News & Brews November 10, 2022

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Pa. Dems say they’ve flipped the House blue, media not confirming

Yesterday at a press conference, Pa. state House leaders said they have flipped the chamber blue, “an outcome,” the Inquirer reports, “that was considered a long shot by even the most optimistic Democrats but that has not yet been confirmed by independent analysts.” A spokesman for House Republicans responded by saying, “We believe the Democrats claiming the majority at this time is premature, and we’re continuing to monitor several close races across the commonwealth.” Currently, a handful of races remain too close to call. Spotlight PA gives a rundown of where the balance stands.

What will Shapiro do on school choice & RGGI?

Spotlight PA notes that as Josh Shapiro “prepares to step into the state’s top job with an ambitious and lengthy policy platform, he faces a new challenge: navigating a state legislature that has often served as a foil to gubernatorial agendas.” The story then highlights Shapiro’s campaign statements (or lack thereof) surrounding school choice and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. On the former, Shapiro, on the campaign trail, indicated his support for lifeline scholarships, which the GOP majority in the Legislature also supports. Our president and CEO Matt Brouillette notes in the story that he expects Shapiro to “keep his word and sign legislation that allows money to follow the child so every child, regardless of zip code, has access to the best education that meets their needs, whether that education be public, private, charter, parochial, homeschool, or other.”

Dems gained rural voters while keeping the suburbs

Even as many rural portions of Pennsylvania are considered Republican strongholds, Democrat statewide candidates didn’t let that deter them from targeting these voters—with notable success. The AP reports that even as Democrats “ran up the score again in leftward-shifting suburbs,” they also “cut losses in rural and exurban stretches where former President Donald Trump is popular.” Read more here. (As one example, LancasterOnline points out that although Doug Mastriano won Lancaster County, he did so with “the smallest [margin] of any Republican gubernatorial nominee in modern history.”)

Pa.’s U.S. Senate race most expensive in nation

We are No. 1—in campaign spending in the U.S. Senate race, that is. tallied that the top-of-the-ticket race here in Pa. cost more than $343 million. Fetterman raised $56,690,623, while Oz raised $40,376,431. Meanwhile, outside groups poured in an additional $222 million-plus. (The balance of the grand total came from other Senate candidates, mostly in the primary elections.)

Toomey blames Trump for ‘debacle’ for Republicans

In an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer, Sen. Pat Toomey said that Tuesday’s election “was a terrible night for Donald Trump, and an excellent night for Governor DeSantis. The more MAGA a candidate was, the more they tended to underperform even in their own states.” Toomey added that the former president was “responsible … to some degree” for the “debacle” Republicans experienced at the polls. Read more here.

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