Going Blue: Final Pennsylvania Voter Registration Numbers

By Al Giordano

Yes, we'll be live-blogging the debate tonight from North Carolina.

Meanwhile, yesterday was the voter registration deadline in the four states that we previously visited in this tour that began on September 25.

And the Pennsylvania Secretary of State gets the award for fastest reporting of the final tallies!

It's been much talked about this year how strong the Democratic party's advance is in Pennsylvania. Leading up to the April 22 presidential primary, a total of six counties on the maps, above, went from being likely Republican (Delaware, Chester, York, Schuykill, Pike and Cameron) to "toss ups," just since 2006. And another eight counties went from being "toss ups" (Bucks, Montgomery, Berks, Monroe, Centre, Clinton, Clearfield and Indiana) to likely Democratic.

Democrats now outnumber Republicans in Pennsylvania by 1,169,663 registered voters. But as we reported from Altoona, there are Appalachian swathes where some of those Democrats are going to vote for the McCain-Palin ticket. Additionally, there are almost one million voters that are neither Democrat nor Republican; swaying them will be the major battlefield focus for the next four weeks.

Since April's primary, Democrats - mainly through the very aggressive voter registration efforts of the Obama campaign working out of 78 offices throughout the state - have added 186,908 voters to their column, while Republicans have added just 31,407 - a six-to-one tromp.

In the final two weeks, Republicans made an eleventh hour push and registered 17,627 of those into their party, but during the same time period, 50,803 Democrats were added to the rolls.

(And if you read our Twitter box above, for my messages sent to you via cell phone, you already know that Leslie A. Warren of York, Pennsylvania, registered voter number 1,222, all by herself, on Monday before the deadline closed.)

Based on these numbers, Pennsylvania is looking increasingly likely to offer Obama a solid margin of victory for its 21 Electoral Votes. The surge of newly registered Democrats should be more than enough to offset the Appalachian effect in the western and central parts of the state (and as we can see, there are four central PA counties where the Obama campaign has just possibly organized a grand regional upset).

We still don't have the final numbers from Virginia, Ohio or Michigan, but we'll similarly update once they're available.

Meanwhile, we're continuing to report - today, The Field is in Durham - from North Carolina, and do come around here tonight so we can watch - and comment upon - tonight's debate. I have a feeling it's going to be a good one.

Update: Also from here in North Carolina, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe recorded this video message to supporters (it was released today but recorded yesterday), which provides a few more details about the ground game over the next 28 days:


It's all coming down to the ground war.




This is really good news

Thanks, Al, for keeping your finger on the pulse and helping us stay informed.

Will you be live blogging tonight?

Latest PA poll

SurveyUSA has a new poll out for Pennsylvania.  Obama is up 15 (55%-40%).  He is ahead in all but the South Central region and surprisingly enough 1 in 5 Republicans are now supporting Obama in PA.



The new SurveyUSA poll (with

The new SurveyUSA poll (with Obama up 15 points) drives the point home.

Future elections

What this will mean for future elections is amazing.  This is the Howard Dean's 50 State Strategy and Obama's appeal bearing fruit.  We've been making baby steps for the last four years, but an Obama win will show that we're ready to start sprinting.

And we'll need to sprint for years since we have so much House (and Senate) cleaning to do over the next few election cycles.  We have tremendous momentum and I hope those who are newly active will continue to be for the rest of their lives.  The map of Penn in indicative to map all over America and we're on the verge of eliminating the modern-day Repub party, which advocates Death and Deststruction worldwide and stealing taxpayer money, forever if we can build upon these gains.  It's up to each one of us.

On the other hand, Al...

Chester County (SE), is yellow on the map.  A short while ago this was a GOP bastion.  Plus it has large very wealthy enclaves of old money.  These folks are Lincoln republicans. I mean when the subject comes up they talk about their families signing on with the GOP back then and it is family lore.

The good news, they tend to be quite liberal.  As I canvassed they often havent voted GOP in a national race for twenty years.  Bush is despised here, and Obama is polling with the state average, which is massive.

Oh and my little depressed steeltown? Obama +36.

As McCain decides to lower a bucket

into America's deep well of xenophobia and racism, this map cheers me to no end.

I would like to title it "Karl Rove's 'Permanent Republican Majority:' Whoopsie!"

Thanks Al

Thanks Al, this is such good news. Know we can't rest, or get giddy or anything - but it feels SO good to read your post. Also, fyi, Western MA for Obama organizing groups to go into Lehigh valley area. Expect the eastern part of MA is still going into NH.

Looking forward to having my fellow Field Hands keep me somewhat sane during debate tonight.

Hope Leslie A. Warren is receiving all our thanks, good wishes, she is really an inspiring person!!!!


Great post - in the midst of all the noise lately - I have been looking for some news about voter reg. and early voting. If PA is this out of reach - it looks like Mccain will be focusing on WI (yuck), FL and OH. I think they are still making the (potentially devastating) assumption that VA and NC will vote Republican despite polling. Heck - I would not be surprised if Obama has made them question their strength in GA.


Hi Suzy - Yes Central and Eastern MA are still heading into NH for voter registration and canvassing. If anyone knows college students from NH or elsewhere attending college here in the Worcester area please give me a shout over at Fieldhands (on the Southern NE page). My husband is working hard to coordinate them all through the campaign HQ and we really think they can swing NH. They're doing numerous on campus activities with the student organizers. Thanks!

