What Happened in Pennsylvania This Week?

This week, Pennsylvania saw five interesting outcomes in the Tuesday primary. (I apologize for having taken so long to get to this….sometimes the week is just crushingly busy.) So here goes.

Starting with the top position: Mitt Romney received 464,765 votes. Barack Obama received 610,401. Obama was a scunch away from beating Mittens and Spawn combined. Full results here.  While certain county results show challenges, it's early, there's time, and in the aggregate, it's good.

Next, the Senate races. Again, the Democrat, in this case Bob Casey with 80% of the primary vote, garned more votes then the top two vote getters on the Republican side. Tom Smith (who was a Democrat for 40+ years until switching sides last year) won, Sam Rohrer came in second, and Tom Corbett's pet Steve Welch came in third. The foregone conclusion is that Silent Bob will win easily in November, and he likely will. He will do so, however, without the votes of a lot of informed, progressive, line Democrats. 

The AG race went to Kathleen Kane 53/47 over Patrick Murphy. This would seem surprising on its face, but she spent a lot of money on very negative ads, and money talks. If she can spend at that level for the general, she may well end up being Pennsylvania's first woman, and first Democratic, AG since elections for that position started 30 years ago. In addition to the $2.25 million her family pumped into the race, she had the support of Bill Clinton, and we'll need to see how that plays out in the general. It played in one other race, too.

In the 12th CD, Mark Critz beat Jason Altmire. Critz took John Murtha's seat after Murtha passed away, and the run-off primary of two Democrats was due to redistricting. Critz had Clinton support, as well as the well-placed Murtha machine. The money in the race was about a million on each side, with about half coming from PACs. Another major reason Critz won was due to Altmire's Blue Dog vote against the ACA: Democrats like health care. 

Finally, there's the 17th, where long-term incumbent Tim Holden lost to Matt Cartwright. This is Matt's first real election. He's run as a delegate to the national convention before (and won) but he's never held elective office. He won because the redistricting process made Holden's district more Democratic, and Tim is far to the right of Matt. The Democrats of the 17th chose an actual Democrat over someone whose views could win over Republicans. NICE!


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