Given that Pennsylvania will be one of the key states in deciding the 2020 presidential election, Republicans claim that a recent surge in voter registrations for their party will make President Trump repeat his 2016 victory, while Democrats say that The Pennsylvanians are delighted with Joe Biden when newly registered voters point to their edge.
As of June this year, Pennsylvania had 4,092,693 registered Democrats, according to the secretary of state, and 3,290,944 Republicans. In April 2016, the Democrats’ advantage was 4,062,187 versus 3,126,166. That means Republicans closed the registration gap by about 134,000 voters during that time, and Republicans say they closed it even further after continuing registration efforts over the summer.
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Tabas credits the work of the district chairpersons in increasing the GOP’s voter registration numbers in Pennsylvania.
“This was not just a State party effort, we engaged the entire team, including the volunteers,” said Tabas. “That is one of the reasons I predict the president could easily win our state by more than 100,000 votes this year.”
Tabas added that many of the gains were made in west and northeast Pennsylvania, places that used to be heavily democratic, but he says, “have realized that the Democratic Party and radical left strategy have left them. They are not the same Democratic Party. “
But Democrats point to the same fact to say that the gains in registering GOP voters are not evidence of Republicans’ gains in the state, but that voters are merely recognizing what has long been the case – that rural voters who were registered as Democrats voted for it, Republicans.
“If registering a party was really that useful for guessing how an election might go, respondents wouldn’t ask people for party ID instead,” Brendan Welch, communications director for the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, told Fox News in an interview . “There are places like southwest Pennsylvania, northeast Pennsylvania … where people have been registered as Democrats for decades but haven’t voted Democrats in decades.”
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Welch added, “What we are actually seeing here are people who did not vote democratically, who voted for a Republican for a long time, just made it official, and actually registered as Republican.”
This phenomenon is common in many rural areas of the country – rural West Virginia voted heavily for Trump in 2016, but then re-elected Democratic Senator Joe Manchin in 2018.
In the 76th State House district in Pennsylvania – a district in the center of the state but still rural – Trump outpaced Hillary Clinton by more than two to one, more than 9,600 votes in 2016. But it was then re-elected – Rep. Mike Hanna Sr., a Democrat, outperformed his Republican challenger by about 1,000 votes, according to the WPSU. Hanna pulled out before the 2018 election and the district turned red.
Welch said registering new voters is the statistic people should look at to see where the momentum is. And in this category, according to data from the political data firm TargetSmart, Democrats have the lead in 2020. Pennsylvania Democrats registered more voters than Republicans every month but one between December and July, the company said.
Welch also noted that Democrats fared well in suburbs outside Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, pointing to their election victories in congressional races and other elections between 2016 and 2020.
“Just last year … the Democrats completely turned the county council race in Delaware County, which has been Republican-controlled since the Civil War, on,” Welch said.
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However, Tabas points to Westmoreland County, a suburb outside of Pittsburgh, where the sheriff recently changed his affiliation from Democrat to Republican. Sheriff James Albert told Fox & Friends Weekend: “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party, it left me.”
In addition, Trump was not involved in the election in the meantime in 2018 and in the 2019 election. And his approach to politics is a big part of why Republicans made a profit in 2016 in the rust belt states where they had been losing ground for years.
“The president appeals to working people in Pennsylvania – independents, Democrats and Republicans,” Tabas said, noting that the Pennsylvania GOP is fighting for votes in the suburbs as well as in urban minority communities. “Before the pandemic, the unemployment rate in these communities was the lowest in history. And they will be back.”
Tabas added, “He advocates improving the economic lives of those voters who may not always vote for him … and I think you will find that he will be a little better than he did in Philadelphia and the Southeast ’16. “
Welch, meanwhile, said Democrats had a chance to make headway in Republican-dominated areas.
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“Look at the huge crowds Joe Biden had just yesterday in places like Greensburg and Johnstown,” said Welch, “places where Trump … won pretty strong in 2016.”
“I’m not going to pull your leg and say that Joe Biden is going to win these rural districts that Trump cleaned up,” added Welch. “But it’s about margins, sometimes it’s about losing less … There is certainly a lot more enthusiasm for Joe Biden in these areas than in 2016.”
However, Tabas said the GOP base – and support for Trump in particular – is so strong in rural areas of the state that it will be difficult for Democrats to make any bump there.
“Joe Biden is trying to say he’s from Scranton and the 15 minutes he’s been there is getting some credit for that,” said Tabas. “But it’s up in the northeast where Scranton is, where we did very well.”
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The latest poll by Fox News in Pennsylvania found that Biden leads Trump in the state by 51% to 44%, with an error rate of plus or minus 3 percentage points. This survey was conducted from September 20th to 23rd. The latest RealClearPolitics polls average also shows Biden is gaining 51% to 44%.
But Trump scored a comeback victory in 2016. The RealClearPolitics Average for that year showed Clinton was leading 49% to 41.5% in Pennsylvania on October 5th.
The President’s race has almost a month left and much could change if Trump leaves the hospital on Monday after his diagnosis of the coronavirus. a Senate Supreme Court confirmation battle; two presidential debates are still on the horizon; A vice presidential debate and many other possible twists and turns ahead of the November 3rd elections.
But no matter what election curves are thrown next month, the result in Pennsylvania will be decisive. According to FiveThirtyEight, Pennsylvania has a higher chance than any other state of being the “turning point” in 2020, that is, the state that gives the victorious candidate the decisive vote for the electoral college.