How did West Chester Dems do in the 2018 primary election?

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.

Primary election turnout May 2017

Dem voters in the Borough turned out on May 16 at a 20% rate. Sure, we’d like 100%, but 20% is the highest anyone can recall for an “off-year” primary election.

The trend began by 2013, when D turnout increased 5% over 2011. In 2015, D turnout gained 48% over 2013. And in 2017, about 400 more Dems voted than in 2015, a 31% increase over 2015 compared to a 13% R increase.

As a result, in 2017 almost twice as many D’s voted in 2017 as in 2013, for an increase of 94% compared to 9% for R’s. The largest % Dem increases were in wards 2E and 4, the lowest in 5 and 6.

Now our task is to hold all our primary voters, and to add a lot more for the November vote!

Why Democrats need to vote in the Democratic Primary

from CCDC:

When? Tuesday, May 20th 7a.m. – 8 p.m.

Where? At the polling place for your precinct. If not sure, look it up here.

What’s a Primary Election?
Each spring, we choose candidates to represent our party on the November ballot. Only Democrats can vote in a PA Democratic primary. That means Democrats alone decide who our candidates are. A party candidate who loses the primary cannot suddenly switch gears and run as an Independent.

The May 20 election also elects, for 4 years, members of the Democratic State Committee (who convene statewide three times a year) and Chester County Democratic Committee (the two committeepersons in your precinct). These people help set and carry out party policy. It’s important you hep choose them!

We saw in 2008 what a big deal the primary election was for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton… and the country. Some people thought the long-drawn-out presidential primary would divide Democrats and cause them to lose in November. But Obama won enough of the state primaries to win the endorsement and then the presidency by a large margin. The 2014 gubernatorial race will follow the same pattern!

For info on all Dem candidates in the 2014 primary, see here.

For info on voting, see here.

Why you should vote:

• Every vote counts; some local elections have been decided by just one vote

• If we aren’t all part of public life, others will decide in our name

• Those who don’t vote don’t have standing to complain about the results

• “Democracy: It’s what we do, not what we have”

If you are voting for the first time in your precinct, take ID (preferably with photo).

Otherwise, you won’t be asked for ID: at the end of April, the Commonwealth Court definitively blocked Republican attempts to make voting harder for Pennsylvanians.