HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Democratic Party has registered 108,000 more new voters than the Republican Party since the April primary in the battleground state of Pennsylvania, according to figures released Tuesday.
The latest round of registrations, which closed Oct. 4, left Democrats with nearly 4 million people on the voting rolls, a 7 percent increase. GOP ranks increased by 4 percent to nearly 3.4 million.
The number of registered voters (search) in Pennsylvania stands at a record 8.2 million, a 6 percent increase since April.
Of 437,896 new registrants, 247,207 are Democrats and 138,864 are Republicans, according to unofficial totals from all 67 counties.
The Department of State released the registration figures earlier than usual this year amid intense efforts by both parties to expand their presence in the state. Pennsylvania has 21 electoral votes — the nation's fifth-largest prize.
"Fantastic," said T.J. Rooney, the state Democratic chairman. "It means that the electorate in Pennsylvania, like most areas of the country, is charged. Certainly they've come out in unprecedented numbers to embrace" Sen. John Kerry's (search) candidacy.
Dan Hayward, executive director of the state Republican Party, said he was satisfied with the GOP's progress, noting its voter-registration drive was carried out by volunteers.
"We continue marching forward, building our party," Hayward said.
The fact that people register is no guarantee they will vote. In the elections in 2000, when President Bush (search) was elected, and in 1996, when President Clinton was re-elected, one-third or more of the registered voters did not show up at the polls.