SD-26: McGarrigle Endorsed by Operating Engineers Local 542

McGarrigleThe former DelCo council chairman used his last ad “Thanks for Believing” to highlight his staunch advocacy for Pennsylvania’s workers. Now, he is pointing to labor support to prove that same point.

“Our endorsement of Tom McGarrigle is based on performance – thousands of people are employed today because of Tom McGarrigle and County Council’s commitment to fight for these jobs,” said Charles Priscopo, assistant business manager of Operating Engineers Local 542.

“While some unions are supporting Tom’s opponent because of one business manager making a promise to another business manager, our endorsement is based on performance, results and job creation,” Priscopo asserted. “That is why we are pleased to announce our endorsement of Tom McGarrigle today.”

Local 542 represents the interests of working men and women in the building and construction industry in Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware.

“I want to express my sincere thanks for today’s endorsement,” McGarrigle declared in response. “During my time on County Council, there has been no issue that mattered more than protecting jobs in our community.”

“We have been able to work together with business and labor groups to find common ground and ensure that our region continues to be a leader in job growth and economic opportunity,” he continued. “I will bring those same priorities to Harrisburg if I have the opportunity to serve as the State Senator for the 26th District.”

Support from labor is particularly important for McGarrigle because his Democratic opponent is John Kane, the President of the Plumbers Local 690.

SD-26: McGarrigle Emphasizes Belief in Pennsylvania’s Workers in Latest Ad (VIDEO)

 

As Pennsylvania lawmakers fight to combat the slow decline of the fracking and refinery industry since 2012, Tom McGarrigle takes this opportunity to highlight his belief in rebuilding that industry.

His latest ad features local refinery workers and recalls the controversial 2012 ConocoPhillips layoffs.

Andrea Devenney, wife of a local refinery worker, was afraid when the refinery where her husband worked closed and wondered if there would be other jobs. She credits McGarrigle as the driving force behind the refineries’ eventual reopening.

“If I saw Tom McGarrigle today, I would thank him for his believing in the refineries and the families of the refineries and the job opportunities it creates for our community” Devenney said.

In the thirty-second spot, McGarrigle is seen shaking hands with refinery families while a 2012 Daily Times front page boasts that “spirits are high” as refinery workers return to work.

McGarrigle is releasing this ad during a time when many refineries are turning to the Marcellus shale to remain open, despite new claims that the process of harvesting this shale contaminates drinking water.

Nevertheless, since 2012 McGarrigle has exhibited leadership in maintaining his district’s refineries and his efforts have earned him several endorsements in his State Senate race.

McGarrigle is currently running against Democratic nominee, John Kane.

Update: Aren Platt, spokesman for the Kane campaign issued the following response:

Tom McGarrigle knows that there are dozens of political and community leaders who played a bigger hand in keeping the refineries open than he did. But, like a typical politician, he’s taking credit for something he didn’t do to try to win an election. If he wants to go toe to toe with John Kane about who has created more working and middle class jobs, bring it on — as a Business Manager, John Kane has literally created thousands of jobs across the region.

SD-32: Pat Stefano Touts Business Experience in First Ad (VIDEO)

The race in the competitive 32nd State Senate district is heating up.

Yesterday we covered Deb Kula’s debut ad, and now we’re tackling Republican nominee Pat Stefano’s introduction to voters.

“Raised in a working class family, the grandson of a union coalminer, son of public school teachers, Pat Stefano, a husband and father who shares our concerns,” the narrator states.

Stefano, a local businessman from Fayette County, is seeking to connect with voters on the two hot issues of the midterms, the economy and education.

The ad finishes with Stefano himself explaining that he is “not a politician” and that he will “actually get something done” while in Harrisburg.

The State Senate 32nd district is made up of all of Fayette and Somerset counties, as well as a small part of Westmoreland County.

Guest Column: Senate Democrats Poised to Win the Majority

This is shaping up to be a banner year for the Senate Democrats — with Tom Wolf consistently 25 points up in the polls (30 points in the most recent), and the control of the State House so far out of reach, the Senate Democrats are the only game in town for statewide and national Democratic donors and supporters. Combined with last cycle’s successes of picking up three seats, there is a palpable energy and confidence in the Democratic leadership, the campaign committee’s operation, the candidates, and the Senate Democrats’ chances.

Bolstered by the lack of serious races to put the Senate Democrats on defense, plus Wolf’s strength and Corbett’s weakness making him an anchor around the neck of every Republican in Pennsylvania, there is a strong likelihood that this will be the year where the Senate Democrats regain control of the chamber.

