Pennsylvania’s elections bureau show more than 214,000 registered voters switched parties. The Morning Call reports on two counties they’ve been tracking:
Those trends held true in Lehigh and Northampton counties, where party-switchers favored the Republican Party roughly by a two-to-one margin, according to state data.
So far this year, 1,862 Lehigh County Democrats have switched to the Republican Party, while 727 Republicans became Democrats.
In Northampton County, the trend was even more pronounced, with 2,247 Democrats becoming Republicans and 783 switching from the GOP to the Democratic Party.
While some of the Republican gains might have to do with Democratic Party voters feeling abandoned by their party, most of it probably relates to Donald Trump’s candidacy, said Bill Heydt, chairman of the Lehigh County Republican Party.
“I think it is more love than hate going on,” Heydt said. “You know, Trump asks questions people want to hear, and nobody has been asking them or answering them either. I think it has opened a whole new window for people who are tired of the status quo.”