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PoliticsPA’s Up & Down: Post-Election Edition

Pat Toomey – Senator-elect Toomey deserves credit for running a smart campaign from the moment Arlen Specter switched parties.  Not only did he successfully appeal to moderates, he even spent the summer softening enough Democrats that he was able to withstand a furious last-minute charge by not only Joe Sestak, but the White House as well.

Tom Corbett’s campaign – Brian Nutt and Co. had a clear message from the start and their candidate drilled it into so far into Pennsylvania ground that it seemed like it might reach the Marcellus Shale (sans tax, of course).  That Corbett escaped the grueling campaign with only two major gaffes is a testament to his team and their approach.

State Rep. Todd Eachus – Some may have expected Eachus to lose his title as Majority Leader, others may have believed he would remain the top Dem in the State House as minority leader, but very few expected him to lose his seat completely.  Unlike Toomey, Each ran a bad campaign.  The lesson?  Even leaders have to debate their opponents

Rep. Jason Altmire and Rep. Mark Critz – Most observers did not expect their races to be this close, but, both held on in an extremely bad year for Democrats and deserve to be commended for getting their bases to turn out and hold back the tide.  Our questions: How will Critz keep his seat from being gobbled up in reapportionment?  And how will Altmire fare against a better challenger?

Pa. Republican Party – Given that it was a good year for Republicans nationally, it was to be expected that the GOP would do well, but within the Commonwealth, Republicans exceeded expectations. Winning the Governorship, U.S. Senate race, taking back the majority in the Congressional delegation (12-7, to pre-’06 levels), winning the majority in the State House (with at least a 111-92 majority) and extending their State Senate majority (30-20 majority).  Among the headliners deserving credit – HRCC chair Dave Reed, as well as Sam Smith and Mike Turzai.

The Philadelphia Democratic Machine – Sure, Joe Sestak pulled nearly 351,000 votes out of Philadelphia.  But just because turnout was higher than expected, doesn’t mean it was enough.  And on Tuesday, it wasn’t.

State Rep. Bill DeWeese – Despite the Bonusgate probe, State Rep. Bill DeWeese continues to be a fighter in the State House, the Democrats tried to defeat him in the primary and he hung on. Then, the Republicans tried to beat him in the general election and he won again. If there was any doubt to DeWeese’s viability, he continues to prove his doubters wrong.

Dan Onorato – The Allegheny County Executive has to be worried about losing…Allegheny County.  GOP tidal wave or not, he’s been at the helm of the county – and it’s a county with more than twice as many D’s as R’s – for years.  We’re not saying he’s ripe for the picking next year.  But there has to be some concern about what seems not only like increased voter enthusiasm among the GOP, but also a lack of enthusiasm in the local base.

Governor Rendell – Onorato’s poor performance in in the western part of the state may owe something to Rendell’s unpopularity as his second term comes to an end.  Yet instead of keeping a lower profile, the Gov made literally dozens of national media appearances post-Labor Day.

4 Responses

  1. All the opposition parties were outlawed this year in Pennsylvania. (this BTW is the 2nd time in 4 years that we have had an “election” without the opposition parties) Most of the voters didn’t vote. The state will not count all the votes. So why would anyone in their right mind think this was a legitimate election? In pretty much any other country any one of the above conditions would invalidate the results let alone all 3. Until they hold a real election these people have no mandate.

  2. Dear PoliticsPA:

    You left out Rep. Steve Santarsiero, D-31. He won re-election after counting the Absentee Ballots by 100 votes. The final count was 9,399 to 9, 299 for Ciervo, his Republican opponent. He is one of three Democratic House Representatives from Southeast PA, who held on to there seats. I am the Democratic Co-Committeeperson for the South 7th Precinct of Lower Makefield Township, which is a part of the 31 Assembly District in Bucks County PA. The 31st Assembly District covers Lower Makefield and Newton Township, Newton Borough, Yardley Borough and parts of Upper Makefield Township and parts of Philadelphia and Abington and Dublin Township in Montgomery County. He won my precinct by 70 votes, all other Democrats lost by 20 to 70 votes.

    Steve is a very progressive politician on the environment and education. These are his principle concerns and he sits on both committees in the House of Representatives in Harrisburg. He didn’t take the State vehicle or pay raise. He believes in transparency and openness in government.

  3. Altmire is gone after reapportionment…too bad for our Lobbyist / Congreesman. He might have to work fo a living.

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