Currently, there are 23 Democrats and 27 Republicans in the Senate chamber. Therefore, 26 seats represents a majority, although if one party obtains 25 seats and the Governorship they would gain the majority as the Lt. Governor casts the tie-breaking vote.

Every two-years, half of the Senate comes up for election (the 25 odd-numbered districts run with the President at the top of the ticket, and the 25 even-numbered districts run with the Governor). Since this is a gubernatorial year, all of the even-numbered districts are up for re-election.

As Christopher Nicholas did in his guest column, I will only be looking at the 16 contested Senate races this November, and not discussing the races that are not on the ballot, or the ones where there is no opposition from the other party (for obvious reasons).

Seats that are likely to flip (in order of likelihood)

Note that all three of the Democrats in these races are currently on TV in their districts.

Senate District 26 – Republican Held – Leans Democratic

D – Kane
R – McGarrigle

Analysis: Any way you cut it, this is going to be the biggest race in the legislature. Even though the seat is Republican-held, this is a district that consistently votes five to ten points better for Democrats than the rest of the state does. Additionally, the Delaware County Democrats have made incredible gains over the last several years in registration, organization, fundraising, and candidate recruitment including the State House candidates, which will only help Democrat John Kane as they run strong.

Of course, any race this important, attracts major players and their check books: the Senate Majority Leader Republican Dominic Pileggi will be making the pitch that this seat needs to stay Republican-held or else he will lose his leadership position — a compelling argument to many Southeastern Pennsylvania donors of both parties who are concerned with losing influence to the more rural parts of the state and their decidedly anti-Philadelphia bend. On the Democratic side, this is being viewed as a battle for the heart and soul of Pennsylvania’s suburban working class, bringing out traditional Democratic groups from organized labor to issue-based groups like Planned Parenthood and Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania, who will all be looking to make this their marquee race — it doesn’t hurt that the John Kane is a labor leader in his own right.

Senate District 40 – Republican Held – Tossup

D – Aurand
R – Scavello

Analysis: Democrat Mark Aurand survived a hotly-contested Democratic primary proving that as a newcomer, he has the organization and political smarts needed to win. On his side are the changing demographics of Monroe and Northampton Counties with the influx of New York and New Jersey residents who make up the traditional Democratic base. The Republican, State Rep. Mario Scavello has a strong fundraising base, and has represented large portions of the district for some time. However, Scavello’s support for the transportation bill that raised gas taxes (a big issue when a lot of the district commutes to New York City for work), Corbett’s cuts to education, and standing with Corbett on many other issues will be tough to overcome.

Senate District 6 – Republican Held – Tossup

D – Rose
R – Tomlinson*

Analysis: Democrat Kim Rose came to run for the State Senate by beating the Republican party machine to unseat a popular incumbent Township Supervisor in the very red part of a very blue district. While she has her work cut out for her, once again facing a long-serving Republican in Senator Tommy Tomlinson, this looks to be her year. Tommy Tomlinson has taken a series of unpopular votes, specifically voting for the Corbett education cuts. Perhaps most damning are the votes he took in lock-step with the conservative wing of the Republican party on issues of women’s health (I assume, voting his heart, rather than his deep-blue district). Like Scavello, this race rises or falls on how convincingly Tomlinson is tied to Corbett, and Wolf maintaining his significant lead in the polls.

Seats to watch (in order of likelihood of flipping)

Senate District 44 – Republican Held – Leans Republican

D – Cozzone
R – Rafferty*

Analysis: Democrat Kathi Cozzone is an incredibly popular County Commissioner, and Republican John Rafferty’s transportation bill raised gas taxes on this largely rural district. Rafferty is well-known and well-funded, but his negatives will have to be overcome. Look for spending on the part of the Senate Democrats to try to move the numbers in this district.

Senate District 12 – Republican Held – Leans Republican

D – Damsker
R – Greenleaf*

Analysis: Democrat Ruth Damsker is a popular former County Commissioner and Senator Stewart Greenleaf (like Tomlinson) has taken a lot of votes on women’s health that are out of step with his district. A tough one for Damsker, but likely Greenleaf’s last run, putting Damsker in a great position for a special election win or a victory if Greenleaf doesn’t seek re-election in four years.

