Reader Poll: Who Will Control the State Senate?

PA_State_Senate_districts_by_party_svgThe State Senate has been a Republican stronghold for years, but Democrats believe this could be their year to finally become the majority.

The current composition of the upper chamber gives the GOP a four seat advantage (27 to 23) but with Tom Wolf holding a solid lead in the Governor’s race, his party is hoping his coattails are long enough to drag in the sufficient number of Senators to hand the chamber to the Dems.

To accomplish this, though, the Democrats would have to prevail in a number of closely contested races. As broken down by Thomas Fitzgerald of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the current Democratic plan is to hold two seats in Western PA (which is becoming more conservative) and pick up three seats in Eastern PA (which is becoming more progressive).

This will be a tough task for Democrats, the equivalent of drawing a straight flush in poker. Still, the Dems believe a blue wave led by Wolf would provide enough momentum to pull off just such a feat.

Republicans counter that the incumbency advantage, as well as the tendency for midterm electorates to lean more conservative than presidential electorates, favors the GOP.

So, we ask you our dear readers, which party will control the State Senate after the November elections?

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

View Results

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Reader Poll: There Should Be A Lieutenant Gubernatorial Debate

Cawley-StackAt the moment, three gubernatorial debates are scheduled but there are no such forums for the state’s Lt. Governor nominees.

Our readers feel that should change.

Last week, we asked our readers whether they’d like to see a debate between Lt. Governor Jim Cawley and Democratic nominee, State Senator Mike Stack.

332 readers voted to have a contest between the Lt. Gov candidates while 176 respondents felt there was no need.

The full results are included below:

Should There Be a Lieutenant Gubernatorial Debate?


  • Yes (65%)
  • No (35%)

Total Voters: 508

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Reader Poll: Should There Be a Lieutenant Gubernatorial Debate?

Cawley-StackA candidates’ debate is perhaps the most important yet overrated, overhyped but most-watched, event of any campaign.

Last week, it was revealed that gubernatorial candidates Tom Corbett and Tom Wolf will debate three times in the fall. These will be the only occasions throughout the long horse-race that is a political campaign where both candidates will face off one-on-one.

This got us to thinking about whether in addition to the three gubernatorial debates there should also be a debate between the candidates for Lieutenant Governor, Jim Cawley and Mike Stack.

Much like the Vice President, the Lt. Governor is a second-in-command with little powers who could have to step in at any moment. This begs the question, if the position is so potentially powerful and is included on the gubernatorial ticket, shouldn’t we have the opportunity to see the candidates debate one another?

Vice-Presidential debates have become a tradition and oftentimes are far more enlightening (and entertaining) than their counterparts. Perhaps this would also be the case with a Cawley-Stack encounter.

So, we decided to ask you our readers, should the Lt. Gov candidates hold a debate?

Should There Be a Lieutenant Gubernatorial Debate?


  • Yes (65%)
  • No (35%)

Total Voters: 508

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Reader Poll: Philly Will Host 2016 Democratic National Convention

philadelphiaThe people of the Keystone State are ready to host another political convention.

That’s the conclusion we reached when looking at the results of our latest reader poll.

Last week, reports emerged that Philadelphia was the front-runner to land the convention and a few days later the city’s leading political officials gave the DNC delegation their official tour.

In light of these events, we decided to ask whether you believe Philly will actually land the event.

324 readers, nearly two-thirds, said Philadelphia would win the bid while 180 respondents think that the convention will be held somewhere else.

The full results are included below:

Will Philadelphia Win Their Bid to Host the 2016 Democratic National Convention?


  • Yes (64%)
  • No (36%)

Total Voters: 504

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Reader Poll: Will Philadelphia Land the 2016 Democratic Convention?

philadelphiaIn the quiet “dog days of August”, it has surpassed the Governor’s race and all other electoral contests as the biggest question on PA politicos’ minds.

Will Philadelphia land the quadrennial event that will nominate the Democratic Party’s next candidate for President?

The political leaders of the City of Brotherly Love will take DNC officials on a tour this week to convince them to select Philly. Meanwhile, reports suggest that Philadelphia currently has the inside track in the competition and even the city’s Republican Party supports the effort.

We first examined Philadelphia’s chances a few months ago when the birthplace of the American Revolution was named a finalist.

Of course, a decision remains months away and four other cities are competing to host the event (Birmingham, Alabama; Brooklyn, New York; Columbus, Ohio and Phoenix, Arizona).

In the mean time, we decided to ask you our readers, do you think Philadelphia will win the bid to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention?

Will Philadelphia Win Their Bid to Host the 2016 Democratic National Convention?


  • Yes (64%)
  • No (36%)

Total Voters: 504

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Reader Poll: Toomey Favorite PA Senator

Official PortraitIt seems all those polls and surveys showing Congress at historically low approval ratings apparently don’t apply to Pennsylvania’s two current Senators.

According to our latest reader poll, Senators Toomey and Casey are their favorite representatives from the upper chamber in the modern era.

Pat Toomey took home the prize with 495 votes while Bob Casey finished second with 433.

Among the Keystone State’s ex-Senators, Rick Santorum came out on top with the support of 265 readers while John Heinz pulled in a respectable 238.

Unfortunately for Arlen Specter, it looks like his party-switching left him without a base of support as just 186 respondents chose him.

Finally Harris Wofford, who served the shortest tenure, received the fewest votes, 133 in all.

The full results are included below:

Who is your favorite modern PA Senator?


