So is there a path to winning the Keystone? As I said before, yes. The secret lies not with the current number of registered voters, where Democrats dwarf Republicans by a cool million, but in the number of citizens of voting age not registered. Finding them and goading them into registering won’t be easy, but they aren’t a rare breed: per current registration figures provided by the Department of State, and the Census estimate of current voting-age population, there are more than 1.6 million such untapped voters residing here. Heck, some of them may have already registered once before, but it lapsed.
Attesting to the sheer power of that Democratic voter drive that started a decade ago, only 14 percent of them reside in Philadelphia or Allegheny County. A clear majority, 62 percent to 38 percent, of this untapped mass resides in counties that went to Romney. I broke down the numbers and converted it into a simple diagram, where the counties have been re-sized (or outright eliminated if they failed to clear even half a percentage point) according to how big a share of the untapped vote they account for…
We cannot assume these voters are natural Republicans just because they reside in friendlier counties (ex: back to Cohn’s 2012 article, Berks County has a sizable Hispanic population now). It also would be silly to say this alone is a slam dunk. There still is much suburban campaigning and door-knocking to be done. Without a serious analysis county-by-county, and tremendous local effort, we can’t know exactly how many are reachable. There could be a million of them, or there could be only 200,000. But that’s just it: we haven’t even bothered to explore this.
In the decade since Bush’s re-election, the Republican Party has been much slower to the registration game, but perhaps there is already a glimmer of hope.