Luzerne County Republicans surpassed the statewide turnout percentage in last week’s primary election, while the Democratic turnout fell short, new state estimates show.
Statewide, the unofficial turnout was 19.47 percent for Democrats and 22.8 percent for Republicans.
Luzerne County’s turnout was 15.5 percent on the Democratic side and 23.74 on the Republican.
Political science professors G. Terry Madonna and Thomas Baldino had cautioned that mid-term primary election turnout hinges largely on the number and type of competitive races on each ticket. For example, incumbent Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf faced no primary opposition.
While the statewide Republican turnout was higher, 51,210 more Democrats cast ballots in Pennsylvania.
A total 787,210 of the 4.04 million registered Democrats cast ballots statewide, compared to 736,000 of the 3.227 million registered Republicans, the state estimates show.
There was a different outcome in Luzerne County, where ballots were cast Tuesday by 17,779 Republicans and 16,483 Democrats.
Mirroring the statewide dynamic, the county’s Democratic registration — 106,323 — outnumbers the Republican count of 74,901. However, county Republicans have been increasing as Democrats are losing ground, statistics show.
Luzerne was among 41 counties that fell below the state’s Democratic turnout last week, while 26 counties exceeded that mark.
The highest Democratic turnout — 29.99 percent — was in Juniata. The state election office checked this statistic because it was considerably higher than all others and was informed one candidate generated more voter interest by knocking on 8,000 doors, a state spokesperson said.
Montgomery ranked second in Democratic turnout at 26.92 percent, followed by Lackawanna County, with a turnout of 25.08 percent.
On the Republican side, Luzerne County was one of 45 counties exceeding the state’s turnout.
After Juniata, which had 45.6 percent, was Tioga County, with 32.69 percent.
The state statistics reveal Luzerne County’s place in overall registration.
It ranks 10th in the state among counties with the most registered Democrats and 13th for its Republican count.
Not surprisingly, Philadelphia has the most registered Democrats — 798,647 — followed by Pittsburgh’s Allegheny County, with 538,227.
The ranking after that:
Montgomery, 266,095; Bucks, 191,962; Delaware, 182,763; Chester, 135,800; Berks, 114,223; Westmoreland, 110,962; Lehigh, 110,398; and Luzerne, 106,323.
Chester, Berks, Westmoreland, Lehigh and Luzerne are among the 12 counties categorized as third-class counties, which means they have populations between 210,000 and 499,999.
Philadelphia, Allegheny, Bucks, Delaware and Montgomery are categorized as first or second class due to their larger populations.
Allegheny has the most registered Republicans — 259,174. Montgomery is in second place, with 205,523.
Next in line: Bucks, 183,198; Lancaster, 167,703; Delaware, 162,086; Chester, 151,089; York, 149,414; Philadelphia, 116,884; Westmoreland, 105,531; Berks, 98,907; Cumberland, 85,519; Lehigh, 78,309; and Luzerne, 74,901.
Lancaster, York and Cumberland also are third-class counties.
Reach Jennifer Learn-Andes at 570-991-6388 or on Twitter @TLJenLearnAndes.