Pennsylvania’s primary election is over. What do the results say about the general election in November?

Primary turnout was low, perhaps because both parties have already picked their presidential nominees. And both U.S. Senate candidates, incumbent Democrat Sen. Bob Casey and Republican challenger Dave McCormick, ran unopposed.

Only 22.5 percent of registered Democrats and Republicans voted in Delaware County, 15.69 percent in Montgomery County, 31.6 percent in Bucks County, and 22.96 percent in Chester County. Pennsylvania primaries are closed, meaning only voters registered with a party can participate.

Despite having dropped out of the GOP presidential primary after Super Tuesday, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley still received 150,000 votes — about 16 percent of the total — on Tuesday. But she did far better in the Delaware Valley, winning 18 percent of the vote in Bucks County, 22.87 in Delaware County, 24.22 percent in Chester County and 24.7 percent in Montgomery County.

And while President Joe Biden received a higher percentage of the total (92 percent) than Trump (83 percent), campaign pro Jeff Jubelirer says the numbers “don’t portend well for either candidate.”

Trump has to bring in “those Haley voters, particularly in southeastern Pennsylvania,” said Jubelirer, vice president at Bellevue Communications Group. And while the vote for “uncommitted” and U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips “wasn’t as impressive,” the race in Pennsylvania is likely to be so close in November that Biden needs to get them back, too. It won’t be easy.

“They’re particularly upset about the situation in the Middle East,” Jubelirer said.

Commonwealth Foundation Senior Fellow Guy Ciarrocchi, who has run for office as a Republican, agreed the candidates have to focus on their base, rather than count on pulling in swing voters.

“These two candidates will spend some time trying to persuade the three undecided voters in Pennsylvania,” he quipped. It’s going to be a contest to turn out the party’s base, “particularly with two people that have 100 percent name ID and 99 percent of Americans have made up their minds.”


Polls show Pennsylvania’s presidential race remains too close to call, and Republican strategists didn’t see anything Tuesday to change that calculus.

“There’s a significant shift now to the general election, so we should be careful not to extrapolate too much from primary results,” said Charlie Gerow with Quantum Communications. “I continue to be very bullish on the Trump campaign in Pennsylvania. He will win this pivotal state and the question is how much ‘down ballot’ effect that will have.”

Trump campaign spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt said, “Yesterday, President Trump continued his winning streak and delivered a resounding primary win in Pennsylvania. More importantly, President Trump continues to dominate Feeble Joe Biden in every battleground state poll including his home state. The Dishonest Biden campaign has spent millions in Pennsylvania gaslighting voters, but it is not enough to make everyone ignore Bidenflation and rising costs, Biden’s border bloodbath, and his war on American energy.”

And what about the other statewide elections? What do they say about the mood of the electorate?

Allegheny County resident Eugene DePasquale, the former auditor general, beat four candidates with ties to the Delaware Valley to become the Democratic Candidate for attorney general. He will face York County District Attorney Dave Sunday in November.

Jubelirer believes DePasquale benefited from his home county and that he had run statewide before.

“What did surprise me was Erin McClelland beating [Rep.] Ryan Bizzarro for treasurer,” he added. “Not a high-profile race, but Bizzarro had institutional support.”

Ciarrocchi credited geography and gender with McClelland’s surprise win.

“If I could go to central casting and run in a Pennsylvania primary, I would love Allegheny next to my name. So, that’s one and two, in a Democratic primary, if the race is between a man and a woman, put a nickel on the woman,” he said.

Bizzarro ran commercials against incumbent Treasurer Stacy Garrity, using abortion as an issue. Jubelirer believes Democrats will continue to use abortion as a cudgel against Republicans as long as it continues to work. Ciarrocchi agreed.

“I saw this almost two decades ago in Chester County around the issue of the Mariner Pipeline, in that when we started to see races for supervisor and school board where, when Chester County was a Republican county in the early 2000s, school board members would run for reelection, as Republicans. They would say, “I kept taxes down, and test scores are up,” said Ciarrocchi.

But, “environmental activists and some of the Democratic Party committee people that started to come forward as candidates and made the races about the pipelines and pipeline safety and clean water and clean air. And at first it seemed bizarre until it started to work.”

“The Democrats don’t have much else to run on,” Gerow said about abortion. They certainly can’t promote Biden. And their support on abortion is already baked in. Plus, there is going to be pushback against the radical ‘legal abortion for any reason, at any time, paid for by the taxpayers,’ which so many Democrats now support.”

Asked whether McCormick or Casey was happier with the primary results, Jubelirer said Casey while Ciarrocchi said McCormick.

McCormick might be harmed by the lack of enthusiasm of the Haley voters for Trump compared with the young, progressive Democrats for Biden, said Jubelirer.

“They’re not going to vote for Trump and McCormick, but they may not vote at all,” said Jubelirer.

McCormick “worked very hard since 2022 in losing by a hair… yeoman’s work of going to chicken dinners, listening to people and trying to be a leader and a healer. And all of that paid off last night, he ran unchallenged, which is very unique for such a major office,” said Ciarrocchi.

And Republicans are beginning to warm to using mail-in ballots, which will also help them, he said.

One potential bright spot for the Pennsylvania GOP, according to Gerow, is the left-wing politics of Democratic candidates like U.S. Rep. Summer Lee and the party’s nominee for auditor general, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta.

“Except for Eugene DePasquale, who is much more moderate, the Democrats nominated far-left candidates. Additionally, they are not people with backgrounds or credentials for the office they’re seeking. For example, Kenyatta, who’s now their candidate for auditor general, has never audited anything bigger than his own checkbook. His entire background has been promoting far-leftist ideology, not much more.”


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