Democrats' registration advantage declines in Lackawanna, Luzerne counties (rut roh!)

Discussion in 'Test/Politics Board' started by MtNittany, Jul 7, 2020.

  1. MtNittany

    MtNittany Well-Known Member
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    Democrats' registration advantage declines in Lackawanna, Luzerne counties

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    Andy Gegaris, Jr., of Dennison Twp., holds up his voter registration card in WIlkes-Barre last week.
    Democratic voter registration advantages in Lackawanna and Luzerne counties have shrunk to their lowest levels in more than two decades, a review of registration data shows.

    Linda Jenkins of Scranton and Andy Gegaris Jr. of Dennison Twp. contributed to the Democratic decline. Both longtime Democrats, they switched to the Republican Party in the last few years.

    “What changed me is the Democratic Party went further and further left,” Gegaris, 53, said.

    Jenkins, 52, said the Democratic Party no longer aligned with her beliefs.

    Fed by Republicans like them, the Democratic decline locally could prove significant in the Nov. 3 presidential election because President Donald Trump’s votes in the two counties helped him win Pennsylvania in 2016.

    In the June 2 primary election, Democrats outnumbered Republicans in Lackawanna by 40,822, down from about 60,000 as recently as May 2009, four months after President Barack Obama took office, and about 48,000 at the 2016 presidential election.

    In Lackawanna, Democrats traditionally have had more than double the number of registered Republican voters, a ratio that reached as high as five Democrats for every two Republicans as recently as May 2015. By the June 2 primary, the advantage eroded to fewer than four Democrats for every two Republicans — for the first time since at least May 1997.

    In all, the county had 84,319 Democrats, 43,497 Republicans and 14,758 registered in other parties or unaffiliated for a total of 142,574 voters.

    The Republican share of the county electorate grew to 30.5%, surpassing 30% for the first time since the November 2004 presidential election, when President George W. Bush won a second term and party registration peaked at 46,882 voters in the period dating back to May 1997. Democrats’ share dropped to 59.1% this year.

    The Republican growth clearly began with President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.

    Since the April 2016 presidential primary, Democrats lost almost 5,500 voters in Lackawanna, while the Republican numbers rose by almost 3,500. Trump lost Lackawanna by 3,599 votes to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016.

    County Democratic chairman Chris Patrick scans lists of registered voters and sees longtime Democratic friends registered as Republicans. He thinks the party’s move to the left and Trump’s rise hurt.

    “I talk to a lot of people who I know are lifelong Democrats and they’re like, ‘I’ve had it. This Democratic Party isn’t the party that my parents belonged to. The thing has gone, far left, progressive.’” Patrick said. “Some people buy into that. I think what’s happening is a lot of longtime Democrats are more moderate, more maybe a tiny bit right-leaning conservative instead of this far-left liberalism.”

    Patrick noted the county party still has a large voter registration advantage and ticked upward in registration over the last three elections. He worries about keeping that going.

    “What do you do? We have progressive (more left-leaning) candidates winning all over the state,” he said. “Is this (progressive movement) the new Democratic Party? Maybe it is. I don’t know ... If the party’s trending that way, then maybe we need to sit down and figure out how to get more progressives registered.”

    County Republican chairman Lance Stange Jr. acknowledged Trump’s great influence on the party’s fortunes, but said the local party works hard to register new voters. You have to when you’re so far behind, he said.

    “When people show some outward way of supporting our candidates or our philosophy or something like that, we’ll reach out to them,” Stange said. “We’ll call them, we’ll mail them, we’ll knock on their door if we have the bodies to do it. But, it’s something we work on every day.”

    He said the growth influenced local elections. For example, in 2019, Republican commissioner candidates Chris Chermak and Mike Giannetta received far more votes than the 2015 Republican commissioner candidates while the Democratic candidates did about the same in both elections.

    The picture looks even bleaker for Democrats in Luzerne, where Trump walloped Clinton by 26,237 votes, or 19.4 percentage points, reversing Obama’s 2008 and 2012 victories there.

    Democrats outnumber Republicans by 24,728 voters, less than half the margin of the early Obama years. Republican voter registration is up to 38% of all voters while Democratic registration dropped to 49.7%, the first time below 50% since at least May 1997. From an advantage of 18 Democrats for every 10 Republicans in November 2010, the ratio is down to 13 to 10.

    In 2016, Democrats outnumbered Republicans by almost 34,000 voters.

    Overall, at the primary, the county had 80,226 Republicans, 104,954 Democrats and 26,101 voters registered in other parties or unaffiliated for a total of 211,281.

    Since Trump first appeared on local ballots in the April 2016 primary, the county added 11,623 Republicans while Democrats lost 533 voters.

    Luzerne County Republican Party chairman Justin Behrens attributed the rise to voters’ frustration with the region’s longtime economic struggles, their support for Trump and the party’s hard work to register new voters at local events. Many new Republicans registered because of Trump, Behrens said.

