Monday, March 31, 2008

Power shift among Chester County voters?

Interesting article in The West Chester Daily Local News about how the stampede to register for the Democratic Party primary may impact other races in the fall.

More than 4 million Pennsylvania voters have registered with the Democratic Party in anticipation of the April 22 showdown between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

But how will the "new" Democrats vote in the fall when congressional seats and races in the Pennsylvania Legislature will be determined?

Although county voter services employees are still dealing with piles of registration forms that came in during the past few weeks, estimates say that from the beginning of this year, the number of Democratic voters in the county will have increased by 10,000," according to reporter Dan Kristie.

"It's a little too early to tell what this will add up to in November," Congressman Jim Gerlach, R-6th, told the newspaper. "Voters around here are pretty darn independent. In each race, they look at the candidates themselves."

As evidence, Gerlach pointed to the Chester County numbers from the November 2006 election, during which he greatly outperformed Republican senatorial incumbent Rick Santorum and Republican gubernatorial candidate Lynn Swann, according to the newspaper.

Bob Roggio, the Democrat challenging Gerlach in the general election, predicted the presidential primary battle and the publicity that comes with it will be good for his party and possibly his candidacy.

"I've actually talked to people in the district offices, and I’m not getting the feeling at all that people are just changing to vote in the primary," Roggio told the newspaper "A lot of these changes are permanent."

Read more about the power shift in Chester County in The Daily Local News.

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