What new census data tell us about Pa.’s politics: More influence for Philly and Latinos, and a shrinking white vote

From Jonathan Tamari and Jonathan Lai at the Philadelphia Inquirer: An interesting in-depth analysis of the potential political consequences of demographic changes in Pennsylvania—sadly, behind a firewall.

Two key points beyond the headline:

  • “Philadelphia and suburban Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties added more than 209,000 people in the last decade. That’s a 5.22% increase, while the rest of the state grew just 1.05%.”
  • The five counties around Harrisburg are also growing: “The population in these five counties increased by 107,000, a 6.7% growth that was among the state’s highest.”

One potential implication (not discussed in the article): As political power shifts to relatively wealthy and politically well-organized suburbs, Pennsylvania may begin to join those states, like Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Maine, that tend to see a less radical drop in turnout during midterm elections. “About half of the vote in a Democratic primary now comes from the Philadelphia region”—i.e., from these counties.  This will give those voters “massive influence” in state-wide races, but is also likely to impact voter turnout.

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