5/8 Ups & Downs
Ideological ratings, electoral maps and a negative turn in the Philly mayoral contest. See who made this week’s list!
Philly Mayoral Race. Sure, it wasn’t exactly an inspiring effort before, but this was the week things really started to spiral down in the contest to become the next Mayor of Philadelphia. First, we saw some very half-hearted endorsements from the city’s media. Then Williams hit Kenney with a negative ad that dug up some comments from 1997 to portray Kenney as favoring tough policing tactics. The effort to allude to the events in Baltimore was thinly disguised. Even positive ads by Abraham and Diaz took shots at the two front-runners. Now, Williams and Mayor Nutter are in the midst of an argument over Philly’s Police Commissioner. If it’s been a less than stellar campaign (and we think it’s fair to say it has) then it’s not the fault of the media but of the candidates themselves. They are the ones depending on negativity to drive voters to the polls.
Political Nerds. On a happier note, we got some good news for political nerds this week and if you’re reading this we’re guessing you are, in fact, a political nerd. The new website Crowdpac, which uses data to rate candidates on an ideological spectrum, is tackling Philadelphia’s primary elections. We’ve taken a look at what the results say about the Philly Mayoral race and the State Supreme Court contest. If you’re a numbers junkie, you’ll get a kick out of these ratings.
GOP Hopes of Flipping PA in 2016. The national prognosticators Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball released their first 2016 electoral map, which rated Pennsylvania as “Lean Democratic”. Digging deeper we’re left to wonder if PA is still a “swing state.” Fundamentally, Pennsylvania is an inelastic state with few independent voters. As a result, during presidential elections Democrats barely yet consistently prevail. Republicans have eighteen months to figure how to break this glass ceiling.
Tom Wolf. The Governor wants this summer to be all about his budget. Instead, it is likely going to be all about Kathleen Kane. Despite the obvious problem of pulling away attention from the budget, Gov. Wolf will have to formulate a plan for dealing with the Attorney General. Last we heard from him, the Governor was sticking by Kane. That was a month ago, however, and a lot has happened since then. Our recent reader poll found 71% feel Wolf should call on Kane to step down. While the Governor probably won’t take such a step, he’ll still likely try to find a way to distance himself from the politically toxic Kane.
Kevin Dougherty. With the election less than two weeks away, endorsements are coming in fast and furious. Still, out of all the candidates for all the offices, Kevin Dougherty probably had the best week. The State Supreme Court hopeful started off with the support of Northampton County DA John Morganelli. Then, the SEIU named him as one of their three endorsees (along with David Wecht and Anne Lazarus). Finally, Dougherty got the rare backing of a statewide elected official when Auditor General Eugene DePasquale announced he was backing the Judge. For a guy that already has an influential supporter, we suppose he’s going with a “the more, the merrier” philosophy.
The tweet of the week goes to State Senator Mike Folmer and his prom-themed throwback Thursday photo. We suggest blaming the suit on the trauma of Watergate.
— Senator Mike Folmer (@SenatorFolmer) May 7, 2015
Meanwhile, the Facebook post of the week returns with these gems from City Commissioner Al Schmidt.