HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Among new Pennsylvania voters who pick a party, more in 2022 have checked “D” than “R,” while among previously-registered voters, the Republican party has done a better job poaching Democrats than the reverse.
Overall, Democrats have extended their lead among registered voters by about 20,000.
That’s the conclusion of an abc27 News analysis of Department of State voter registration data (for January through Sept. 12, 2022), coinciding with National Voter Registration Day.
In 2022, a total of 188,421 Pennsylvanians filled out applications either to become first-time voters or to change their party affiliations. Of that total, 89,500 registered as Democrats, 69,567 as Republicans and 29,304 with no party or another party.
The 188,421 applications included 76,224 new applications and 112,197 applications to change party affiliation.
Among voters who changed their party affiliations, the GOP made big gains. Three times as many people — 45,368 to 15,432 — switched to “R” from “D” as switched from “D” to “R.” Smaller numbers switched from no party or a third party to either Republican or Democrat, or from one of the major parties to a third party of no party.
The state doesn’t publish a similar breakdown among only new voters, but the overwhelming advantage for the GOP among party-switchers and advantage for Dems among all registrations implies a significant advantage for Dems among new voters.
At Dickinson College, Rachel Pistol, a second-year student, was busy registering new voters.
“I’m from [Los Angeles] so when I was originally registered there, it’s a very blue area,” Pistol said. “And here it’s very purple. And I feel like my vote just matters so much more because I don’t really know how the elections are going to turn out.”
That’s true even though after all the new and switched registrations this year, Democrats retain an overall registration advantage over Republicans of 4,003,126 to 3,462,803. About 1.3 million Pennsylvanians are registered with no party or another party.