Guest post by the Market Research Foundation
Pennsylvania was by far one of the most contentious battleground states in the 2020 election, but new analysis shows even in Philadelphia Democrats are only treading water.
In 2020, both Democrat and anti-Trump groups dumped millions into Philadelphia and surrounding suburbs, with roving food vans that would extract votes out of people in exchange for a meal, or the use of “street money” to incentivize election-day door knockers to push people to the polls.
Despite these borderline-bribery efforts to drag people out to vote against Trump in 2020, Democrats gained less than 20,000 votes in Philly compared to 2016 numbers.
As shown below, Clinton won 584,025 votes in Philly in 2016, and Biden and the Democrats’ slate of tactics netted them just 19,765 extra votes.
Trump, meanwhile, was able to increase his raw number of votes in Philly compared to 2016 by almost 24,000 without the powerful Democratic apparatus employing every trick in the book to stop him.
The lengths to which Democrats had to go to maintain power in Philly reveal a party desperate to keep control, but they are barely holding on. Each presidential election year like clockwork, Democrats have employed a variety of tactics to add new voters, only to see a dramatic drop-off the following year.
For instance, the drop off in registered Democrats between 2020 and 2021 was over 54,000 voters, while the drop off between 2016 and 2017 was over 57,000. Below are registered Republicans and Democrats during election years and off years, showing the vast drop-off in years following a presidential election.
Interestingly, Democrats’ aggressive vote-buying tactics appear to work much better in Governor’s races than they do when trying to detract votes from Trump. Or put another way, using Trump to scare voters may actually backfire.
While Biden and the Democrats in 2020 netted less than 20,000 new votes between 2016 and 2020 in Philly, Democratic governor Tom Wolf picked up over 157,000 votes between 2014 and 2018.
In 2014 Wolf won 326,646 votes while GOP candidate Tom Corbett got 44,393, and in 2018 Wolf won 484,124 votes or an additional 157,478 votes compared to 2014. GOP candidate Scott Wagner also added votes, winning 64,514 votes in 2018 or an extra 20,131 votes.
What this can tell us is that Democrats’ aggressive tactics to beat Trump in 2020 earned them a spectacularly tiny reward compared to what their tactics for Wolf in the 2018 Governor’s race earned them. Despite their best efforts, Democrats couldn’t even muster up a fraction of new Biden voters compared to what Wolf mustered.
This bodes badly for presumptive Democratic nominee for Governor Josh Shapiro who is already focusing his campaign rhetoric on the January 6th “insurrection” and Trump. If a Trumpish GOP candidate makes it through the primaries to challenge Shapiro, Democrats will need every trick in the book.
Market Research Foundation combines big data and predictive analytics with grassroots contact methods to provide citizens with highly targeted, relevant information to make informed civic decisions.
Cross-posted with The Daily Torch
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