    “People always say, ‘Why does Northeastern Pennsylvania seem to go more Trump, more Trump, more Trump?’ And, I think the reason is he represents the people of Northeastern Pennsylvania, the hard-working, blue-collar workers that go to work every day and don’t feel their voice has been heard,” Behrens said.

    Behrens, who runs Keystone Mission in Scranton, said the party’s image has shifted away from one that cares about the wealthy.

    “Yes, every party has bad apples ... but the true Republican is there for the working class, to make sure that the people have the jobs that they need, they can put food on their tables and they can provide for their families,” Behrens said.

    County Democratic chairwoman Kathy Bozinski said her party’s decline doesn’t surprise her because many older, more conservative voters have shifted to the Republicans.

    “There’s no question that the Democratic Party of 2020 is not the Democratic Party of say, the 1990s,” Bozinski said. “Changes in personal outlooks and what is of concern to voters are understandable.”

    Its plans shutdown by the COVID-19 pandemic, Bozinski said the county will revive a two-pronged approach aimed at registering Latino and younger voters, as things reopen. She started a first-time diversity caucus to give minority voters a voice.

    “We’re moving toward not a new normal, but a different normal,” Bozinski said. “We got one meeting in (of the new caucus) before the stay-at-home order, but I’ll tell you what, it was a terrific meeting, honest and spirited. I left there feeling good and by the time I got home, my phone was blowing up with text messages. Nobody in any party had ever asked them for their point of view on things.”

    Statewide, Democratic voter registration also suffered in the Trump age.

    For the primary, the state had 801,866 more Democrats than Republicans, down by 136,000 since April 2016, and the smallest advantage since November 2007, the year before Obama’s first presidential election, when the advantage was 638,107.

    Jenkins, a property manager who switched to Republican last August and voted for Trump four years ago as a Democrat, said she wants a candidate and party “that will work for the greater good of our country or state to bring back jobs to America, bring back jobs to the district, a party who will defend the nation.”

    “I just don’t think the Democratic Party was in line with those beliefs any more. They’re not even aligned with enforcing our laws any more,” she said, referring to protests that saw statues torn down or vandalized. “Everybody’s shooting from the hip, especially right now, instead of thinking things through,” she said. “Our country’s being torn apart.”

    Gegaris Jr., a groundsman at a quarry, a part-time pizza deliverer and owner of a real-estate investment and management company, was a lifelong Democrat before his switch also last August. He said the party’s drift to the left convinced him.

    “Over the last five to 10 years, I’ve hung around with a lot of conservative Republicans and had numerous debates and realized that I’m more conservative than I am liberal,” Gegaris said. “I like to hunt, I like the outdoors. I’m a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment. I like entrepreneurs and small business and I just think that the Democratic Party is succumbing right now to special interests.”

    He said he sees Democrats too much in bed with the big pharmaceutical and health care companies and trial lawyers. With a master’s degree in health care administration, he said he believes in health care as a right, legal immigration and working toward a college education, not getting one for free.

    “Health care should be not bankrupting people and making people decide whether they’re going to buy extra food or their doctor bills,” he said. “I wasn’t a big supporter of Obamacare but I thought it was a start. I wish that the Republicans, instead of trying to repeal it, they would have worked with the Democrats to come up with something a little bit better and to keep making improvements on it. Climate change, the far-left progressive extreme of everything being free. I was born and raised in a generation where you worked for what you wanted. And, I’m all for a hand up but generational handouts are extremely difficult for me.”
     
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  2. Storm at Sea

    Storm at Sea Well-Known Member
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    The sad thing is this: it takes many Dems of average intelligence 1 or 2 years to come to this realization. DNC is doing a wonderful job promoting their antics these days, so I'm hopeful that more Dems catch on. Our board Dems are too low IQ to learn, however.
     
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  3. LafayetteBear

    LafayetteBear Well-Known Member
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    If posts were rated on the basis if sheer length, you would get your first “A.” But most people rate them based on their content, which means you once again earned a FAIL. The following excerpt from your post is all one needs to know:

    So a minute change in party registrations in a Pennsylvania county with a grand total of 142,574 voters merits your wasting our time with this thread? I see that Democratic party registrations in this county are nearly double Republican party registrations.
    So are you positing a big Trump electoral victory in Pennsylvania this November? Brilliant thinking. :eek::cool:
     
  4. franklinman

    franklinman Well-Known Member
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    Ah, but we have the common sense that the cons lack, NOT to vote for a race baiting Corrupt POS, in Filthy Don that has been A mentally ill A H.his whole life.
     
    4 franklinman, Jul 7, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2020
  5. Storm at Sea

    Storm at Sea Well-Known Member
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    Hahahaha. Thanks for validating my post.
     
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