Senate District 10 – Republican Held – Leans Republican

D – Cickay
R – McIlhenny*

Analysis: Democrat Steve Cickay was the loyal party guy, putting his name on the ballot when no one else would. However, when a stronger candidate in Shaughnessy Naughton emerged, he decided to stay on the ballot, freezing most major Democratic donors out of the race. There’s still a chance in this Democratic-leaning district, but it’s going to be tough if Cickay doesn’t have money or organization.

Senate District 50 – Republican Held – Safe Republican

D – Muha
R – Brooks

Analysis: Democrat Mike Muha is a pillar of his Mercer County community and working the district hard. Given that this is an open seat, and Wolf is polling so well with the Republican base that makes up a lot of the district, this seat may be the sleeper of the year.

Seats that won’t flip

Senate District 2 – Democratic Held – Safe Democratic

D – Tartaglione*
R – Jenkins

Senate District 4 – Democratic Held – Safe Democratic

D – Haywood
R – Gilchrist

Senate District 32 – Democratic Held – Leans Democratic

D – Kula
R – Stefano

Analysis: Look for the Republicans to spend early to try to move numbers in this district, but success will be unlikely given registration, party performance, and the popularity of Democratic State Rep Deb Kula. Can’t blame them for trying as the conservative Southwestern part of the state looks like the only place for the Republicans to go for pickups while Pennsylvania becomes darker and darker blue. Unfortunately for them, this won’t be their seat.

Senate District 46 – Democratic Held – Safe Democratic

D – Solobay*
R – Bartolotta

Analysis: Democratic Senator Tim Solobay is popular and in a Democratic district. Like in the 32nd District, look for spending out of desperation rather than political analysis from the Republicans who are trying to find a place to gain ground.

Senate District 16 – Republican Held – Leans Republican

D – Felton
R – Browne*

Senate District 22 – Democratic Held – Safe Democratic

D – Blake*
R – Albert

Senate District 24 – Republican Held – Safe Republican

D – Hansen
R – Mensch*

Senate District 28 – Republican Held – Safe Republican

D – Small
R – Wagner*

Analysis: Republican Senator Scott Wagner will likely breeze through re-election but will be interesting to watch as he spends his fortune on Senate races other than his own, including his quixotic endeavor to help Republican Camera Bartolotta against Democratic Senator Tim Solobay in the 46th District.

Senate District 36 – Republican Held – Safe Republican

D – Schreckengost
R – Aument

Conclusion

As Christopher Nicholas pointed out, the Democrats 23 seats take a hit out of the box with the retirement of Democratic Senator Jim Ferlo in the 38th District which merged with Republican Senator Randy Vulakovich’s district, and Vulakovich will be running unopposed — effectively flipping a seat from Democratic to Republican through redistricting.

However, in a year where Governor Corbett will be such an impediment to Republicans, it looks like the top three “Likely to flip” seats flip, taking the Senate Democrats to 25 seats. Of course, this only happens with Tom Wolf winning, but with a Wolf win, the Democratic Lieutenant Governor will seal the Democratic majority in the State Senate with his 51st vote for the Democrats.

As Wolf continues to build his lead in the polls, don’t count out any of the races to watch. This could be an extraordinary year for the Senate Democrats.

Aren Platt is a veteran Democratic consultant, and is the Principal for Cycle Strategy whose clients include several Democratic State Senators and Democratic State Senate candidates including John Kane.

SD-40: Aurand Puts Families First in New Campaign Ad (VIDEO)

Mark Aurand asserts that he is not a politician but rather a husband, dad and small business owner fighting for middle class Pennsylvanians in his first TV ad.

Aurand, however, lets others do most of the talking for him as citizens of the district criticized the Governor and Republican nominee State Rep. Mario Scavello for the recent gas tax.

“Mario Scavello is a rubber stamp for Governor Corbett,” one woman states.

Several people call out Scavello for his vote for the transportation bill which raised the gas tax by 28 cents a gallon, with one man calling it “a punch in the gut.”

“I’ll fight the Scavello/Corbett gas tax and I’ll put working families first again,” Aurand pledges at the thirty-second spot’s conclusion.

The Pennsylvania State 40th District includes voters from Northampton and Monroe counties.

SD-6: Rose Outlines Crisp Agenda in Opening Ad (VIDEO)

Challenger Kim Rose wasted no time linking incumbent Tommy Tomlinson (R-Bucks) to the increasingly unpopular Governor Corbett.

