Hey, for all of you looking for clues about who will win the Scranton mayor race tomorrow, here’s something to keep in mind.
In 2013, Republican lawyer Jim Mulligan campaigned for only three months and lost to Democratic Tax Collector Bill Courtright by 1,553 votes out 16,090 cast for mayor.
He’s made the argument for a while now that he’s had more time to campaign and he sure has gotten around the city in a way he couldn’t four years ago.
He also has another advantage thanks to President Donald Trump and the regular purges of inactive voters from voter rolls that follow federal elections.
The number of Democrats in Scranton dropped sharply since the November 2013 when voters elected Courtright to his first term. Democrats had 32,748 registered voters then, only 29,227 for this election, a decline of 3,521.
Republicans lost voters, too, but nowhere near as many. Scranton had 9,901 Republicans in 2013 compared to 9,755 for this election, or only 146 fewer.
Overall, Scranton had 47,645 voters four years ago and only 43,797 to this election, a decline of 3,848. Clearly, Democrats took the biggest hit.
Simple math says if you need about 1,500 more votes to win and your opponents’ party lost 3,500 between elections, that helps you.
Some Democrats got knocked out of voting because of purges, but a lot switched parties because of Trump.
A word of advice about taking this trend too far: Scranton still has three times as many Democrats as Republicans.
To win, Mulligan still needs Republicans to turn out in big numbers and a good share of Democratic votes.