The only statewide contest this year was for Governor and although there was some mudslinging tussle in the primary, the Democrats forgot was a rotten guy their guy was according to their other guys (actually: gals) and closed ranks behind businessman Tom Wolf, who has now defeated the incumbent with the SFnal name of Tom Corbett in the Battle of the Toms by a margin of 9.8 percentage points.
|T. Corbett (i)||45.1%||1,560,045|
Broken down by county: Wolf won the populous areas of the Commonwealth, plus some outlying areas. The blue region in the center of the state below is where the state university is located. The upper left is Erie. The extensive blot on the right edge is, south to north: Philadelphia and her suburbs, the Lehigh Valley, and Wilkes-Barre Scranton, plus connecting tissue. The large red areas are less well populated, which is tough luck for the farmers, but no one will care after they have been subdivided into tract housing.
Of the 18 districts, 5 returned Democratic congresscritters and 13 Republicans, proving that while Pennsylvanians might readily vote one way for governor, they can easily vote the other way for Congress. Here you can easily see Pittsburgh (17th dsitrict) on the left and Philadelphia (1-2-13th districts) on the lower right. The monstrosity on the upper right is a single Congressional district (17th) which even though it wanders across six counties and a couple mountain ranges is not the most convoluted district in the Commonwealth. This is the district within which TOF dwells, purely by accident. (See the dangling appendage on the lower right of the blue area? The Powers That Be no doubt did that simply to include TOF! It is the only part of the 17th that is south of the Blue Ridge. The appendage that sticks up is to include the Wyoming Valley (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton),where the Perpetual Incumbent lives. There is very little in common between the Wyoming Valley, the Mahoning Valley (and other regions just north of the Ridge) and the smidgen of the Lehigh Valley thrown in as lagniappe.
TOF trained as a mathematician, and such things offend his sense of propriety. Congressional districts ought to represent as nearly as possible communities of common interests instead of, as they do now, communities of common party affiliations. There is a mathematical way to create compact districts using space-filling curves, but this may run afoul of requirements for special consideration of black voters.
Now the 12th, even though it wriggles across a third of the Commonwealth like a snake, is at least mostly farming communities; and the vast, sprawling 5th and 10th represent mostly emptiness; but not even quantum tunneling can explain the nearly disjoint 7th or (if your eyes are keen) the 13th.
|For those following the manhunt for Eric Frien, Pike County is the far right of the 10th, where PA juts out due to the|
winding of the Mighty Delaware River.
|Close-up of PA 7th District. Yes: three separated blobs connected by essentially single roads. A masterpiece of its kind.|
|TOF's old home, the 15th, treated the Lehigh Valley as a single coherent whole, but that did not compensate for|
the twists and turns and necks in other districts. In particular, the 15th had two skinny little extensions on its bottom.