For the first time in recent history, Montgomery County is Democratic.

As of yesterday afternoon, the suburban county's voter-registration figures included 179 more Democrats than Republicans.

Although a surge in voter registrations for the April 22 presidential primary proved the tipping point, officials pointed to a 10-year rising Democratic tide in a county where Republican voters once outnumbered Democrats 2-1. Now, the Democrats have 240,232 names on county voter rolls to the Republicans' 240,053.

"No question, there was a lot of excitement for this primary, but this was the culmination of a lot of work," said Marcel Groen, chairman of the Montgomery County Democratic Committee.

"It's wonderful, and we're going to enjoy the weekend," he added by phone from the Phillies game in Cincinnati.

Republican chairman Kenneth E. Davis did not return a call.

The county's Republican deficit is likely to get wider in the near future.

Joseph Passarella, director of the Office of Voter Services, said his employees had been working overtime for days trying to catch up to the surge in new voter registrations and party-affiliation changes filed in advance of the April 22 primary. They still have about 10,000 forms left to enter, and the results are trending bluer.

"Most of them have been change of parties to Democrat and new Democratic voter registrations," Passarella said.