As the 2024 election draws near, Republicans in Pennsylvania are looking to regain ground lost to Democrats two years ago. Former GOP Senate candidate Sean Parnell recently told Breitbart News that Donald Trump is “better positioned” to win the state now than he was in 2020.
The former President has been highly active in Pennsylvania politics since his loss there in 2020, and his supporters have been working hard on voter registration drives to close the gap between Republican and Democratic voters.
This effort appears to be paying off: according to an independent analysis of recent voter data, Republicans have made up nearly 40% of all new registrants since the start of 2021.
It remains unclear if these gains will be enough for Donald Trump or other Republicans running statewide, but it does appear that they are making some headway with their base and many analysts believe that a strong turnout from Trump voters may help Republicans down ballot as well.
Trump’s presence in Pennsylvania over the past few months has certainly given his supporters hope that they can make a comeback next year. He held a rally earlier this month in Erie and is expected to continue campaigning throughout the state ahead of November’s midterm elections. It remains to be seen whether this strategy will succeed, but it seems clear that Republicans are not giving up without a fight.
Breitbart noted: “A Pennsylvania Administration of Voter Registration 2022 Annual Report found that Republicans have increased their voter registration, while Democrats have lost voters.”
The report said:
Since 2018, the number of voters registered as members of the Democratic Party decreased, the number of voters registered as members of the Republican Party increased, and the number of voters who chose to be unaffiliated or registered with a non-major party increased. Voter roll numbers adjusted unevenly across the Commonwealth; the net changes ranged from a registrant increase of 2.76% in Chester County to a registrant decrease of 9.60% in Indiana County.
“The state, technically, by the numbers, is trending more Republican,” Parnell said. “One could make the argument that, Pennsylvania, in 2024, will be more favorable for President Trump than it was in 2020.”
Parnell also noted that the former president has officially backed the Republican National Committee (RNC) “Bank Your Vote” initiative, which encourages GOP voters to cast their ballots early.
In a video, Trump explained: “This must change for us to win in 2024. We may not like the current system, but we need to master the rules and beat the Democrats at their own game, and then we can make our own rules. Republicans must get tougher and fight harder to cast our votes and get our ballots turned in earlier so Democrats can’t rig the polls against us on election day. We cannot let that happen. They rigged the election in 2020—we cannot let that happen in 2024.”
Parnell reemphasized that Trump was “better positioned to win Pennsylvania today than he was in 2020. Don’t lose hope — there is hope.”
Trump won Pennsylvania in 2016 by 44,292 votes out of more than 6,000,000 cast, a difference of 0.72 percent. Now-President Joe Biden won the state by 80,555 votes in 2020.
The survey “found that 48% of respondents in swing states would probably or definitely vote for Trump, compared to just 41% for Biden. Though Biden is narrowly favored overall by likely voters, with 43% favoring him compared to 42% for Trump, the Republican front-runner could win 270 Electoral College votes by seizing the swing states,” the Washington Examiner reported.
Additionally, when considering the challenger Cornel West from the Green Party, Biden’s grip on the overall vote is also not guaranteed. The poll found that West has the potential to attract a substantial portion of Biden’s liberal voters, potentially enough to tilt the majority of the ballot in favor of Trump.
“When taking West into consideration, Biden’s share of the vote drops to 42%, with West taking 4% of the vote. Trump emerges triumphant with 43% of the vote,” the Examiner added. “Trump’s lead in swing states is further solidified when West is involved as well. Trump’s share remains at 48%, while Biden’s drops to 40%.”
West can play a decisive role in the overall outcome of next year’s race if he decides to stay in as a third-party candidate.
“There is always a danger a third-party candidate can impact the Electoral College results, particularly if they receive enough votes in a battleground state or states to change the outcome,” University of Akron (Ohio) political science Prof. David B. Cohen told Newsweek. “In a close election, Cornel West could well be a spoiler.”