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Obama invites Pennsylvanians to join the party: Asks GOP, Independents to register as Democrats

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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-22-08 01:23 PM
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Obama invites Pennsylvanians to join the party: Asks GOP, Independents to register as Democrats
LAT: Obama invites Pennsylvanians to join the party
In an effort to dent Clinton's lead, his campaign is asking Republican and independent voters to register as Democrats.
By Peter Nicholas, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
March 22, 2008

....Obama trails Hillary Rodham Clinton by a large margin in Pennsylvania, site of the next Democratic presidential contest. The state has a large number of the older and blue-collar voters who tend to back Clinton. Even this month's most favorable poll for Obama shows her leading by 11 percentage points. One poll has her ahead by 26.

For Obama to win the April 22 election, or even to keep the race close, he needs to pull off an extraordinary feat: identifying sympathetic independent and Republican voters, and persuading them to register as Democrats. The registration deadline is Monday. With time running out, the Obama campaign is engaged in a house-by-house appeal.

While (Mardi) Harrison and other volunteers often get a cool reception, there are some signs of progress. Statewide, the number of Pennsylvanians switching affiliation to the Democratic Party has boomed, with 57,651 signing up this year through March 14.

There is no way of knowing whether these voters are jumping to the Democratic Party to vote for Obama, but his campaign hopes that is the case. If turnout for the primary is 50%, as some analysts expect, these new converts would account for about 3% of the total vote -- and presumably a larger share of Obama's tally.

And the trend has accelerated. More than 22,000 registered as Democrats during the week of March 10, compared with 7,223 in the entire month of January. "I've never seen numbers like this in one week," said Leslie Amors, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of State....
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