  • Pat Toomey (28%)
  • Bob Casey (25%)
  • Rick Santorum (15%)
  • John Heinz (14%)
  • Arlen Specter (11%)
  • Harris Wofford (7%)

Total Voters: 1,750

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Reader Poll: Who Is Your Favorite Modern PA Senator?

Us_senate_sealThe Keystone state has had its fair share of notable Senators represent it in Washington, D.C.

We want to find out, though, which of the state’s recent Senators is our readers’ favorite.

Like our recent poll on Governors, we want to find out what you all think of the state’s modern crop of Senators. Unlike that instance, however, we’ll include the current occupants as neither is up for re-election this year.

We start with Senator John Heinz (of ketchup fame), who served from 1977 until his tragic death in a plane crash on April 4, 1991.

Next, Senator Arlen Specter who came into office as part of the Reagan Revolution and left as an Obama Democrat. Along the way he chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee and secured historic levels of cancer research funding.

Harris Wofford had the shortest tenure, filling the remainder of Sen. Heinz’s term from 1991 to 1995. Nevertheless, his public career dates back to his work as a civil rights advisor in the Kennedy Administration.

Rick Santorum was perhaps the most noteworthy Senator in the commonwealth’s recent history. His “social warrior” persona grabbed headlines and powered his 2012 bid for President where he finished in second.

Finally, there are our current Senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey (knowing our readers, no further introduction is necessary).

So, which of these Senators is your own personal favorite?

Who is your favorite modern PA Senator?


  • Pat Toomey (28%)
  • Bob Casey (25%)
  • Rick Santorum (15%)
  • John Heinz (14%)
  • Arlen Specter (11%)
  • Harris Wofford (7%)

Total Voters: 1,750

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Reader Poll: Hillary is the Early Presidential Front-Runner

Hillary-ClintonI guess it shouldn’t have been much of a surprise.

The woman who has been the runaway leader in early 2016 presidential polls won our own reader poll.

The former First Lady, New York Senator and Secretary of State secured 334 votes, about one-third of the total.

Interestingly, “someone else” finished second with 179 votes. This could indicate the desire for someone who hasn’t yet been mentioned (included among our poll’s options).

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, despite protests that she is not running, still came in third with the support of 172 readers. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie also had a decent showing, coming in fourth with 130 respondents.

Among those not so lucky, however, were Kentucky Senator Rand Paul who pulled in 86 readers and Vice President Joe Biden who got 61. Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, who was also the GOP’s 2012 VP nominee, finished last with 41 votes.

The full results are included below:

Who is your preferred 2016 presidential candidate?


  • Hillary Clinton (33%)
  • Someone else (18%)
  • Elizabeth Warren (17%)
  • Chris Christie (13%)
  • Rand Paul (9%)
  • Joe Biden (6%)
  • Paul Ryan (4%)

Total Voters: 1,002

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Reader Poll: For Whom Would You Vote for President in 2016?

white-house-north-2007-djThere’s no getting around it, we’ve reached the dog days of summer and while there is plenty of exciting political activity lying ahead, for now the political currents have come to a notable (if temporary) pause.

Given this reality, we thought it would be fun to venture into everyone’s favorite political parlor game: speculating about the next presidential election. So for this week’s poll we’re asking you, our dear readers, who your preferred prospective 2016 candidate is.

Of course, we must start with Hillary Clinton. While the former Secretary of State says she hasn’t made a decision, she has a large lead and therefore is widely expected to run.

Also on the Democratic side Vice President Joe Biden has made some noise that he may be interested in jumping into the race. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has repeatedly denied interest but should Hillary not run, the progressive populist could reconsider.

Meanwhile, on the Republican side, despite his bridge troubles, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie still seems intent on making a go of it. Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP’s 2012 VP nominee, is also brandishing his credentials with a new series of policy proposals. Finally, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has been expected to carry his father’s mantle of presidential runs since he was first elected four years ago.

Those are just a few of a cavalcade of potential candidates but we want to hear from you. At this moment, who is your preferred presidential candidate?

Who is your preferred 2016 presidential candidate?


  • Hillary Clinton (33%)
  • Someone else (18%)
  • Elizabeth Warren (17%)
  • Chris Christie (13%)
  • Rand Paul (9%)
  • Joe Biden (6%)
  • Paul Ryan (4%)

Total Voters: 1,002

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Reader Poll: Thornburgh Favorite Recent Governor

Dick_ThornburghWell, consider this a late birthday present for former Governor Richard L. Thornburgh.

Our readers voted Gov. Thornburgh as their favorite ex-Governor of the modern era, which we defined as after the 1968 State Constitutional Convention that allowed incumbents to run for a second term.

Thornburgh, who would go on to become Attorney General from 1988 to 1991 during the Reagan and George H.W. Bush presidencies, received 376 votes.

Gov. Ed Rendell came in a close second with the support of 368 readers while Gov. Tom Ridge (who also moved on to a presidential cabinet as the first-ever Secretary of Homeland Security during the George W. Bush Administration) accumulated 337.

Bob Casey Sr. was voted favorite ex-Governor by 242 respondents while poor Gov. Milton Shapp received just 82 votes.

The full results are included below:

Who is your personal favorite former PA Governor?


  • Dick Thornburgh (27%)
  • Ed Rendell (26%)
  • Tom Ridge (24%)
  • Bob Casey Sr. (17%)
  • Milton Shapp (6%)

Total Voters: 1,405

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