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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Quick Thought on the Pennsylvania Special Election

I have admitted many times that I am a blundering ox when it comes to US domestic politics. So, I will try not to be TOO STOOPID in a quick comment on the Pennsylvania special election which took place yesterday.

As of this writing, the election result is too close to call but it SEEMS (I use that word a lot) that the Democratic Party candidate, Conor Lamb, will beat his GOP opponent, Rick Saccade, by about 700 or so votes out of some 227, 000 votes cast. Not many elections get much closer than that!

The media is going to be full of analysis of how this is a major blow to Trump and a sure sign of a coming Blue Wave in November's mid-terms.  I don't know (I use that phrase a lot, too). One robin does not a spring make . . . and all that jazz. Look, undoubtedly this is not a good thing for the GOP and it shows that Trump's popularity (he won that district overwhelmingly in 2016) does not necessarily translate down-ticket, as the wise ones say. The same was true about Obama. It seems (that word--TW) that BIG political personalities such as Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump do not always transfer their appeal to others. Not surprising. I mean, well, my wife is more liked than I am, and I can't seem (TW) to transfer that to myself. Life is like that, it seems (TW).

Perhaps the only thing we can draw as a conclusion from the election on Tuesday is that in many districts it helps to have a good candidate who can run a good campaign. From all I have read, I conclude that Lamb was the first and did the second. He seems (TW) to be a moderate Democrat--pro-life, pro-gun, pro-tax cuts and tariffs--who didn't make many if any missteps. It seems (TW) that many voters, especially those not absorbed by BIG politics and the grand scheme of the political balance, can be won over by a good candidate with a good campaign.

A note of warning to both parties.


  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=4BnOHydNcrM&app=desktop


    Conor Lamb's media spot [top link] at the range bearing an AR-15 - also stating he, personally, "Opposes abortion."

    Pennsylvania's kinda weird I'd suggest.

    Here's Pennsylvania's own State-Government's county-by-county count total county of votes - pay Especial attention to what's nearest the urban population.

    I JK would humbly suggest, Pennsylvania's (soon to be ended) District 18 actually isn't much to judge by:


  2. Oops



  3. Having lived in PA, Lamb's campaign is unlikely to translate into a national trend. As noted, PA can be weird.

  4. The Democrat (Lamb) understood the district and ran on the issues of that district. Pro gun, pro life (his only position stated was he is personally against abortion), pro tax cut, pro Union, and anti-Pelosi. The Democrat party understood this, stayed out of his way, but sent help and funds trying to create the appearance of a resurgent Democrat Party. Of note, in the previous 2 elections the Democrats never fielded a candidate in this district. In the 2012 election the Dem got 122000 votes, about 10000 more than last night. Hoever in off year elections the Rep candidate was getting about 166000. 50000 more than voted last night.
    So rather than the Blue Wave the Democrats are trying to create a mythos around, the real story is Republicans stayed home in an election that means nothing. In a few months the district goes away and everything is jumbled due to new lines being drawn.
    The Republican was an outlier. Since the district was going away in a few months none of the political class wanted to waste the time and effort it would take to run, only to have to refile and rerun in an entirely new district a week after this election. Saccone, a political novice, stepped up and ran just so the Republicans would have a candidate. His fund raising was abysmal and his initial messaging was incoherent. Up until the last week he had gotten little support from the national party level. He was running 6-10 points behind until Trump did an appearance last weekend...which bumped the race up to a dead heat.

    So, assuming that Lamb (Dem) wins; it is irrelevant to next years election. Sure, the media will try to create the illusion of importance. But they will ignore the fact that their was heavy support from the Democrats (money they really don't have and will need in 5 months) and the Candidate ran against his own Party. His vote tally was about average for a Democrat Candidate with zero indications of any resurgence in the area. And with redistricting in an off-year first term POTUS election, the entire State is probably a crap-shoot at this point (especially since the new district map may again end up in Court and get redrawn yet again).

  5. Much as I (and I assume others) appreciate your thoughts on the special election, I (and I assume others) am really waiting for you to comment on the elephant in the room (that being, of course, Tillerson's departure and Pompeo's nomination). I will avoid sharing my thoughts until after you have had your say. :)

    1. Yes, I have been thinking about that. I was never enthused with Tillerson. I don't know what to say about it, but I'll think of something.

    2. If you can't think of something kind to say, say something rude.

    3. Rex is a good man and a bit on the genteel side. Just the opposite of Trump. I never knew why Rex was chosen other than the act he was successful and knew a good bit about the world.

    4. Well, had I stayed with State, I might've been OK with working under Tillerson. But I definitely would've felt service under Shrillary Shroooooo to have been a very deep personal disgrace.

  6. And, as often is the case, the libertarian candidate siphoned off more than enough votes to defeat Lamb.

  7. I dunno, if more democrats are as hesitant as Lamb to criticize Trump or his policies as Lamb, they might end up being part of the majority pushes his agenda through. Wait, what is that agenda again? :)

    -reader #1482

  8. Not only was Saccone a poor candidate, who failed to excite anyone with his campaign, but his Democrat opponent Lamb got some help from the "professional opposition."

    That would be Paul Ryan, who like Mitch McConnell much prefers not to be in the driving seat of government. It's Uniparty all the way down.


  9. Some closer election results: School levy failing by 3 votes. Council seat won by 1 vote. Both have happened in places I and/or relatives have lived.

  10. I too am curious on your thoughts on Tillarson. My guess is the Iran Deal was the straw that broke the camels back, but it seems that he was not making the changes that Trump wanted in the state department and disagreed on Jerusalem, Paris Accords, and Iran Deal. Which left him with state department employees did not like him, and Trump types did not either.

    On the PA GOP Candidate, he was right to work, in a Union Area. Wrong candidate for the district, and that lacked charisma.