealth.
In 2006, by reaching out to these voters and increasing Democratic turnout by 24.9% over previous years, Democrats not only overwhelmingly re-elected Governor Rendell, Senator Bob Casey defeated Rick Santorum. Democrats won 4 seats in the Congress giving them a majority in the state’s congressional delegation. And they won a majority in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives because the so-called “in-active” voters did what they took the time to register to do – vote.
As we head into the all important redistricting process that Republicans control from the Legislature to Supreme Court, we must hope that they do so fairly. Regardless of a private data firm deeming some voters, “in-active”, Republicans must not use this as an excuse to disenfranchise any citizen, especially those that have taken the time to register and who on the Department of State’s official voter roll.
A very wise person said to me, “You can do anything with the numbers.” I agree. But, a person who has taken the time to register to vote and exercises that right, no matter how sporadically, is not just a number. These citizens should not be disenfranchised by either political party.
Mary Isenhour is a partner in the firm Isenhour Rooney Strategies, LLC. She is the former Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, the former Pennsylvania Director of the Hillary Clinton Presidential Campaign and a consultant to Governor Ed Rendell’s political action committee.