What Fresh Hell Is This?

March 27, 2008

Voter Registration Numbers

From Boston.com, it looks like Pennsylvania's Democrats have set some sort of voter registration record:
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?

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.”

Good news for whoever gets the nomination to run against Murphy and good news for Congressman Jason Altmire.


Anonymous said...

John K. says: Thanks. I told you folks Operation Chaos is working. Republicans are registering to be Democrats to make sure Clinton stays in the race. Oh yah we want a floor fight in Denver. Nothing like watching liberals trying to fight. LMAO They are just so funny.

Anonymous said...

John K. says: You should be watching my dickie! Lookie! My dickie is so cute and so much fun!

Anonymous said...

Also, this state will be a battleground state in the fall. The $$$ coming in will hopefully benefit Congressman Altmire and whoever is running against Congressman Murphy.

So, yeah, let Limbaugh have his fun; it's only gonna wind up biting him in the ass this November. :)

- Shawn

Schultz said...

It's not all Operation Chaos. All of the South Hills Republicans who flipped (that I was aware of) seemed sincere about wanting to vote for Obama. The Republicans I met who were routing for Hillary didn't want anything to do with the Democratic party here in Allegheny County.

We ended up registering several hundred new Democrats in the South Hills. Most of those were independents voting for a Obama (more thant 50%). A good number of the remaining registrations were new voters. A small percentage were R's switching to D. This pattern was similar throughout the state.

Oh, and one of the new registrations was a woman switching from Independent to Republican. Yeah, I thought that was odd as well.

Richmond K. Turner said...

Let me second what Schultz had to say. It's definitely not all Operation Chaos, and I know because I'm one of the GOP-to-Democrat(ic?) switchers. I hestiate to reveal that I was a registered Republican, but I have a good excuse!

When we lived in Pittsburgh, I eventually got sick of being shut out of the Democratic primary. But I never bothered re-registering as a Democrat in Pittsburgh, because I just couldn't stand joining the party of Luke Ravenstahl.

When we moved to Deleware County, the situation was reversed. Here the Republicans are the shoe-ins for all local offices. In fact, there are not one but two different local Republican parties which compete in the primary. So I held my nose and registered as a Republican so that I could have some say in local elections.

Why, oh why can't Pennsylvania have open primaries?

But last week I went into Media (for the first time ever), visited the courthouse (again, for the first time ever), found the voter registration desk and switched to Democrat(ic?).

Not because I want to cause chaos or hurt the Democratic Party's chances to win the White House, but because I genuinely want to vote for Obama. And because I genuinely can't stand the thought of extending yet another family's legacy in the Oval Office. It didn't work so well the first time. It sucked beyond all belief the second time. And I don't ever want there to be a third time.

On paper, I no doubt look exactly the same as a ditto-head, Project Chaos wing nut. But that's not why I switched parties.

Jennifer said...

I had the same experience of helping people switch parties to vote for Obama. Some Republicans, some Independents, all genuinely wanting to vote for him. There may be Republicans somewhere who switched to create chaos, but my experience, and those of the people I talked to were to the contrary.

Gloria said...

Project Chaos R's who switched to vote in the D Primary, obviously won't be able to vote in the R Primary.

Are there any Rs competing against each other in any PA Primary races?

If a moderate R is competing against a far right R, what effect will the abscence of the R switchers be?

I'd guess most of Project Chaos R's switchers are far right. Does that mean that moderate Rs will have an advantage in voting in their moderate R candidate?

Bram Reichbaum said...

Seeing as how Rush Limbaugh is going on radio daily to brag that if it weren't for Operation Chaos, Hillary would not have won the Texas primary ... and since it's a generally big subject ... isn't it about time someone asked Hillary her thoughts on it? All these Republicans supposedly "gaming the system" on her behalf?

It is proper? Is it ethical? Should she tell him to stop?

infinonymous said...

None of them -- Clinton, McCain, Limbaugh, Bush -- appears to be up to the task of withstanding Hurricane Obama. They can wail and curse and boast, but only until the storm reaches them.

And when Barack Obama reaches the White House, I expect that
fans of torture, warrantless surveillance, taxing earned income more than inheritance, current troop levels in Iraq, licking Saudi boots, kissing Israeli butt, secret prisons, faith-based science, bombing plans for Iraq, Blackwater thuggery, no-bid war profiteering and the other hallmarks of the Bush administration are going to be in for some rough weather, too.

Matt H said...

"eeing as how Rush Limbaugh is going on radio daily to brag that if it weren't for Operation Chaos, Hillary would not have won the Texas primary"

She wound up not winning Texas after all of the votes were counted with the caucus.

Anonymous said...

John K. says: Operation Chaos rules! Even Olbermouth hates Operation Chaos. Without it, Obama would have been nominated a month ago and this Rev Wright thing would have been blamed on Republicans. And not one Democrat would have called Sen. Clinton out on her fake sniper story. And let us not forget Gen. Betrayus. Oh yah we have the number on the Democrats this go around.

Anonymous said...

John K. also says: I would caution Schultz on the use of the term "all". Since I know at least four who went Demcorat specifically to vote for Obama to keep him in the race in Pa. They will of course be voting for the next President in Nov., McCain.

Anonymous said...

John K. says: Even though my dickie isn't a felon like Rush, you should be looking at it. Lookie! Lookie! When it grows up it will be a felon, too!

Fillippelli the Cook said...

Of course, John K. is not necessarily sane, but his comments do amply demonstrate how the right operates and believes our political system should operate.

It's all a game, and the only thing that matters, regardless of its impact, is winning or losing and holding onto some semblance of power so they can force their warped belief system onto the populace: deregulation of polluters, billions in funding for abstinence education that doesn't work, a war that never should have been launched.

It's for that very same reason that so many Democrats and Independents have developed such strong feelings of dislike and/or hatred for HRC, because she has engaged in the same tactics: whatever it takes to win.

I may have said this before, but I always find it to be really funny -- in a terribly sad sort of way -- when the media report on these studies that find more kids are cheating on homework and exams in school or that bullying is rampant in schools, etc. The teens see how the alleged adults behave, and they mimic their behavior. And, for some reason, the adults are shocked by it. Ironic, eh?

Anonymous said...

I agree with fillippelle about the models our children have. No one can find fault with Rev. Wright's message if they think Rush is O.K.. He is just as bad and unAmerican as one can get. I had also excused Bill Clinton's studpidity because I know he was just following a model of behavior that is worshiped and projected by movies, advertisers and sit-coms. That's why the rest of the world is confounded by Americans. We want it both ways for ourselves, but forbid it to others. I hope Obama is strong enough to stand against such hypocracy. I'm afraid he will be biting off more than he can chew. Any Republican that switchers in order to cause chaos should be ashamed. Be careful what you wish for!