This is an encouraging map Al. Thank you for all of the updates and interesting posts! It's great hearing how things are looking on the ground in these states.

FieldHand Book Party...

OK, I'm going forward in time a little bit, but as we donate here and there, everyone save some pennies for Al's Book Party!

Al, do you think you'll have it done in time for the Inauguration?

Yes, I know there's lots of work to be done, but I also like planning ahead...call it strategy vs tactics!


waterprise2 AKA Pam

Liberal with a Capital L!


Not the final tallies....

The tallies on the PA website are from a week ago.  They haven't had time to sift through the thousands of registrations they just got yesterday.  After all the registrations are tallied, Dems will end up with a net gain of 30,000 even beyond what you are seeing now.


Crazy, but true.

@Pam -- Book Party!

Love the idea Pam! Actually, even though I don't write a lot here, I feel very connected and this site is my base for sanity! I would hate to be flailing my way through this election without the groundedness provided by Al and the Fieldhands. All that to say, a book party would be a wonderful reason to actually bring Fieldhands from all over together in one place... How cool would that be????

@ Pam, Parties

I'm with Pam - but with a slight change - plural :)  Field Hand book parties, all over the country.  Maybe a few of the best Field Hand musicians/singers (Christi) may want to travel to several places.   And while we're planning, let's remember Al needs a new guitar!!

Yes We Can.  Yes We Will.

PPP Ohio Poll

Don't forget Indiana

Al,  Don't forget Indiana. I canvassed in Michigan City Indiana yesterday  and discovered that the Obama campaign registered over 600 voters in Michigan City over the weekend.   One of the polls I saw today had Obama and McCain tied in Indiana.  Don't count the Hoosier state out!

Survey USA Wisconsin

IA numbers

We're looking forward to BARACKing the vote!

9/29/08 - Five weeks before Election Day, Barack Obama likely has a lead of more than 30,000 votes in Iowa, based on a comparison of total absentee ballot requests from Democrats and Republicans.

...Let’s make some assumptions on how the early ballots requested so fat break out. Let’s say Democrats vote 90 percent for Obama and Republicans 90 percent for McCain. Let’s also guess that independents break 55 to 45 for Obama, which is about where current state polling stands. Those percentages, and one more assumption, project to a 33,000 vote Obama lead five weeks before Election Day.


Book Parties Plural!

Sounds like a plan!  At least 3, 4, or 5!  And you know the new guitar is a done deal by the Fieldhands!


waterprise2 AKA Pam

Liberal with a Capital L!


Gotta love Axelrod.

Mr. Axelrod, asked if Mr. Obama felt pressure since recent polls suggest he is the “front-runner,” responded by playing down “this front-runner stuff.”

“Obviously we like the position we’re in, but we understand that we have to battle every day, this is a very, very pitched battle,” he said, Referring to the 2007 run-up to the Democratic primaries against Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, he added: “If I took the polls to heart I would’ve jumped off a tall building a year ago.” (emphasis mine)

Obama is willing to sock it to Mccain, if warranted.




Does anyone have any additional info on the raid of the ACORN office in Nevada?


When Obama is behind, they ask him if he feels pressure to catch up. When he is ahead, they ask him if he feels pressure being the front-runner.

Shouldn't they be asking McCain if he feels pressure?


Answering my own question, here's some info on that ACORN raid...

Short version, ACORN had been trying to get the Sec of State's attention on some suspicious registrations, got no response, and now they are being raided about those same registrations, according to ACORN's statement.

Please REC up tonight's donation thread at Daily Kos

We're doing another debate thread at Daily Kos - please rec it:



Book Parties, Guitars and Jamming with Al

 Count me in!

Laura, Next they will be asking why Obama is not

cracking the 60% ceiling ? Props to the entire Obama team.

Learning from the master ? Obama showed the repugs how.



Obama did not get 100% of the vote! Why can't he close the deal? ;)

Talk about "elitist"

After the debate, McSame made one quick round of handshakes and split out of there.  After all, why spend any time with the little people.  The Obamas spent 20 minutes at least meeting and greeting voters otherwise known as ordinary folks.  You could see how engaging he was on CSPAN and gracious. 


MSNBC drew attention to this but I do not see the other networks jumping aboard, yet.



Seattle, WA

@Anonymous, re: meet and greet

It was mentioned from time to time on CNN, too. They'd occasionally cut back to shots of Barack and Michelle with the people in the theatre.

This is good for PA-05

PA's 5th Congressional district is an open seat that has long been Republican. I have been holding out hope that this year, of all years, was an opportunity for it to be competitive, if not actually flip it. This map is giving me even more hope. In PA-05 - a geographically huge district - Centre, Clinton, and Clearfield have gone from tossup to blue, and Cameron, Clarion, Forest, Venango, and Warren have gone from red to tossup. (And yes, the district contains all or part of 17 counties!)

The Dem candidate, Mark McCracken, has been on the ground criss-crossing the district, really putting himself out there. I really think it can be close, whichever way it goes.

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About Al Giordano


Publisher, Narco News.

Reporting on the United States at The Field.

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