Democratic Party enrollment surged past the 4 million mark Monday, setting a state record on the last day Pennsylvanians had to register to vote in next month's presidential primary.Now we've all read about Rush Limbaugh's "Project Chaos" (where he's cajoled Republicans into registering as Democrats here in PA in order to keep the process going) but the registration surge doesn't seem to be all cross-overs from God's Own Party:
The figures, which showed modest declines in the ranks of Republicans and independents, reflected intense interest in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination and recruitment efforts by both candidates, Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois.But what about the numbers? The Democratic Party has swelled by 161,000 new voters while:
Registration in the GOP declined by about 1 percent, to 3,215,478 statewide.Taking out my handy-dandy calculator, if 3.2 million represents the number of Republicans in this state AFTER being reduced by 1%, then that number must then be 99% of what it was. Doing the math, I think it means that we're only talking about 32,000 GOPers switching party affiliations, right?
Democrats have added 161,000 and Republicans have taken off 32,000. It's a gain of a little under 140,000. On the other hand, if those 32,000 are indeed to be found within the 161,000, then that means that one out of every five new "Democrats" is really a "Project chaos Republican."
If they're all following the Oxycontin-addict's edicts completely and will be voting for Senator Clinton in the primary, it might make things even more difficult for Senator Obama here.
On the other hand following, as we must, the law of unintended consequences, it might make things more difficult for other Republicans running in November. Take a look at this is from Public Radio Capital News. The purpose of Project Chaos is to throw the Democratic Presidential primary here in Pennsylvania into chaos - all those "Project Chaos Republicans" will presumably be switching back to the GOP sometime after April 22 - but not the new Democrats. They'll still be around. What might the impact be here for some House races here in PA?
Good news for whoever gets the nomination to run against Murphy and good news for Congressman Jason Altmire.
Muhlenberg College Political Scientist Chris Borick agrees it will be a tough road for Democrats in the 5th District.
But he adds registration gains could help Democrats running against western Pennsylvania Republican Congressmen Tim Murphy and Phil English.
"What you saw in 2006 with the Altmire - Hart race is that a Democrat can unseat an incumbent Republican and be successful.”