The week that was.
We had polls to review and digest. We had candidate announcements and candidate endorsements. The Supreme Court took vote-by-mail off life support. There’s a new name for three PSAC schools. Harrisburg, we have a propaganda problem. And more … here are our Ups and our Downs.
Joe Biden. The Franklin & Marshall College poll also indicated that the 46th president’s positive job ratings have declined by 20 points among Democrats from 78 to 58 percent. Overall, three in 10 registered voters in PA believe he is doing an “excellent” or “good” job as president. That number has fallen from 41 percent in August, while those thinking he is doing a “poor” job has risen from 44 to 51 percent in the same time frame. What does this mean for the Dems in the fall?
John Fetterman and Dave McCormick. The duo was the top choices for their parties’ nomination for U.S. Senator among the small number of respondents in the F&M poll. Fetterman outpolled Conor Lamb, 28 to 15 percent, while McCormick downed Carla Sands and Mehmet Oz by four and five percentage points, respectively. The former hedge fund CEO also took the top spot in Free Beacon poll by a 25-19 decision over Oz.
Dan Meuser. The 9th District incumbent went from facing another sitting GOP representative in a primary to no opponent at all. While some Republicans wanted him to move from the 9th to the 8th District to challenge Matt Cartwright, Meuser opted to “stay home” in the overwhelmingly Republican district (+41).
Scott Perry. First, the map selected remained a strong partisan lean (+9) for the GOP. Then, Eugene DePasquale elected not to run for the Democratic nomination for the 10th District House seat. George Scott also elected to sit this one out. All in all, not a bad stretch for Perry.
Eugene DePasquale. The former Pennsylvania Auditor General who ran unsuccessfully for the 10th District U.S. House race in 2020 decided to remain on the sidelines in 2022. He cited the redistricting process that made little change to the district, indicating to him that there was not a path forward.
Fred Keller. The 12th District representative first saw his seat drawn away, then found himself in a possible primary battle with 9th District incumbent Dan Meuser. Keller bowed out rather than taking on another Republican. “There was an opportunity for all of us to run and potentially have a race against Matt Cartwright. That didn’t turn out,” Keller said.
Jeff Coleman. The Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor received the endorsement of GOP U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, the longest tenured GOP official in the state. Will an endorsement for a lieutenant governor choice be heard in the noise of governor and senate races? Time will tell.
Commonwealth University of Pennsylvania. The new legal identity for Bloomsburg, Lock Haven and Mansfield Universities, according to the State System of Higher Education. Each location will retain its logo, colors, mascot, and athletic representation. They also will continue to use their respective location names for diplomas, but there will be one accredited institution with one administration. Last October, a decision was made to do the same for California, Clarion and Edinboro Universities into PennWest.
Pennsylvania. More examples of white supremecist and racist propaganda were documented in Pennsylvania last year than in any other state, according to the Anti-Defamation League. The ADL recorded 473 instances of hateful propaganda – signs, stickers, graffiti, etc. – in the Keystone State in 2021, nearly 100 more than runner-up Virginia.
Mail-In Voting. The much-maligned policy created by Act 77 received a stay of execution this week as the Supreme Court overturned an order that would have ended the two-year-old process in two weeks. This isn’t to say that vote-by-mail is alive and well … just more time for the high court to reach its conclusion.