The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
As of 10:00 PM but with some updating to 10:30 63% of districts counted (now higher)
The political geography. There are three Pennsylvanias
- Philadelphia metro
- Pittsburgh metro
- The T (Everyone else)
Philly is headquartered on Main Line and features Social Liberals in charge, plus Philadelphia City, a city so enthused about voting that she has been known to cast more ballots than the census counts residents. It is simply a done deal that it will vote Democratic.
Pittsburgh is economically liberal, the old-fashioned guns-and-bible, union liberal. The do not like the Philly Social Liberals and have been known to vote Republican or to sit on their hands if Philly (which pretty much controls state-wide nominations) hands them someone they cannot stomach. With the decline of Steel and industry, the old-line Democrats have been losing power to the Main Line; blue collar to blue cheese.
Since these two account for South-east and South-west, resp., the rest of the Commonwealth forms a stubby T. It has been Republican country since the Civil War, but has been known to vote for Democrats of the Pittsburgh variety. There are blue pockets, like Scranton and Erie; but they are blue collar not blue cheese, as I've said. Dauphin County, containing the state government, is the blue cheese exception. There is something in the water of the Susquehannah River that drives mad all men who live on its banks too long.
The city machines count early (and often), so PA always looks blue at first. Then comes the long wait for the T to phone home. These are the mountain counties, the Amish country, the old mfg fringe outside the two big cities. The Commonwealth begins to turn purple, and sometimes red. Depending.
That's why they call her a swing state. Here are the results statewide (and for my home county of Northampton).
Pat Toomey (R) 49.6% (48.6%)
Joe Sestak (D) 50.4% (51.5%)
(when I checked earlier, Sestak was at 52% and I've been watching it shrink since as the T reports in. If it gets too close, Philadelphia will discover some "lost" ballot boxes somewhere.)
Tom Corbett (R) 52.2% (53.3%)
Dan Onorato (D) 47.8% (46.7%)
The media, now apparently our official vote certifiers, have called it. How could anyone in SF =not= vote for a guy named Tom Corbett??
Our local House race
Charles Dent (R) 46.1% (52.0%)
John Callahan (D) 40.3% (40.2%)
Jake Towne (TFC) 13.6% (7.8%)
Locally, Callahan was a popular mayor of Bethlehem City, and so is doing well. A doomed sentimental favorite is Jack Towne, whose memorable campaign slogan was "Who is Jack Towne?" which if nothing else was to the point. The local paper actually endorsed him. He seems sensible, if unseasoned, and he is a chemical engineer not a lawyer. He'll get maybe 10%, but I hope he runs again for something. (TFC stands for Towne For Congress. I would have used Whig, and said be-damned with them.)
The local turnout was about: 34%