Pennsylvania Primary Results

Recently, there has been an uptick in President Joe Biden’s polling numbers, particularly in the critical Great Lakes states, and the turnout pattern in last night’s Pennsylvania primary looks to verify those figures.

While we had consistently seen higher Republican turnout opposite the Democrats in the earlier primary states around the country, yesterday in the Keystone State, approximately 100,000 more Democrats look to have voted than Republicans once all of the cast ballots are recorded. President Biden recorded 88.8% in the Democratic primary, while former President Donald Trump took 82.8% on the Republican side.

We saw similar totals in the US Senate race even though both major party candidates were unopposed. Here, again, the Democratic candidate, in this case Sen. Bob Casey, Jr., outpolled the now official Republican nominee, businessman David McCormick, by what looks to be slightly over 100,000 votes. Interestingly, the projected turnout total for the Senate race appears higher than the presidential turnout. The difference is approximated at about 2,000 votes.

In the congressional races, the most competitive incumbent challenge occurred in the Pittsburgh anchored 12th District. While challenger Bhavini Patel ran a strong grassroots effort against freshman Rep. Summer Lee (D-Swissvale), the race ended in a projected 60.4 – 39.2% split in the Congresswoman’s favor. A combination of a major Lee resource advantage and staying away from any emphasis on her being part of the Socialist Democratic caucus’ “Squad,” allowed her to capture a definitive renomination victory.

While appearing as a minor primary, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Levittown) likely came in under his primary vote goal projection, as he only recorded 61.5% of the vote against a Republican opponent whom he outspent by a better than 13:1 margin. Mr. Fitzpatrick will now face his 2022 Democratic opponent, government affairs consultant Ashley Ehasz who was unopposed in last night’s Democratic primary. On the good news front for Rep. Fitzpatrick, about 5,000 more Republicans than Democrats voted in the primary in what is commonly viewed as a toss-up district.

In terms of challenger races, state Rep. Ryan Mackenzie (R-Emmaus) defeated technology business owner and 2022 congressional candidate Kevin Dellicker and attorney Maria Montero to win the GOP nomination in the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton anchored 7th District. Mr. Mackenzie will now advance to the general election to face three-term Rep. Susan Wild (D-Allentown) in what figures to be another competitive campaign. Rep. Wild has averaged only 51.5% of the vote in her last two elections. Yesterday’s turnout in this seat proved to be about even between the two parties.

In the 10th District that featured a competitive Democratic primary for the right to challenge veteran Rep. Scott Perry (R-Dillsburg/Harrisburg), former local news anchor Janelle Stelson outpaced businessman Mike O’Brien and four others to claim the party nomination. Turnout favored the Republicans in a district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as R+9. Still, this is another campaign to watch in the coming general election.

Two other contests that will be competitive in November featured unopposed candidates from both parties.

In the Scranton anchored 8th District, Rep. Matt Cartwright’s (D-Moosic) vote total will likely just slightly exceed Republican businessman Rob Bresnahan*’s sum. With former President Trump to likely again carry the 8th, Mr. Bresnahan has an opportunity to improve upon the 2022 outcome that saw Rep. Cartwright re-elected with only 51% of the vote.

In the Pittsburgh area, freshman Rep. Chris Deluzio (D-Aspinwall) recorded what appears to be a turnout vote spread advantage of approximately 25,000 votes in the western PA 17th CD. Both Rep. Deluzio and state Rep. Rob Mercuri (R-Pine Richland) were unopposed in their respective primaries. In a district that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as D+1, yesterday’s turnout disparity proves a major positive for Rep. Deluzio’s re-election chances.

Regardless of which party has the non-determinative primary turnout advantage in whatever location, Pennsylvania voters can again count on seeing major campaigns being run throughout their state. As has been the case in the last two presidential elections, the Keystone State again becomes one of the very few point states that will determine the presidential outcome.

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