In the 2020 presidential election, President Joe Biden was able to carry Pennsylvania by an extremely narrow margin.
However, new registration data suggests that Democrats may lose their grasp on the Keystone State as voters flee to the GOP.
Numbers show an exodus from the Democratic Party
According to a report published by Reuters last Thursday, the number of Democratic voters who are re-registering as Republicans is four times larger than the number of Republican voters who are becoming Democrats.
While that number only counts party switches which occurred from the first of this year until March 28, it represents a sharp escalation of an existing trend.
In 2020, 1.7 Democrats became Republicans for every 1 Republican who became a Democrat, while in 2021 the figure was 1.2.
Although registered Democrats continue to outnumber Republicans, momentum appears to be in the GOP’s favor. Kevan Yenerall is a political scientist at Pennsylvania’s Clarion University, and he was quoted as saying that the development “is bad news” for the state’s Democratic Party.
One of those disaffected Democrats is former Philadelphia police officer Beth Jones who said that she “just got fed up” with her party and “felt like there has to be a better way.”
Meanwhile, Pennsylvania Republican Party Calvin Tucker spoke of an attempt to win over other residents in the state’s largest city, traditionally a Democratic stronghold.
Researcher says “a combination of things” is driving the political shift
“It is a citywide outreach,” Tucker said, pointing to an office that the party has recently opened in northwest Philadelphia.
“We will do canvassing, knocking on doors, standing on corners, and talking to citizens and neighbors about who we are and what we are trying to achieve,” Tucker explained.
The GOP’s recruitment push comes even as the president is experiencing abysmal polling numbers. A survey published by Civiqs found that just 38% of Pennsylvanians approved of Biden’s job performance, with Hispanics being almost evenly divided.
Terry Madonna is a senior fellow in residence at Millersville University, and he told Reuters that the shift in Pennsylvania goes beyond concerns about inflation to include “a combination of things,” such as concerns over critical race theory in public schools.