New Castle News

John K. Manna

May 24, 2014

John K.Manna: Assessing the results of Tuesday’s voting

NEW CASTLE — Going into Tuesday’s primary election, you had a good idea as to who would win the Democratic nomination for governor.

That is, if you believe the public opinion polls.

Tom Wolf had a huge lead in the polls and on Tuesday he won convincingly over three other candidates.

And we knew Gov. Tom Corbett would have no problem. That’s usually the case when a candidate has no opposition. Or did he?

In some counties, including Lawrence, Bob Guzzardi’s name remained on the ballot even though the state Supreme Court removed him as a candidate. As a result, any votes cast for Guzzardi — other than write-ins — were invalid.

So, it’s difficult to figure what the results mean for Corbett since, on one hand he had opposition, and on the other, he didn’t.

On his visit to the county this week, I asked Corbett what he made of Tuesday’s results.

He brushed off the numbers as insignificant and said, “I won.”

Essentially, that’s all that matters since what happens in a primary is not a predictor of what will happen in November. Nonetheless, it would be helpful to a candidate to know how many people were actually for and against him.

The only indication we have locally that Corbett may have a problem is his results compared to those of Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley, who was unopposed.

There were 42 write-in votes, or 1.41 percent, cast for someone other than Cawley.

In contrast, there were 266 write-in votes, or 9.6 percent, cast for someone other than Corbett. In addition, Cawley received 400 more votes than Corbett.

In a race closer to home, Erin McClelland easily won the Democratic nomination for Congress in the 12th District, defeating John Hugya by a 2-1 margin.

The so-called political experts give her little chance of unseating first term Rep. Keith Rothfus because she won’t be able to match him in campaign spending.

Had Hugya won, the odds against him winning would have been greater since his base is on the eastern end of the district. However, McClelland lives in Allegheny County — like Rothfus — where a large chunk of the district’s voters are located.

That may not be where the race is decided, but it will play a major role.

 

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