Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Numbers

The numbers are in.  Thank you to those of you who voted.  It was a frighteningly quiet day at the polls I visited yesterday.

Some thoughts...

Scott Wagner breezes to the Republican nomination for governor.  It should be a bruising campaign against Tom Wolf in the fall.  Some geniuses thought Laura Ellsworth would make a stronger showing.  She had little name recognition, less money than the others, and didn't make a push until late in the campaign.  As I write this, she has 18 per cent of the vote.  Not awful, but not near what some expected.  Ellsworth was impressive.  The Republican party should find a place for her somewhere.

Jeff Bartos breezed to the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor.  He was Wagner's choice, so no surprise here.

John Fetterman easily wins the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor.  People really seem to like his style.  He's not a traditional politician.  That resonates with voters.  Current lieutenant governor, Mike Stack finishes back in the pack.  He caught heat for the way he treated staff and security.  Voters sent him to the bench, and let's face it.  Stack earned it.  The Stack people said geography did them in, and there is some logic to that.  Fetterman cleaned up in Allegheny County.  However, don't be naive.  Voters tired of the Stack act.

Lou Barletta cruised to the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate.  He meets Democrat Bob Casey in November.  This should be a fun race.  Barletta told Newswatch 16 that this contest will be a referendum on the Trump presidency.  Trump won Pennsylvania in 2016.  Expect the president to campaign for Barletta, one of his early supporters.  Politico says Casey is on its vulnerable list.  This should be the fun race of 2018.  It was a respectable showing by Barletta's underfunded opponent, Jim Christiana.  At just 35 years old, you'll probably be seeing his name again.

John Chrin wins the Republican nomination for U.S. Congress in the 8th district.  He had the money for the ads.

Dan Mueser wins the Republican congressional nomination in the 9th district.  Again, a well funded campaign.

Tom Marino wins another Republican nomination in the 12th congressional district.  There was a cloud over Marino after the failed drug czar thing.  Voters in his district apparently didn't think that was a factor.

If there was a surprise last night, it was the size of Kyle Mullins' victory in the 112th state house race.  Big numbers.  I really thought this one would be closer.  Mullins was the favorite.  Plenty of signs, TV ads, smooth campaign.  Tom Carlucci of Dunmore finishes a distant second.  I think you'll see his name again.  Former Lackawanna County commissioner Randy Castellani loses another race.

Lackawanna County's turnout rate was 24 per cent, which was actually higher than I expected.  Polls were very quiet in the morning, and the nasty line of storms arrived in the afternoon.

Let's take a deep breath and get ready for the fall.