A future Democratic House majority would almost assuredly involve Democrats cracking the Republicans’ Keystone State gerrymander, particularly in some Southeastern districts that lie in orbit of Philadelphia. The state’s Sixth, Seventh and Eighth congressional districts are all part of Greater Philadelphia, they all gave President Obama 53% of the vote in 2008 before all narrowly switching to Mitt Romney in 2012, and they are all represented by Republicans in the House. The retirement of one of these members, Rep. Jim Gerlach (R, PA-6), gave Democrats hopes that they could peel off one of these districts. However, candidate recruitment hasn’t gone the way they hoped: National Democrats were hoping that businessman Mike Parrish would be their candidate, but he dropped out last month, leaving physician Manan Trivedi as the likely nominee.Gerlach scored 57% of the vote against Trivedi in both 2010 and 2012, by far the two strongest of his six victories in this swingy seat, which was made more Republican in post-2010 redistricting. Moreover, Republicans feel good about their candidate, Chester County Commissioner Ryan Costello (R). This seat now LEANS REPUBLICAN.
Like Sabato, the NRCC sees Parrish’s withdraw as a good sign for the GOP to hold onto this seat following Gerlach’s retirement.
“It’s pretty clear after last week’s special election in Florida that Democrats’ chances in 2014 are sinking faster than a boat without a hull. It seems like just yesterday that the DCCC was sending out memos touting Mike Parrish’s candidacy and flying Nancy Pelosi in to fundraise for him,” NRCC spokesman Ian Prior told PoliticsPA. “Just a few weeks later, however, Parrish has seen first-hand how difficult it is running straight into the massive headwinds caused by Obamacare. It’s certainly understandable that he would want to jump ship.”