With 88 percent of precincts reporting, Feinberg trailed Murphy by 26 percent. Murphy held his own at 63.2 percent of the vote, while Feinberg won only 36.8 percent.
Both candidates were confident as the day played out, giving positive updates to PoliticsPA. With volunteers from both camps at the polling centers, phone banking, and knocking on doors, both Murphy and Feinberg seemed optimistic.
Some in the national media expected Feinberg to give him a difficult fight for the seat early on. Feinberg was endorsed by Sen. Rand Paul, a tea party favorite and Sen. Tom Coburn, a conservative stalwart in the Senate.
Kirk Holman, former Republican official in southwestern PA and political savant said “If you look at the more rural counties in the district like Greene where there was a substantial Tea Party movement, you have Murphy winning with 70 percent.”
“In Washington County, where Feinberg grew up, Murphy won with two-thirds of the vote,” Holman continued.
“This should have been an ideal election for the Tea Party to show strength — a low turnout election that would allow a passionate group to determine the outcome. Instead, it showed that the Tea Party had inspired absolutely no passion.”
Murphy will face Larry Maggi this fall. Maggi ran unopposed in the primary and won the Democratic Nomination with over 37,804 votes, according to a press release by the Maggi camp.
Louis Jacobson contributed to this report.