Democratic voters set a record by a huge margin yesterday. Capitolwire's Pete DeCoursey reports that yesterday's Democratic vote total of nearly 2.3 million voters shattered the old record of 1.53 million in 1980. Only 710,000 Republicans voted...Snip above and below from Democracy Rising Pennsylvania.
GOP nominee John McCain, who locked up the nomination months ago, nevertheless saw 27.3 percent of Republicans vote for Ron Paul or Mike Huckabee. What does this mean? Will these voters stay home in the fall? Will the Paul supporters vote for the Democrat in November because both Obama and Clinton share Paul's commitment to ending the Iraq War? Will the Huckabee voters stay home because McCain is too inconstant and not conservative enough in their eyes to be trusted? Were these voters asking McCain to consider Paul and Huckabee as vice presidential candidates? Or does it mean that a lot of mainstream Republicans just stayed home to avoid the hordes of Democrats at the polls?
There were several winners who didn't get a majority of the vote yesterday. Rob McCord, a finance professional from Montgomery County, placed first in a four-way race with 43.5 percent of the vote for PA Treasurer.
Multiple candidates were in a few house and senate races: Cumberland County's 88th House district, for example, saw seven Republicans on the ballot. The winner, Sheryl Delozier, received just 26.5 percent of the vote but is virtually guaranteed a victory in November in a very heavily Republican district.
Such results beg the question of whether to continue a system in which someone wins despite most voters choosing someone else. Instant Runoff Voting is one way to deal with this problem without making voters return to the polls for another election.
Not only does IRV ensure that the winner is the candidate most voters want, it prevents the divide-and-conquer strategy in which incumbents get straw candidates to take votes away from challengers. It may be that most voters don't want the incumbent, but because their votes are divided between challengers, the incumbent wins anyway.
Look for a discussion of this at Pennsylvania's Constitution Convention, whenever it happens.
In Pittsburgh's west, the three way race had a city council member as the winner. Ex-state rep aid got third. The outsider challenger got 2nd. Perhaps a 2-way race would have hurt John Paul Jones the most.
REPRESENTATIVE IN THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY 27TH DISTRICT
(WITH 64 OF 64 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
JOHN PAUL JONES --> 4,328 = 31.96%
RYAN L. DOUGLASS --> 4,068 = 30.04%
DANIEL J. DEASY, JR. --> 5,136 = 37.92%
WRITE-IN --> 12 .09
I would LOVE to see John Paul Jones begin his campaign for city council in the next couple of days.
In L-ville land, the ex-city councilman, Len Bodack lost. (Whew.) And, the ex-member of county council, Brenda Frazier, lost. She helped to bring Allegheny the drink tax as per Dan Onorato's wishes. Voters went with the ex-policeman, for years on disability. Tight race. Tough decision. All Dems.
REPRESENTATIVE IN THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY 21ST DISTRICTI'd love to have Libertarian candidates on the ballot in both of those races this fall. Anyone want to run?
(WITH 70 OF 70 PRECINCTS COUNTED)
DOM COSTA --> 4,940 = 34.62%
LEN BODACK --> 4,703 = 32.95%
BRENDA FRAZIER --> 4,595 = 32.20%
WRITE-IN --> 33 = .23%
Next point of interest, watching Brenda Frazier wiggle her way back onto the Allegheny County Council. She wanted to have her husband appointed to her seat after she departed, so I have heard. Then, in case she lost her race to become a state rep, she'd be able to return to county council. But, that isn't what happened.