“I’ll vote to reverse the Corbett, Tomlinson billion dollar cuts to education spending,” declares Rose, staying on similar message with fellow Senate hopefuls SD-26 nominee John Kane and SD-32 nominee Deb Kula.

The spot, entitled “I’ll Look Out for You,” seeks to portray Rose as disconnected from Harrisburg while concurrently outlining her agenda.

“[I’ll] make gas companies drilling in the Marcellus Shale pay their fair share, protect a woman’s right to choose…and job creation is priority one,” she states.

This race is certainly one to watch as Democrats seek to gain a majority in the State Senate, where Republicans currently hold a 27-23 advantage.

SD-6 lies in Democratic-leaning Bucks County. Redistricted in 2010, the area gives Dems a 49% to 38% voter registration edge and leans left in statewide and federal races with a Democratic Performance Index (DPI) of 56%.

Tomlinson, 68, has held the seat since 1995. He cruised to re-election by 16 points in 2010 and won by 7 points in the Democratic wave year of 2006.

SD-32: Kula Focuses on Corbett and Education in First Ad (VIDEO)

The 32nd State Senate seat is considered by political observers to be one of the tightest races in the state. Democratic nominee Deb Kula took a major step forward with the release of her first TV ad.

Much like another commercial from SD-26 Democratic nominee John Kane, Kula uses her 30-second spot to go after Gov. Corbett’s education policy, while still remaining positively upbeat throughout.

“As State Senator, I’ll fight to create jobs and reverse Governor Corbett’s billion dollar cuts to education,” Kula states in the ad.

The current Senator representing State Senate’s 32nd district is Rich Kasunic, a Democrat who is retiring after serving since 1995. The retirement of Kasunic opened the race up for Republican candidate Pat Stefano, who has the backing of Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati.

In 2012, the 32nd district voted for Mitt Romney by a wide margin (60% to 40%), while Republican Tom Smith and Democrat Kathleen Kane won around 55% of the votes.

That means the district is considered a major toss up in the November elections.

The State Senate 32nd district is made up of all of Fayette and Somerset counties, as well as a small part of Westmoreland County. Both Kula and Stefano are from Fayette County, a longtime Democratic voting area.

Kula is currently a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and has served in the 52nd district since 2006. Stefano is a local small businessman.

SD-26: Kane Makes First Ad a Family Affair (VIDEO)

One of the commonwealth’s most highly contested State Senate races saw its first TV spot unveiled today.

Taking a page from Tom Wolf’s playbook, Democratic nominee John Kane featured his family in his first TV ad.

The commercial, titled “Homework”, features each of Kane’s four kids, who range in age from 22 to 14, as well as his wife Lori.

In addition to introducing the candidate to voters, the spot also seeks to highlight Kane’s opposition to Governor Corbett.

“I’d put back the the billion dollars Corbett cut from education and make sure corporations and natural gas drillers pay their fair share,” Kane pledges.

“I am incredibly proud of this ad, and so happy that my family was able to join me in making it” the candidate states in an accompanying press release. “As I cross the district, knocking on doors and talking to voters, I hear over and over again that people are angry that their schools are not getting the funding they need and their property taxes are going up, while corporations and shale drillers are getting sweetheart deals.”

The State Senate’s 26th district contains parts of Chester and Delaware counties. Kane is the President of the Plumbers Local 690 and is running against Republican nominee Tom McGarrigle.

Update: Virginia Davis of the McGarrigle campaign issued the following statement:

John Kane is a Johnny-come-lately joining the severance tax bandwagon months after Tom McGarrigle and others announced their support. Kane talks a good game about what he’ll do as a state senator, but Tom McGarrigle is the only candidate in this race with a record of making a difference for our community. Under Tom’s leadership on County Council, every school in Delaware County got panic buttons to quickly contact law enforcement in case of an emergency. And Tom’s 4% severance tax on natural gas drillers would result in more than $1.6 billion in additional education funding over the next two years.

Guest Column: GOP Control of State Senate Likely

Democratic State Senate Leader Jay Costa declared in a recent Post-Gazette article that his party was “on the cusp” of taking back control there. Could that happen in November? Potentially, perhaps — but it’s not likely.  Hamstrung by poor candidate recruitment which has begat even poorer campaign fundraising, it’s clear that Democrats, who picked up three Senate seats in 2012, will be hard pressed not to actually lose ground this fall — a net gain by the Senate GOP is actually the likeliest scenario today.

A district by district review shows that State Senate Democrats are not close to taking control of that Chamber in November, which the GOP now holds with a 27-23 margin.

