Thursday, November 10, 2016

Don't blame Delco, Hillary fans

Don't blame Delaware County, Hillary fans.

Delco delivered the goods, along with the other suburban counties, continuing a recent trend in national elections of backing Democrats, despite the continued success of the Delaware County GOP in dominating local races.

With all precincts reporting, Hillary Clinton topped Donald Trump in Delaware County, getting 169,423 votes, to 106,702 for the Republican.

It was the same in the rest of what we had been told again and again was the "crucial Philadelphia suburbs." Even Chester County, which had continued to vote red in presidential races, went for the Democrat this time, along with Montgomery and Bucks. And of course, Philadelphia delivered a huge victory for Clinton as expected.

But none of it was enough to overcome the angry vote in rural areas of the state that poured into the voting booths to back Trump, despite the fact that her margin in Philly and the suburbs actually was bigger than the boost received by President Obama in his re-election run four years ago.

Usually those kinds of numbers carry Democrats to statewide wins. Not this time. Instead Trump and his appeal to working-class voters and his message focusing on jobs sparked an avalanche of rural votes.

The result? A razor-thing, 49 percent to 48 percent win for Trump.

The Republican received 2,912,941 votes in Pa., as opposed to 2,844,705 for Hillary Clinton.

Those Philadelphia suburban women who were the subject of so much notoriety leading up to the election did what was expected, but voters in three more rural counties did not. Trump flipped the result in three counties that backed President Obama, posting wins in Erie, Luzerne and Northampton.

So, is Pennsylvania now a red state?

Not exactly.

Yes, Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey also squeaked by Democratic challenger Katie McGinty.

But tons of voters in the state eschewed the straight party ticket.

All three row offices up for grabs went to Democrats, despite Trump's victory.

Democrat Josh Shapiro turned back Republican John Rafferty for the attorney general post vacated by the convicted Kathleen Kane, another Democrat.

And Democrat Joe Torsella rolled to a win as state treasurer, while Eugene DePasquale was re-elected auditor general.

And all three Dems won the vote in Delco. As did McGinty. The Dem U.S. Senate candidate rolled over Toomey here in Delco, posting 156,679 votes, to 121,519 for the Republican. Elsewhere here in Delco, all eyes were on the 161st state House race, pitting incumbent Leanne Krueger-Braneky vs. Patti Rodgers Morrisette.

Krueger-Braneky was seeking a full term, after winning a special election to fill the term when Joe Hackett bailed on Harrisburg. But her victory got a huge boost when the GOP-endorsed candidate, labor leader Paul Mullen, touched off a feist third-party run from Tea Party zealot Lisa Esler. The GOP divide opened the door for Krueger-Braneky to eek out a win. This time she would not have that luxury.

But in a big win for county Democrats, Krueger-Braneky turned back Morrisette by a little more than 200 votes, getting 17,284 votes to the Republican's 17,044. Krueger-Braneky can thank her home turf of Swarthmore for the win. She rolled to a 2,500 vote win there.

All other incumbent candidates held serve in the county, with Republicans keeping the 165th House seat vacated by the retiring Bill Adolph with a solid win for Alex Charlton over Elaine Paul Schaefer.

But did anyone else notice one other oddity in the Delco voting?

Tom Killion, one of the most popular legislators in the county, actually lost the Delco vote in his 9th District state Senate race to Democrat Marty Molloy. It was a big margin in Chester County that allowed Killion to go back to Harrisburg. Here in Delco, Killion was outpolled by Democrat Marty Molloy 42,161 to 40,648.

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