Monday, May 17, 2010

Misery rains in Pa. politics

There is a very ugly word looming over Tuesday’s Primary election in Pennsylvania.

It is not another attack ad. It is not another misleading claim. This one is much more serious than that.

It is rain.

The forecast calls for showers on Tuesday. That could have a big effect on the vote.

Voters routinely stay away from the polls in droves on Primary Day, but it was believed that this election might have a little more sizzle, due in part to the heated Democratic primary between Sen. Arlen Specter and his challenger, U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak.

Just how big a factor was the Specter-Sestak race? It was enough to make new County Councilman Mario Civera hold onto his state rep post long enough to keep the special election to fill the seat off the Primary Day ballot. The thinking among Republicans was clear, and politically savvy.
They were expecting a big Democratic turnout because of the Senate race, and that would have put them at a decided disadvantage. Instead of losing a House seat, Civera simply held his ground until it was too late to have the 164th race held on Primary Day.

But while Democratic turnout, especially here in Delaware County, was expected to run high, you were still probably looking at a turnout somewhere in the vicinity of 25-30 percent.

Factor in rain, and you can shave those numbers down.

It’s sad, but true. Rain keeps people away from the polls.

Get out and vote. There are important decisions to be made. If you’re a Democrat, the Specter-Sestak question might be at the top of your ballot.

But both parties also will nominate candidates for governor and lieutenant governor.

Don’t waste an opportunity.

Don’t let a little rain drown out your voice. That’s why they make umbrellas.


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