Starting Gate:

Looking at the 25 odd-numbered Senate seats which are not up this year plus those Senators who are on the ballot this fall but unopposed produces a 17-17 R/D split between the two parties.  Note that the GOP has already picked up the 38th District – Sens. Vulakovich (R) and Ferlo (D) were put together there in redistricting but then Ferlo decided to retire.  The Democrats, inexplicably, could not field a candidate though 50% of the District’s voters are Democrats.

Of the remaining 16 contested state Senate races on the November ballot, our analysis shows Republicans are favored in eight and the Democrats in three; meanwhile there are two GOP leaning districts and one Democrat leaning district – which together makes it 27-21 R/D, with two toss-ups.  Below is a detailed look at these 16 seats.

Republican Favored: 6th, 10th, 12th, 16th, 24th, and 44th in greater Southeast Pa. and the 28th & 36th in central Pa.

Nowhere is the Senate Democrat’s poor recruiting job more evident than in greater southeastern Pennsylvania, where the recent electoral trends should provide them with favorable headwinds. In the two districts in Bucks County – the 6th and the 10th, along with the 12th that straddles the Bucks/Montgomery County line — Republican incumbents Tommy Tomlinson, Chuck McIlhinney and Stu Greenleaf respectively have more than $500,000 combined in their campaign treasuries.  Their Democratic opponents have about $26,000 combined cash on hand (CoH). (All the campaign fundraising numbers mentioned here come from the candidates’ most recent filings in mid-June with the Sec. of State’s office.)

Sen. Costa stated that Senate Democrats would benefit from Democratic gubernatorial nominee Tom Wolf’s strength at the top of the ticket, boasting that their efforts are “tied at the hip.”  But remember that in 2006 those GOP incumbents all managed to win even though the very popular Ed Rendell – in a terrific year for Democrats across the country – secured those districts by landslide proportions: 75%, 67% and 69% respectively. Even if Wolf carries these districts in November, no one (not even Sen. Costa) can think Wolf will recreate Rendell’s margins there.  These three Republican incumbents are battle-tested and have an overwhelming fundraising edge, not to mention that costly TV/radio rates in the Philadelphia media market make it harder for challengers to “buy” name ID.  Polls in the 6th and 10th put both GOP incumbents comfortably ahead.  Plus, none of these districts changed very much in redistricting, so the Republican incumbents don’t need to introduce themselves to new voters.

Emblematic of the Democrat recruiting woes here, the Democrat nominee in the 10th District, political neophyte Steve Cickay, made headlines in the Philadelphia Inquirer recently – but only because Rendell, Sen. Anthony Williams and other Democratic leaders publicly said they wanted to dump him and swap in another candidate. Rendell recently endorsed Cickay, however half-heartedly.

In Lehigh County’s 16th District – the second most Democratic district held by a Republican – popular GOP incumbent Pat Browne has $313,000 CoH while his opponent, Walter Felton, has less than $500.  And incredibly, Felton just became the new Democratic Party Chairman in Lehigh County which means he’ll have even less time to spend on his own campaign.

In the 44th District Republican incumbent John Rafferty has more than 4 times the CoH of his opponent, Chester County Democratic Commissioner Kathi Cozzone. And the GOP incumbent in the 24th District, Bob Mensch, didn’t have an opponent until local Democrats put together a write-in effort.  Both districts sport a GOP registration advantage.

The two central Pennsylvania districts – the 28th in York County and the 36th in Lancaster County — are overwhelmingly Republican and will not be seriously contested by the Democrats.

Democratic favored: 2nd & 4th districts in Philadelphia and the 22nd in Northeast Pa.

Incumbent 2nd District Democrat Christine Tartaglione survived a spirited primary challenge while her neighbor, indicted incumbent Leanna Washington, lost her primary in the 4th District.  Nevertheless, both districts are overwhelmingly Democratic and will remain that way.  Likewise, 22nd District incumbent John Blake from Scranton will easily win re-election to his seat, home to nearly 60,000 more Democrats than Republicans.

Republican Leaning: 40th District in Poconos and the 50th in northwest Pa.

