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Voter party switching sows primary intrigue in Pennsylvania

MARC LEVY, Associated Press

HARRISBURG — Voters are switching their affiliation in Pennsylvania at a rate not seen in years, if ever.

Franklin and Marshall College pollster Terry Madonna says he believes the rate of party switching is a modern record in Pennsylvania. File photo

The latest statistics this week from Pennsylvania’s elections bureau show that approximately 245,000 registered voters have switched this year. That amounts to 3 percent of all voters in the state.

This year is the first year it can be done online. Many switchers reported wanting to vote in Pennsylvania’s April 26 primary election, and switching accelerated in the weeks before Monday’s deadline.

Franklin and Marshall College pollster Terry Madonna says he believes the rate of party switching is a modern record in Pennsylvania. But he also says it’s hard to tell which presidential candidate the vote switching will benefit the most.

About half of the switchers became Republicans, one-third became Democrats and the rest joined a minor party or became unaffiliated.