Surge in Women Registering to Vote Could be Deciding Factor in Key 2022 Pennsylvania Races

Abortion-rights advocates demonstrate at City Hall in Philadelphia, Friday, June 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

By Brett Pransky

September 1, 2022

Pennsylvania’s women are outpacing men in new voter registrations by 12 percent since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, with 62% of those women registering as Democrats.

In June, the Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, reversing over 50 years of precedent. Some scholars argue that it was the first time in American history that an individual right has been rescinded after previously being recognized as Constitutional by the Court.

The response, especially among women, was immediate, emotional, and in the months since the decision, motivational.

Voter registrations all over America have surged among women, most notably in Kansas, where women out-registered men by 40 percent in the run-up to a vote on a constitutional amendment to ban abortion in the state. The Republican-led referendum on choice failed badly, losing by 18 points in one of the most conservative states in America.

In Pennsylvania, it appears that the same trend in voter registration is taking place. According to recent data, there is currently a significant gender gap in new registrations, with Pennsylvania’s women outpacing men in new registrations by 12 percent since late June.

And while registrations among women are climbing, the breakdown based on party affiliation is significant as well. Currently, 62% of the women who have registered in Pennsylvania since the overturning of Roe have registered as Democrats. Only 15% registered as Republicans. Also, 54% of Pennsylvania’s new women voters are younger than 25.

While the total number of new registrations is still well below the numbers at this point in 2020, this is common for midterm elections when compared to presidential cycles. Also, new registrations do not always end with new votes being cast, so the number of these new voters who actually go to the polls on election day is yet to be seen.

This trend is also being affected by a clear contrast between major party candidates for the top spots on the ticket. The Democrats are running Attorney General Josh Shapiro for Governor, and Lt. Governor John Fetterman for Senate. Both are vocal supporters of a woman’s right to choose. 

Their Republican opponents for Governor and Senator, state Sen. Doug Mastriano and TV doctor Mehmet Oz, both advocate for a complete abortion ban, though Oz’s views seem to change with the audience.

When election day arrives, it appears that women will play a large role, and in the first major election since Roe fell, women’s rights may be the deciding factor in Pennsylvania.

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