Control of the State House At Stake

A view of the PA State Capitol

Control.

Got my own mindI want to make my own decisionsWhen it has to do with my life, my lifeI wanna be the one in control

– Janet Jackson

For the first time since 2010, Democrats in the Pennsylvania State House see an opportunity to become the majority party after the outcome of Tuesday’s general election.

Democrats and Republicans are tied 100-100 in the 203-person chamber with three races yet to be called. Of those three outstanding contests, Dems lead in two of the three of the races. The magic number to become the majority party is 102.

Why It Matters: SD 106 – the bill that states that there is no constitutional right to taxpayer-funded abortion or other right relating to abortion among other items – must be passed by two consecutive sessions of the General Assembly before it can be placed on the ballot as a Constitutional question for voters. It passed last summer and, if adopted again in the early months of the new session, would appear on the May 2023 primary ballot. A Democratic majority in the House could jeopardize that schedule.

What We’re Watching.

The last time that Democrats held a majority in the PA House was 2010. Republicans have controlled both chambers in Harrisburg since 2011, and the state Senate has been majority-Republican since 1994.

These races have not been “called” or projected to have a winner, according to the New York Times.

🔵 Democrats: 100

🔴 Republicans: 100

Thursday Morning Projections

🔴 HD7: Republican Parke Wentling is the projected winner over Democratic challenger Tim McGonigle in this Mercer County race. He has an 872-vote lead.

🔴 HD18: GOP incumbent Rep. K.C. Tomlinson is the projected winner over Democratic challenger Laurie Smith with a 1,145 vote advantage in this Lower Bucks seat that Joe Biden won by 5% in 2020. 

🔴 HD137: Incumbent Republican Joe Emrick is the projected winner over Dem opponent Anna Thomas with a 766-vote lead in Northampton County. Emrick has been serving this district since 2010. 

 🔴 HD160: Incumbent Republican Craig Williams is the projected winner over Democratic challenger Cathy Spahr as he leads by 2,407 votes in this Chester/Delaware County district.

🔵 HD172: Democratic Rep. Kevin Boyle is the projected winner over Republican challenger Al Taubenberger with a lead of 2,026 votes.

Still Up For Grabs

🔵 HD142: In a fascinating Bucks County race, Democrat Mark Moffa has a two-vote (yes, you read that correctly) edge over Republican newcomer Joseph Hogan. The county results website states that in-person, absentee and mail-in ballots are partially reported. Bucks County received 87,959 absentee and mail-in ballots and counted 85,572 in the Senate race. Incumbent Frank Farry (R) did not seek re-election. Joe Biden won the district by 2% in 2020. 

🔵 HD144: In a central Bucks battleground, incumbent Republican Rep. Todd Polinchock trails by 406 votes to Dem opponent Brian Munroe. Polinchock has been serving this district since 2018. Joe Biden narrowly won the district by 3% in 2020. The county results website states that in-person, absentee and mail-in ballots are partially reported. Bucks County received 87,959 absentee and mail-in ballots and counted 85,572 in the Senate race. 

🔴 HD151: Incumbent Republican Todd Stephens holds a 26-vote lead – which translates to .08% –  over Democratic challenger, Melissa Cerrato in this Montgomery County nailbiter. Montgomery County received a total of 118,224 mail-in and absentee ballots by 8pm on Election Day and has 4,331 pending. Stephens has been serving this district since 2010. In 2020, Joe Biden won the district in a landslide by 25%. 

It is worth noting that many mail voters who were unsure that their ballot would be counted due to the controversy over undated ballots may have cast provisional ballots. From previous experience, it takes approximately one minute to properly review each provisiona100

12 Responses

  1. This is a prime example of how the Bucks County Republican Committee Chairperson Pat Poprik has destroyed the party. Harry Fawkes had an army he could count on for GOTV efforts. His committee would volunteer long hours and jump thru hoops to get their candidates across.
    Poprik has destroyed that.
    Patronage has been isolated to a few controllable people who now have no influence. The entire board needs to change, from the “mayor” to the vice chair, to the chair. They have run the party into the ground and Harry & Mary Fawkes are rolling over in his West Bristol grave.

  2. Polinchcok conceded this afternoon. Dems lead 101-100.
    151 not likely to stay Red, with the trend in Montco mailins going so blue.

  3. Yea. Just let people pull out a piece of notebook paper, stick it in the mailbox and let them count it.
    Who needs rules or guidelines? People are so stupid they can’t possibly figure out how to date and sign envelopes. We need their votes to influence the direction of policy and our Commonwealth!
    Count the votes! Even the ones written in crayon – especially the ones written in crayon!

    1. 1) The date isn’t needed.
      2) It’s not clear which date is expected:
      a) current date
      b) the date you plan to put in drop box
      c) election date
      d) your birthdate

      3) The print is small, and some might not realize they need to fill it out
      4) It’s confusing with the section about whether you had help filling it out

  4. Getting hung up on the date of the ballot is just a way to exclude the ballot. If the postmark is fine or if the ballot was dropped in a drop box case closed. It seems ridiculous that legal minds like Superior Court and Supreme Court Judges who went to law school and practiced law and who have intelligence could not see obvious points. Did the postmark pass the test? Was it in a drop box? Case closed. The Justices must understand that the average voter comes from a variety of skill sets some of which may not include following instructions and dating a ballot correctly.

    1. Except for that damn thing called a law, which requires it, you’re right. Civil Rights Act can’t be overturned quick enough. Anything to count illegal votes for Democrats, right?

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