The interesting part of primaries is usually the turnout, which measures the enthusiasm and commitment of voters and, through that, also the effectiveness of party activists.
We usually compare unofficial results right after each election to the corresponding election 4 years earlier, but so much has changed so fast that the 4-year comparison isn’t as meaningful any more as comparing to 2017, a breakthrough year in Dem turnout and success.
Dems comprise 53% of all registered voters in the Borough and slip to 49% only in wards 1 and 5. The registration high point is wards 2E with 72%. The County as a whole is only 39% Dem compared to 43% R and 18% I), but the County D to D+R ratio did increase by .4% in the past year. Chesco Dems are probably in a good period for registrations, though not comparable to 2008. The countywide R lead in registrations (now a bit over 15,000) has been declining slowly since the Dem Obama surge in 2008; but fortunately, our candidates clearly received a good number of R and I votes in the 2016 and 2017 general elections.
Overall the Dem share of D+R registrations in West Chester has risen about 1% in the last year. That makes up for lost ground since the Dem share went down 1% in 2013-17. The D % of D+R reg declined only in precincts 2E (probably reflection Union Station’s continued growth) and 4 (due maybe to large number of I’s, the highest of any precinct at 26%).
WC Dem turnout was 1% less than a year ago. That isn’t surprising, because Dems were extra-ready to act in May 2017, the first election after the surprise of Nov. 2016. Also, 2017 had an exciting the 3-way mayoral primary; and WC D turnout already almost doubled from the 2013 to the 2017 primary. 2018 Dem turnout was down from 2017 by 5% in wards 1 and 2E and by 3% in ward 7, but up slightly (though still low) in wards 5 and 6. As usual, wards 7 and 1 led the way in turnout with 31% and 30%. Overall D turnout of 20% in the Borough, though not intrinsically impressive, was way above R turnout of 12%.
The County Dem turnout increase of 4.4% from 2017 to 2018 is very encouraging. As usual (though not the case in 2017) West Chester Dem turnout was somewhat lower than the County’s, by 3.3%, reflecting our younger and more mobile demography.
Our job now is to hold all our primary voters, and to add a lot more votes, of whatever party, for our candidates in November.
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