Jennifer D. Wade Journal

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Post-election Hangover

If you'd like to see the results from yesterday's Pennsylvania primary, you can do so HERE.  The folks at the PA Dept. of State are ever so helpful and the site has some neat features to help you break down the results of individual races.

Some observations about yesterday's primary from someone who was maybe too close to the action to see what was really happening.  Maybe that's why I'm a little surprised by the following:

1.  I'm surprised that Hillary won by 10 points.  The polls were all over the place, though most showed somewhere in the range of a 5 or 6 point edge for Hillary.  Even Survey USA, which had Hillary with a 12-point lead one week ago, ended up with a 6-point margin the day before the election.  My guess is that, on election day, the undecided voters largely went for Hillary at the last-minute.  Either that or the young people who registered to vote because they support Obama were too busy enjoying the sunshine to step inside for a few moments to cast a ballot.  Either way, it seems to be the win Hillary needed.  Whether the Democratic party leaders wanted that win is a whole other issue.

2.  I'm surprised - a little - that Chris Hackett topped Dan Meuser for the GOP nomination in the 10th CD.  My personal feeling was that Hackett would win.  But, as I tried to figure out how to staff our election night coverage, I asked around and heard some things that made me believe Meuser had the edge.  That belief seemed to be playing out as the early returns favored Meuser.  But, around 10PM or so, Hackett grabbed the lead and held it.  Even though we guessed wrong on the winner, I think our presence at Meuser's gathering worked out for the best since he spoke to his supporters in time for the 11PM news while Hackett didn't come out until later.

3.  I'm surprised - a lot - that Steve Cappelli lost the GOP primary in the 23rd PA Senate District.  Cappelli is a sitting state rep. and a former mayor of Williamsport.  I figured him to be the odds-on favorite to win the nomination in the race to replace outgoing state senator Roger Madigan.  But, Gene Yaw, the Lycoming County solicitor, basically ran away with it.  He had almost as many votes as Cappelli and the third Republican, Doug McLinko, combined.  HERE is the county-by-county breakdown.  At least McLinko carried his home county of Bradford.  Cappelli, on the other hand, finished second in his home county of Lycoming and finished third everywhere else.  Wow!

I'm not an expert in Central PA politics by any means, but I have to wonder what happened here.  As far as I could tell, Yaw was the only candidate in the race who did any kind of TV advertising.  About a week or so before the election, he came out with a commercial that went negative on his opponents while going positive on his own behalf.  I don't know what he or the other candidates might have done on radio, newspaper, or billboard.  If Cappelli made any effort to get name recognition or support outside Lycoming County, it certainly wasn't effective.  Why not?  If he didn't make much of an effort, why not?

Inquiring minds ... have until October to think about these things.  Then, it's time to gear up for November.

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