Why was there a blue wave in Pennsylvania?

By Mike McGann, Publisher, The Times @mikemcgannpa

By now we’ve all had some time to digest the election results – regarding Pennsylvania and Chester County – it was a very good midterm election for the Democrats, who swept the statewide races and took control of the state House of Representatives and hold all of their congressional seats .

As you may know, the party that controls the White House tends to have a rough time in the midterm elections — and yes, the Republicans narrowly controlled the U.S. House of Representatives — but in general, the so-called “red wave” is easy nationwide never happened and was more like a Blue Wave in Pennsylvania.

Obviously there are many reasons.

Democrats continue to have an advantage in Get Out The Vote (GOTV) efforts, using sophisticated targeting and data collection to identify their likely voters and get them to vote either through the mail or on election day. It’s a system that has become more effective with each election cycle.

It wasn’t long ago that the Democrats were the party of chaos and the Republicans had a disciplined, tightly run electoral operation. Since 2017, that’s almost completely swapped out: While the GOP has morphed into a species Lord of the flies In Operation, the Democrats somewhat unified, focused, and used technology to close the gap with GOTV and ultimately become far better at it than the Republicans.

Another reason: poor candidate quality. The GOP fielded too many candidates who were outside of the mainstream – many were endorsed by former President Donald Trump. Doug Mastriano and Mehmet Oz both proved stumbling blocks to local tickets and may have cost Republicans any chance of holding the State House.

A third reason: fairer, much less gerrymandered legislative districts. Keep in mind that a concept called “packing” (many, many Democrats are packed into mostly Democratic legislative districts in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh) made it virtually impossible to create a truly fair map. Even this newer “fair” card has about a 3% advantage for Republicans nationally. But it was enough for the Democrats to get a narrow majority in the House of Representatives.

And yes, eventually abortion was on the ballot, and it hurt Republicans far more than expected. Women and young people came at very high rates.

It was a bit of the coup de grace of the Republican process, which was becoming increasingly irrelevant in Pennsylvania — and clearly in Chester County, once a bastion of Republicanism. One wonders if some of the lessons learned can be exported to neighboring Ohio — where Democrats appear to be lost at sea.

It could also prove a precursor to how the party fares in national politics.


When I first moved to Pocopson in 1999, every single state and federal legislator who represented me in Harrisburg and Washington, DC was a Republican. In January 2023, for the first time since moving to Chester County, I will be represented only by Democrats in the House of Representatives, State Senate, US House of Representatives, and US Senate.

I think that says a lot about how much Chester County has changed and how much our politics has changed nationally.


From all of us The timeswe wish you a happy Thanksgiving and warm and welcoming times with friends and family.