This thesis is about the Republican Party in Philadelphia, but the entire region can teach lessons.
For the first time since 1978, Bucks County, north of the city, has more registered Democrats than Republicans, as reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer today. Montgomery County, too, is a Philadelphia suburb that has seen a rise in Democrats on their rolls despite a sold Republican presence since at least the Ronald Reagan administration in the 1980s.
With Pennsylvania embroiled in a heated Democratic presidential primary, pitting Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y. and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., the party is attracting new voters and finding Independents and even Republicans going Donkey, if only for the chance to weigh in on what may be a decisive primary.
The Democratic edge is small, just 3,000 and a fraction of a point, but the important lesson is how one competitive election can bring about wild rises and falls in voter interests, persuasions and registrations.
Still, Chester and Delaware Counties, other surrounding Philadelphia suburbs, remain largely Republican.