One of the most stunning stories in this Presidential election is the massive number of Democrats fleeing the party to register as Republicans largely in part to vote for Donald Trump.

The left-wing press hurled every smear they could at the Republican frontrunner to hamper his bid for the White House, but in key swing states he is attracting large numbers of crossover voters that are gaining him primary victories.

And the latest numbers of party switchers in two key states have Hillary and the Democrats sweating bullets.

In Pennsylvania – a state that’s voted Democrat in every election since 1988 – 46,000 formerly registered Democrats registered as Republicans to vote in the state’s Presidential primary.

Economic anxiety stemming from job losses due to trade and wage stagnation because of illegal immigration are prompting working class voters – many of them former or current Democrats – to crossover and vote for Trump. reports:

…Dr. G. Terry Madonna’s theory that at least some of the 46,000 Democrats-turned-Republican in Pennsylvania belong to a disaffected class that felt overlooked by elected leaders, or at odds with Democratic party ethos.

“With the increase in support in exit polls for Trump among working class, blue-collar Democrats, it is my belief that these are people who fall into that genre,” said Madonna, who is director of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster. 

“The other possibility is that you’re finding some disaffected Democrats who believe the party has moved too far to the left. There are a number of possibilities,” he added.  

A third scenario involves Democrats who have long voted along Republican or conservative lines, but who have only now decided to shed the Democrat label.

Whatever their reasons, some almost certainly have to do with Trump’s meteoric rise from reality television star to new face of the Grand Old Party. His success has been a flashpoint, both culturally and politically, and has left the Republican establishment in an uproar, and the party on the verge of Civil War, it would appear. 

Pennsylvania is a closed primary which means only registered Republicans can participate. The only way for Democrats who are fed up with the party’s leftward lurch to vote in the primary is to re-register as Republicans.

And there is plenty of evidence these newly registered Republicans are strong Donald Trump supporters.

In open primaries, where Democrats and Independents can participate without being registered Republicans, Trump has been victorious.

Trump has won 11 out of 14 open primary or caucus events with two of those losses being Texas, the home state of Senator Ted Cruz, and in Puerto Rico, where no campaign outside of Marco Rubio’s even contested.

Even more unnerving for Democrats is evidence from the key state of Ohio showing Democrats abandoning the party to vote in the Republican Primary – likely for Trump.

CBS News reports:

“Another report that has surfaced found that 1,000 blue-collar Democrats in Ohio’s Mahoning County have switched to being Republicans. A spokesman, however, for the department of state said Ohio won’t have updated statistics on party affiliation changes until after the results come in from the state’s winner-take-all primary on Tuesday.”

The increase in Democrats voting Republican in large numbers to support Donald Trump is one of the key reasons turn-out in the GOP primaries have soared, while Democrat participation plummeted.

On Super Tuesday, Democrat turn-out plunged 32% since 2008.

Republican turnout surged 61% from 2008 and 73% since 2012.

These turnout and party switching numbers are why the 2016 general election is no longer the cake walk Hillary and the Democrats imagined.

Voters are fed up with the failed policies of the last eight years and are looking for a candidate who will upset the establishment.

In this cycle it is fueling the participation in the GOP primaries.

And that could be sign of things to come in the general election.

In 2008, participation in the Democrat primaries lapped that of the Republicans and it was an early warning sign that Barack Obama was bringing new voters into the process that would enthusiastically support him in the fall.

In fact there is already polling data that suggests Hillary faces trouble in a general election matchup with Donald Trump.

Will the turnout in this year’s Republican primary tell the same story in the fall?

Let us know what you think in the comment section below.