Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Day After

Some post election thoughts...

As I said in this space months ago, underestimate Donald Trump at your own peril.  He swept five states last night.  Trump took Pennsylvania, and it wasn't even close.  Rather than finding ways to deny Trump the nomination, it might be time to figure out how to make Trump a stronger candidate in November.

Hillary Clinton took four out of five states last night.  Bernie Sanders vows to stay in the race right up until the convention in Philadelphia this summer.  Sanders has earned a big voice in the party, and some influence in the party platform.  It looks like it's time to step aside.  I admired his power of inspiration, which is rare in politics these days.  It's likely Sanders brought some new people to the polls yesterday.  I sincerely hope they stay involved.

I believed there was upset potential in the race for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate.  Some early polls had Joe Sestak leading Katie McGinty.  McGinty came on strong and topped Sestak easily.  An early crunch of the numbers leads me to believe John Fetterman really hurt Sestak more than McGinty.  Republican incumbent Pat Toomey had no opposition in yesterday's primary.  This is the big race to watch as we head toward November.  Will the Sestak people fold in to the McGinty camp?  Will the presidential candidates help or hurt?  Coattails?  Liberal Democrat against conservative Republican.

Voters in the Riverside school district shot down a referendum on increasing their taxes four per cent.  Is anyone surprised?  92 per cent voted "no."  If that isn't a message for school districts to live within their means, I don't know what is.  The difficult thing is a quality education isn't cheap.  Pennsylvania has a pension problem.  I fear a lot of school districts will feel a severe money crunch in the near future.

Josh Shapiro and John Rafferty won their party's nominations for attorney general last night.  Thanks to four years of the Kane administration, a lot of people will be keeping an eye on this race.

Kevin Haggerty wins the re-match in the 112th.  He captured the Democratic nomination last night, beating incumbent Frank Farina.  Once again, an incumbent proves to be his own worst enemy.  Haggerty was handed the race on a silver platter when it was revealed Farina took free Penn State football tickets for he and his family, and then billed taxpayers for the mileage.  It was not a crime, but a sin in the eyes of those who live paycheck to paycheck.  Farina apologized, and returned the money to the state.  Too late.  the 112th gets a new/old representative next year.

A huge number of state representatives ran without opposition.  Why?

A look at the final percentages will be interesting.  We saw pockets of heavy turnout, and areas of intense indifference.  The influx and change of registrations that were supposed to benefit Kasich and Sanders apparently never really materialized.  I visited several polling places yesterday, and there were very few volunteers handing out cards.  I didn't mind.  It was nice to walk through the door without the bombardment.  I talked with a few friends, and they had similar experiences.  There were very few contested races.  The Clinton people though they had the Scranton area in the bag, and the Sanders people weren't organized enough.

Our friends at the Citizens Voice report this morning that Luzerne County voter turnout was 41 per cent.  County officials consider that high.  Isn't it sad when 41 per cent is considered high?

If you voted, thank you for participating in your democracy.  If you didn't it, please think about it in November.