Record Democratic Voter Registration in Pennsylvania

There have been reports recently that Pennsylvania election officials have been experiencing record levels of voter registrations, in advance of the upcoming Democratic presidential primary in the state.

Of interest are reports that many formerly Republican registered voters in Pennsylvania are apparently re-registering as Democrats, so they can participate in the Democratic presidential primary.

Here’s a story from ABC, “Republican Crossovers Fuel Record Democratic Voter Registration in Pennsylvania:”

Republican crossovers are a key factor in record-level voter registrations for the Pennsylvania Democratic presidential primary, officials say.

State Democratic party officials touted a record-level four million registered Democratic voters in anticipation of the upcoming primary on April 22. The Philadelphia suburbs and the state’s central region, including counties where Republicans still outnumber Democrats, had some of the highest proportions of party-switchers.

While many of the new Democrats appear to be moderates or independents who simply want to be a part of the process, county voter registration officials in central Pennsylvania told that many new registrants spoke openly about changing their party affiliation to give McCain “a better shot in November.”

Officials in Perry and Northumberland counties in central Pennsylvania told that quite a few new registrants said they were switching to help the Republican party in the fall. Both counties are historically conservative, having voted for Bush in 2004 in wide margins, but the number of voters changing their party affiliation to Democrat this year is proportionally large, said the officials.

The pattern echoes the Republican crossovers in the run-up to the Texas and Ohio primaries, which some political experts attributed to calls from conservatives like Rush Limbaugh for Republicans to register and vote for Sen. Hillary Clinton to prevent Obama from locking up the nomination and prolong the spectacle of the two Democratic candidates attacking each other.