With former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden clinching their respective party’s presidential nominations, what will the repeat race mean to the Delaware Valley?

How will it affect other races, including the marquee U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Sen. Bob Casey and Republican Dave McCormick? And down-ballot contests?

Bucks County is seeing gains in Republican voter registration, while the other counties—Delaware, Chester, and Montgomery—are trending Democratic.

In February 2022, Democrats had an advantage of 9,289 voter registrations in Bucks County. Today, that lead has been narrowed to 2,145, said Scott Presler, a voter registration activist.

“In a quintessential swing county, like Bucks, this is huge news,” said Presler. “My organization, Early Vote Action, has volunteers from across the country writing letters into Bucks to continue this voter registration trend to the right. We’re also focused on Centre and Luzerne counties.”

Bucks County GOP Chair Pat Poprik said, “After four years of President Biden and the Democrats’ failed policies, voters have had enough of high gas prices, the rising cost of living, and a border crisis that’s worsening by the day.

“We have seen it on the ground, and the positive trend in voter registration towards the Republican Party in Bucks County demonstrates the grassroots energy building for a much-needed change in our country’s direction. Republican voters are energized. Independents and even some Democrats are also seeing that the state of the country was better under President Trump. In every sense, on the issues that matter most to working families, the Biden administration has simply been a failure.”

Temple University political science Professor Robin Kolodny believes the Senate race will be a significant factor in the presidential race in Pennsylvania.

“In 2024, we will have both a closely contested presidential race and a U.S. Senate race,” Kolodny said. “The Senate race is key to determining which party controls the chamber. Demographic trends suggest Democrats will have a slight advantage statewide and probably a bit more in the Delaware Valley. President Biden praised Sen. Casey’s bill in his State of the Union Address. I think the Biden-Casey campaigns will probably work together a bit more easily than the McCormick-Trump campaigns, but it’s too early to know for sure.”

A new Emerson College/The Hill poll shows Trump is leading among Pennsylvania voters by 47 percent, with Biden at 43 percent. However, 10 percent are undecided. When voters were asked which candidate they leaned toward, Trump’s support increased to 52 percent and Biden’s to 48 percent.

The same poll shows Casey at 45 percent, McCormick at 41 percent, and 14 percent undecided.

Former Chester Chamber president and Commonwealth Foundation Senior Fellow Guy Ciarrocchi noted, “The State of the Union address changed nothing. The battle for Pennsylvania will be very close: We saw it in 2016 and 2020–less than 2 percent. Any slight movement could tip the balance—and the presidency. The priorities of suburban voters will help pick the winner—and we likely won’t know until this fall, with their last mood swing.”

In 2016, when Trump beat Hillary Clinton narrowly winning Pennsylvania, Bucks County voted for Clinton 48.52 percent and Trump 47.74 percent. In Chester County, Clinton received 52.71 percent, and Trump got 43.20 percent. In Delaware County, Clinton scored 59.6 percent, and Trump eked out 37.18 percent. Clinton earned 58.91 percent in Montgomery County, while Trump had 37.44 percent of the vote.

In 2020, when Biden bested Trump, Bucks County voted for Biden at 51.66 percent and Trump at 40.88 percent. Chester County had Biden at 57.99 percent and Trump at 40.88 percent. In Delaware County, 62.95 percent voted for Biden, while  36.15 percent voted for Trump. Biden garnered 62.6 percent in Montgomery County, compared to Trump’s 47.29 percent.

Colleen Guiney, Delaware County Democratic Committee chair, praised Biden’s State of the Union speech and said she believes area voters will stick with the president.

“We have a choice between ‘Honesty, decency, dignity, (and) equality.’ or ‘resentment, revenge, and retribution.’ I am confident that Delaware County will choose the former,” Guiney said.

Frank Agovino, the Delaware County Republican chairman, said, “In my mind, the 2024 rematch of Biden vs. Trump will be more beneficial for Republicans in Delco. The combination of a nostalgic feeling of the strong Trump economy and a world not at war versus the Biden administration that has made us weaker through an agenda of mixed-up priorities at home and abroad will result in a record turnout.

“Additionally, elevated crime and the rising cost of everyday necessities such as food and gas have hit everyone hard, but most especially the largely African American communities such as Upper Darby and Darby Townships. It feels like there is real buyers’ remorse, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Trump pull 25 percent in these areas, which would be a stark improvement from 2016.”

And Chester County Democrat Committee Chair Charlotte Valyo said,  “The strong State of the Union speech by President Biden leaves no doubt that he is fit and capable to lead for four more years. The contrast between his administration and the one he followed could not be more clear. The voters in the collar counties will continue to support President Biden as they did in 2020. President Biden has demonstrated that he can achieve bipartisan legislation.”

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