During redistricting the 40th District was moved from Allegheny County to Monroe and Northampton counties, where long-time GOP House member Mario Scavello is favored to win.  Monroe County is a difficult place to campaign – especially for challengers — as many people live in gated communities and the north Jersey/NYC expats who moved there read the Bergen Record of New Jersey as often as they do the local Pocono Record…so it’s harder for an unknown candidate to get noticed there.  Plus the district is split between the Philadelphia, Scranton and NYC media markets which puts more strain on a candidate’s budget.  All this augurs poorly for Democratic activist/attorney Mark Aurand, who surprised observers and bested two more establishment Democrats in their May primary.  The well-known Scavello has 200 times more CoH now than Aurand.

The 50th District, in the “great northwest” as the folks there like to say, is a battle for the open seat of the retiring Republican incumbent Bob Robbins. Both Robbins, and his GOP predecessor, Roy Wilt, have endorsed four-term GOP State Rep. Michele Brooks, who now holds the same State House seat that Robbins did before he ascended to the Senate in 1990.  Brooks has nearly $75,000 CoH while her Democratic opponent, attorney Michael Muha, has less than $500.

Democratic Leaning: 46th District in far southwestern Pa.

First-term incumbent Democrat Tim Solobay represents the 46th District which is dominated by Washington and Greene counties.  His 53% win in 2010 gives him the distinction of being the Democrat with the closest winning margin that year.  Registration there favors the Democrats but like much of the region its people are voting more and more Republican – both counties went strongly for Mitt Romney in 2012.  Solobay has not made many enemies in Harrisburg and is outpacing his GOP opponent, Washington County businesswoman Camera Bartolotta, in fundraising; both parties look to be focusing their efforts in other districts.

Toss-Ups: Open seats in 26th District in Delaware & Chester counties; 32nd District which contains all of Fayette & Somerset counties and several towns in Westmoreland County

Both districts offer great opportunities to the party that does not currently hold the seat. The 26th, being vacated by GOP incumbent Ted Erickson, has a Republican registration edge but its people have been voting more Democratic in the past 10 years at the national and state-wide level.  Though the race is a toss-up, it’s clearly the Democrat’s best hopes for a take-away this year, as they believe local Plumber’s union business manager John Kane can wrest this seat away from the GOP by beating Delaware County Councilman and small business owner Tom McGarrigle.

Both McGarrigle and Kane are well funded and together have already raised more than one million dollars –this will be the most expensive senate race in the state. Republican Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, who represents the neighboring 9th District, is heavily invested in this race, just as many regional and state unions are on board with Kane (though McGarrigle did just snag the AFSCME endorsement). The local GOP is better funded and has a superior organization to call on, but to win McGarrigle will almost certainly need to run ahead of the top of the ticket.

Meanwhile, on the other end of the state, the 32nd District, being vacated by the retiring Democratic incumbent Rich Kasunic, represents the Senate Republican’s best chance at a take-away.  Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnatti is heavily invested in this race, and is strongly backing the Republican, small business owner Pat Stefano, who owns and operates his family’s third-generation printing company.  Stefano squares off against Democratic State Rep. Deb Kula.  Both candidates hail from Fayette County, long a Democratic bastion. The 32nd District is a reverse mirror image of the 26th in that it holds a Democratic registration edge but Mitt Romney won its two main counties in 2012, Fayette and Somerset.  This seat sits partially in the Pittsburgh TV market and also in the Johnstown-Altoona market, which will drive up the cost of campaigning.

To summarize, the Senate currently sits at 27-23 in favor of the GOP.  Though campaigns are unpredictable and there’s still lots of politicking still left, looking at the key 2014 races it appears that the Republican advantage brings it to 27 seats while the Democrats are at 21, with two toss up races. If the Democrats win both they will only be back to where they are now, but if the GOP can win either or both of the toss-ups, they can get back to what has been their more “normal” majority of 29.

Christopher Nicholas, a veteran GOP consultant, is the Political Director at the Pa. Business Council, home to PEG PAC, the state’s oldest pro-business political action committee.

Reader Poll: Republicans Will Hold State Senate

Harrisburg-Capitol-steps2The Republican Party will maintain their longstanding majority in the Pennsylvania State Senate.

That is the belief, at least, of our readers after we laid out the plan for Democrats to flip the chamber. The current partisan breakdown is 27 Republicans to 23 Democrats.

558 readers believe that the GOP will stay in the majority.

Meanwhile, just 356 respondents chose the Democrats to take the two or three seats (depending on whether Wolf-Stack wins and breaks a tie) necessary to control the Senate.

The full results are included below:

Which Party Will Control the State Senate After the November Elections?


  • Republicans (61%)
  • Democrats (39%)

Total Voters: 914

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