Map: Here’s Where Jim Cawley Outpolled Tom Corbett

More Republican voters cast a ballot for Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley than Governor Tom Corbett on primary night.

26,868 GOP voters* either wrote in another candidate or left the ballot for Governor blank. Overall, Corbett underperformed Cawley by 7%.

The map below shows which counties had the highest rates of undervoting. Cawley outdid Corbett in 59 counties, they tied in one, and Corbett enjoyed a lead in 7.

Corbett v Cawley

Corbett performed relatively worst in Elk County, where 24% of Republicans cast ballots for Cawley and not him. He did best in Northampton County, where he overperformed Cawley by 6%.

His undervote was 7% in his home County of Allegheny, and 9% in Cawley’s home County of Bucks.

In the two counties that saw the highest number of GOP ballots cast, Montgomery and Lancaster, Corbett’s undervote was a mere 2%.

Perhaps in a demonstration of the hometown factor for Democratic nominee Tom Wolf, 14% of York County Republicans who voted for Cawley did not vote for Corbett.

Corbett was technically unopposed for renomination after his opponent Bob Guzzardi was removed from the ballot. But the judge’s decision to remove Guzzardi came after some counties had already printed their ballots. Those counties counted votes for Guzzardi as write-ins. Cawley was unopposed.

In a statement after the election, Pa. Democrats teased Corbett for the shortfall.

But in historical context, Gov. Corbett’s 7% undervote isn’t very high. For example, in the 2012 primary 15% of Pennsylvania Democrats chose to leave the box next to President Barack Obama’s name blank. That number spiked above 40% in certain conservative counties. In 2006, Gov. Ed Rendell’s undervote was 12% as he ran unopposed for renomination.

Vincent J. Smith contributed to this report.

*Note: when these numbers were compiled, results from 0.41% of precincts remained outstanding.

An earlier version of this story incorrectly misstated Corbett’s undervote in Bucks County as 8%. It was 9%.

23 Responses

  1. I agree with others here that a statistical analysis of write-ins vs. Corbett would be more instructive. As an Allegheny County Republican, I voted for NEITHER Corbett nor Cawley.
    At the same time, I am nearly certain to vote for BOTH of them in November.

  2. Larry it is much more than that. It is Corbett leading the effort to fire Joe Paterno over the phone and then going out and having drinks with the other Board of Trustee members afterwards while downtown State College was having a riot. It is Corbett giving the Second Mile state funding and taking thousands in campaign contributions from the Second Mile board while the head of the organization (Sandusky) was being investigated for child molestation. If you don’t think the majority of PSU alums hate Corbett you are clueless. It is the primary reason Kane blew Obama and Casey out of the water with her votes in traditionally Republican areas in 2012.

  3. Vicky and jjcnpa, the prosecution of Sandusky was an overwhelming success. The two of you seem to have been snowed by the likes of Kathleen Kane telling you that Corbett should have immediately arrested Sandusky before building the case that Sandusky is a predator. Any seasoned prosecutor knows that would be a huge mistake. Yes, it’s difficult for victims to wait for justice, but sometimes it’s necessary or justice will not be obtained.

  4. If one looks at the number of votes cast for winning Republican candidates for governor, contested or uncontested, since Fisher ran in 2002 (receiving 539,000), each has recieved about 550,000 votes, including Corbett, when opposed last time. This time, Corbett received 369,227, meaning that not only was there an “undervote” among those who went to the polls but a substantial “no show”. Cawley’s 396,000 means that about 150,000 Republicans decided not to bother.

  5. Vicky is 100% correct. The under-votes were most prominent in Penn State country. His handling of the Sandusky investigation is his biggest albatross.

  6. In my Jefferson County precinct, a note from the elections director at each machine explained Guzzardi’s presence on the ballot and said a vote for him would be considered a write-in. So that leads me to believe that votes for Guzzardi do in fact count.

  7. BGdem,

    Yes they updated it note the comment at the bottom “An earlier version of this story incorrectly misstated Corbett’s undervote in Bucks County as 8%. It was 9%.”

    I know where Bucks county is.


  8. Guest, I think that even though Guzzardi votes don’t count this map still serves it purpose. People chose to vote for another candidate besides Corbett and that doesn’t exactly bode well for him and if nothing else it means republican voters wished they had another option.

  9. Guzzardi was on many county ballots because the supreme s ruled too late for reprinting. Guzzardi votes don’t count nor do i think they are reporting. The premise of the article is good but the lazy failure to map counties where another person – guzzardi remained on the ballot makes the lazy reporting meaningless

  10. @flynnbw Elk County 2010 Primary Cawley came in 3rd or 4th in the Lt. Gov’s Primary. It is a strong anti-endorsement area and Corbett is not well liked.

    There is also the possibility that some people in Elk County had received write in Bob Guzzardi e-mails and hand-outs prior to the primary and wrote him in.

  11. What you’re seeing is Penn State alumni expressing their displeasure with Tom Corbett. When he was PA Attorney General, Corbett botched the investigation into Sandusky. Then, in November 2011 when the grand jury presentment was released, Corbett helped Penn State trustee John Surma lead the charge to fire Joe Paterno. Actions have consequences.

  12. In areas and districts where there isn’t just one media market (ie US-5th which has as parts of as many as 7 or 8 different media markets, including some from NY and OH, and dozens of local daily papers), getting your message out is a challenge. Yard signs littering the sides of the highway might not mean anything but yard signs in actually people’s front yards do mean something. If a candidate up here doesn’t put up yard signs, they might as well forget about winning.

  13. It’s really just more an indication of “Cawley fever” hitting the Pennsylvania GOP. Folks in Elk County LOVE that guy.

  14. Rich, it is not. I live in rural PA have worked campaigns in rural PA. Yards signs mean nothing in any part of any state. I supported Wolf so if he has support in Elk county that’s really great but you can’t tell that by yard signs.

  15. That may be true in the cities but in rural parts of PA, the number of yard signs is a reflection of the strength of a candidate’s organization and support.

  16. Seriously don’t use yards signs to determine how much support a candidate has… yards signs mean absolutely nothing…

  17. In Elk Co., Corbett got only 68.3% of the total votes for governor (927 votes). Robert Guzzardi got 17.1% (232 votes) of the votes even though they don’t count as he was ordered off the ballot but our voting machines weren’t updated to reflect that. Perhaps what’s most interesting is that there were 198 write-ins, 14.6% of the vote. I am assuming many of them may be for Tom Wolf. Another interesting static is that there were 116 under-votes for Governor (1357 votes cast for governor out of 1473 Republicans voting). That means only 63% of Republicans voted for Corbett. I believe the effort that Wolf’s campaign did in this area may have been a factor in the huge amount of Republican dissent in Elk County. Wolf’s campaign was strong in Elk County with hundreds of yard signs throughout the county.

  18. Suggestion: Republican voters need to let World Class Jeff Romoff of UPMC finance the Tom Corbett funeral cortege. Corbett has effectively allowed Romoff to rig state government in his favor so why not let World Class pay Acting Governor Brabender’s ads. Does anyone really believe that Gromis-Baker loses one minute of sleep about OUR problems?

  19. Alex, are you sure you know where Bucks county is? Cause I’m seeing a 9 and doesn’t appear that this article has been updated at all.

  20. The flaw of this map is that it compares the undervote of Corbett and Cawley. When I compared the information to specific counties, I compared Corbett vs. top vote getting Republican. In that dynamic, Corbett’s undervote was much more severe. (10% – 20%)

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