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.