Voter registration rolls are almost closed for the November election, showing a Democratic voter advantage in Pennsylvania that’s slightly smaller than it was four years ago.
In 2008, registered active and inactive Democratic voters outnumbered Republicans by 1.2 million.
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, says 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,” Kelly said. “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 says 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,” says Jim Burn. “The minute you do that, you’ve lost your registration advantage, you’ve lost the election.”
But he also notes the importance for Democrats of targeting moderate Republican voters and independents.
The deadline to register to vote in the November election is Tuesday.