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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

Isenhour announced yesterday that she has formed a consulting group with TJ Rooney. She was one of PoliticsPA’s Top Operatives of 2010.

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.

9 Responses

  1. It seems like an educational blog which always some new information to visitors and Enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you blog post.

  2. In 2008, the Progressive take-over of the Democratic Party was such a turn-off to Women and traditional Democrats that they 1- had second thoughts about being associated with such overbearing / under responsive representation and 2 – deliberately undervoted the Judicial elections rejecting the “Progressive,”(mysogynistic) ageist males who foolishly traded reliable female voters for kids on a “change” bender. Once they became bored with the no-delivery empty suit they elected they were just as readily hijacked by the next new toy… oh, I forgot; it was the Hillary supporters branded ‘low information’ voters by these hackers.

  3. Dear Hello?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!:

    I have known Mary Isenhour for close to 10 years. In that time I have worked alongside, for, and for a brief time in the Spring of 2008 against her, and I can truly say that she is anything but lazy. She is one of the hardest working and most dedicated people that I have ever known, and I’m proud to say that I’ve worked with her.

    Attempting to associate the word “lazy” with Mary Isenhour is simply non-sensical when looking at the record. During her tenure as Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party she helped guide seven statewide candidates to victory in of a total of nine statewide races. And let’s not discount the fact that immediately before she took over the reigns of the state Democratic party she was the director of PA Victory ’06 which helped reelect Governor Rendell and elect Senator Casey on statewide ballots (each of which by the way, won with large double digit margins of victory), as well as helping to topple four Republican Congressional incumbents and reclaiming the State House of Representatives.

    Oh, and in the middle of it all, she took time off to run Hillary Clinton’s primary campaign in Pennsylvania (which, not surprisingly, was another successful campaign run by Ms. Isenhour).

    Now, let’s summarily address the fact that you took the coward’s way out of this argument and left your name off your post. All I can derive from this is that you either:
    a) are afraid to attach your name to a claim you obviously know to be false; or
    b) are simply bitter at having been involved in a race where Ms. Isenhour handed you your hat, and thanked you for trying

    Either way, if you’re going to attack someone and not reveal who you actually are, it’s at least a good idea to have the facts solidly on your side.

    Not surprisingly, you don’t.

    – Victor Wills

  4. I’m sure Hello?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! must be talking about a different Mary Isenhour. Having worked for her, I can say with complete certainty that she is anything but lazy. In fact, I have seldom met another professional on any side of any aisle with the kind of dedication, moxie and belief in a cause as she has.

  5. Dear Hello?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!:

    I am very sorry that you feel that way. I always try to do the best job possible and work as hard as possible. I’m very proud of the work ethic that my parents instilled in me.



  6. Mary Isenhour. Hahahaha. She became lazy and complacent as Director of the PA Dems and it showed in 2009 and in early 2010. Thank god she is gone.

  7. The advantage isn’t really 1 million because several hundred thousands Republicans switched in 2008 to vote in primary and general. However, the party switch didn’t not change their previous Republican leanings. It’s political malpractice/incompetence to tout the 1 million registration as real.
    2006 and 2008 were wins do to bad GOP policies and national trends. However, we got our butts handed to us in 2009 state wide judicial elections, and suffered massive losses in 2010.
    In fact, the percentage of Dem/Rep registration has sunk in the past two years, to it’s lowest level in a decade. Here are some recent ratios of Dem/Rep registration statewide.
    2004 1.81
    2005 1.79
    2006 1.93
    2007 1.66
    2008 2.77
    2009 1.58
    2010 1.27

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