These claims ignore critical facts about 2015, the statistical data and draw conclusions that I think will prove to be wrong. The 2015 judicial election results will have no effect on 2016 elections.
In 2015, liberal special interest groups including trial lawyers and unions spent the most amount of money in a judicial race in American history to win for Democrats. Ignoring the 5 to 1 spending advantage and the reality that 2016 spending will be much more evenly balanced is a terrible oversight of the defining factor in 2015 results.
As Madonna and Young only briefly acknowledged, Pennsylvania Republicans currently enjoy historic majorities in our Congressional, State Senate and State House delegations. The 2015 elections saw our county courthouse majority expand to 53 courthouses, and our State Senate now holds a 31 seat to 19 seats advantage after winning a special election that focused on failures of Governor Tom Wolf’s administration.
We also see U.S. Senator Pat Toomey in commanding position. In their own polling, Senator Toomey holds leads of 12 and 7 points over his opponents. The authors’ survey also found Senator Toomey to have the highest approval rating of any elected official in the Commonwealth.
The authors also gloss over the struggles amongst the Democrat challengers for U.S. Senate. Former Congressman and failed 2010 U.S. Senate candidate Joe Sestak, whose values are vastly out of step with Pennsylvania voters, decided to enter the race, driving Party leaders in Washington, D.C. and Harrisburg into a panic. After multiple public rejections from potential candidates, the Democrat establishment finally convinced former failed gubernatorial candidate and Wolf Chief of Staff Katie McGinty to ditch Pennsylvania in the middle of a budget crisis in order to run. McGinty’s last statewide campaign garnered her eight percent of the Democrat vote, signaling major problems with her ability to connect with the electorate.
Madonna and Young briefly acknowledge arguably the biggest stories of 2015: the massive Democrat scandals in our state row offices. Voters gave Democrats the opportunity to control our state row offices in 2012, and now two of those three offices have become mired in scandal, indictments, and convictions. Former Treasurer Rob McCord is currently awaiting sentencing for felonies he committed while in office. Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s scandals are so numerous they’re hard to keep straight; indictment, without a law license, and hearings are underway to determine if she can be removed from office. After such drastic failures, Democrats will certainly have a steep hill to climb to regain the public’s trust for these positions next year. Not to mention, the longer Tom Wolf is in office, the further his approval ratings fall.
Other pollsters are also looking at race for president between a Republican and Hillary Clinton. According to a Quinnipiac University poll, 62 percent of Pennsylvanians do not view Hillary Clinton as honest or trustworthy. From the ongoing email investigations to her never-ending series of scandals involving the Clinton Foundation, Pennsylvanians have serious questions about the Democrats’ presumptive nominee.
The October 15th the liberal-leaning Public Policy Polling survey shows Hillary Clinton losing to many Republican presidential candidates. The voter registration gap has closed in Pennsylvania from 2008 and 2012. Meanwhile, Pennsylvanians have the opportunity to watch Republicans have an open debate about the future of our country. More than 23 million viewers watch the Republican debates, while only 8 million tuned in to watch the Democrats.
Lastly, the authors and all Pennsylvanians must understand that comparing 2015 and 2016 is like comparing apples with automobiles. Current history proves that point as Democrats endured devastating losses to Republicans in the years between President Obama’s campaigns. Both the Republican and Democrat National Committees have already decided Pennsylvania will be a battleground state in 2016. As I write, Republicans are building critical infrastructure in a ground force that will combine with the energy and enthusiasm of our ticket that will lead to historic victories. We look forward to playing a key role in taking back the White House, re-electing Senator Pat Toomey, electing a fresh group of Republican row officers and expanding our majorities in Congress, the State Senate and State House next year.
Rob Gleason is the Chairman of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania.