PA-8: Maps: Santarsiero’s Advantage
Pennsylvania’s Eighth Congressional District is the quintessential example of a toss-up seat.
The district itself went for Mitt Romney by just 255 votes thanks to the rural section of Upper Montgomery County that was added after the latest round of redistricting. Bucks County, the whole of which represents the rest of the district, went for Barack Obama by 3,942 votes.
Below, I’ve created a map of the 2012 presidential contest in PA-8 broken down by voter district. Sky blue signifies Obama received 50%-53%, royal blue signifies Obama received 53%-58%, blue signifies Obama received 58%-63%, navy signifies Obama received 63% or more. Light salmon signifies Romney received 50%-53%, tomato signifies Romney received 53%-58%, red signifies Romney received 58%-63%, maroon signifies Romney received 63% or more. One voting district was actually tied (every vote matters people!) and is colored yellow.
As you can see, Upper Bucks is generally Republican while Lower Bucks is almost universally Democratic. The Montgomery County section is also pretty red with the exception of Hatfield. Pres. Obama was able to win most of Bucks’ cities like Doylestown, New Hope, Quakertown and Warminster regardless of geography.
In the 2012 election, State Rep. Steve Santarsiero shared a ballot with Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in the 31st legislative district. He easily won re-election over GOP nominee Anne Chapman by a 57.74% to 42.26% margin.
You can see a comparison of the presidential contest and Santarsiero’s race below:
Santarsiero dominated across the board (the Republican Upper Makefield sections were drawn out of the 31st after redistricting and parts of Democratic Morrisville were added) performing much stronger in Newtown and Lower Makefield than the President did.
So how does Brian Fitzpatrick counter this?
As I’ve noted before, the best way would be through his birthplace, Levittown. He should aim to cut into Democratic Falls Township and swing over Middletown.
Even at his brother’s lowest point, his narrow loss to Patrick Murphy in 2006, Mike Fitzpatrick still won Middletown.
There’s a reason why Brian Fitzpatrick chose to introduce himself with a video about his childhood in Levittown, including his experience as a Middletown Little Leaguer, that was titled “Levittown Values, American Values.”
Ultimately, though, this race should be so close that it will actually come down to which side runs a better campaign in the months ahead and deploys the best turnout operation on Election Day. What a novel concept.