Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel is very encouraged by the number of voters coming out to cast ballots in her party’s primaries thus far.
McDaniel told Fox News on Wednesday that she believes it bodes well for the general election in November, but she cautioned GOP supporters not to become complacent.
She pointed first to Tuesday’s elections in Pennsylvania.
“The thing that we’re taking away from last night is, first of all, Republicans outpaced Democrat turnout by 100,000 votes. That’s the first time we’ve ever beaten the Democrats in 10 years in this type of primary situation,” McDaniel said.
Republican voters cast over 1.3 million ballots to Democrats’ slightly less than 1.2 million.
Both Republicans and Democrats had competitive races to fill the open U.S. Senate seat created by GOP Sen. Pat Toomey’s retirement, so McDaniel sees the turnout as a good measure of voter enthusiasm and engagement.
She also highlighted that Keystone State Republicans have outpaced Democrats in voter registration by 4-to-1 since the 2020 elections.
Reuters reported last month this is part of a trend seen in other states with competitive U.S. Senate races.
“Nowhere is the Republican advance in voter registration more evident than in Pennsylvania, where so far this year Republicans have converted four Democrats for every Republican who has switched to the Democratic Party, according to data published by Pennsylvania’s Department of State,” the news outlet said.
“That’s on track to be the highest conversion rate in at least a decade and well above 2016, when Republicans took the White House, House of Representatives and Senate.”
Kevan Yenerall, a political scientist at Clarion University in Clarion, Pennsylvania, told Reuters, “This is bad news for the Democrats.”
Beyond Pennsylvania, McDaniel noted in Tuesday’s primary elections in North Carolina, there were over 150,000 more Republican voters than Democrats.
McDaniel listed some reasons that likely explain why Republicans are so much more energized for the midterms.
“We know that [President Joe] Biden is underwater in his [approval] numbers,” she said.
“We know that inflation is hurting average Americans. We know that gas prices are hurting people. We know that there is a baby formula shortage that this administration is not addressing,” McDaniel added.
“It seems that every time a crisis comes up, they’re ill-prepared, and that’s why we’re seeing voters look at Republicans and say, ‘Maybe we need to switch leadership in Washington and put Republicans in charge of the Senate and the House in the midterm elections,’” she said.
The GOP leader is cautious about predicting a “red wave” in the fall, pointing out, Republicans only need to have a net gain of five seats in the House to take back that chamber and just one net gain to retake the Senate.
“I don’t want anyone to get complacent,” McDaniel said. “We all need to work hard for every single victory.”