In the four years since Donald Trump’s surprising victory in the 2016 presidential election, the GOP has registered nearly seven times more voters than Democrats in the battlefield state of Pennsylvania.
BIDEN KEEPING EDGE OVER TRUMPF IN BATTLEGROUND PENNSYLVANIA: POLL
Keystone State Republicans have added nearly 198,000 registered voters to the books since 2016, while Democrats have gained another 29,000, Politico reported Thursday.
Democrats are still about 750,000 more voters in the state than Republicans, but the percentage of registered voters is down two points from September 2016. The percentage of Republicans has increased from 38% to 39%.
Many party officials attribute the narrowing of the gap to President Trump.
A surge in registrations in three critical areas in Pennsylvania – including counties of Erie, Lucerne, and Northampton – helped Trump turn the state around in 2016, according to Politico. Hillary Clinton lost there against him by less than one percentage point.
Republicans have made the biggest net profits in counties of Westmoreland, Lucerne and Washington in western Pennsylvania, Politico said, while Democrats have gained ground in the suburbs around Philadelphia, including counties of Montgomery, Chester, Delaware and Bucks.
While Democrats in the state said they weren’t particularly concerned about the surge, Republicans said they benefited from the personal publicity of the Trump campaign.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s team has largely opted for a virtual approach to the COVID-19 pandemic, although local Democratic groups have held some socially distant events aimed at attracting voters, Politico reported.
Tom Bonier, CEO of Democratic analytics firm TargetSmart, attributed Republican progress to data backlog, telling reporters in a newsletter that Democrats have enrolled nearly 415,000 new voters since 2016 and Republicans only about 282,000.
Pennsylvania Republican Party leader Lawrence Tabas told Politico that Democrats are making excuses.
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“If I were them I would say that I think voter registration is some kind of delayed problem. You would too, ”he remarked. “With this added benefit of newly registered Democratic base Republicans, these people will vote in November. These people are dedicated. “
The upcoming November election will be different for many voters due to a lack of election workers, a deadly health crisis, widespread economic recession, and postal voting recommendations to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection.