Just ahead of redistricting, Republicans are in prime position to win the governor’s mansion and both chambers in the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Additionally, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Pat Toomey appears to be on the verge of boosting GOP gains in the Keystone State.
Political prognosticator Charlie Cook currently rates the governor’s race in which GOP nominee Tom Corbett has mounted a stellar campaign, as “Lean Republican.” Several polls indicate that Corbett has opened a wide lead over his opponent. In the state Senate, Republicans control 30 of the 50 seats, leaving that majority safely in the GOP’s hands. The House is closely split with 104 Democrats and 99 Republicans, meaning a pick-up of three seats will change the balance of power in the lower chamber.
The result of such a change “could bring sweeping policy changes to a state that can't seem to make up its mind whether it wants to be blue or red,” reports The Associated Press. “[T]he outcome of legislative races could largely determine what the state does about its multibillion-dollar budget shortfall, the funding crisis for public-sector pensions and redistricting — not to mention the thousands of bills lawmakers will introduce during the coming two-year session.”
According to political scientist Terry Madonna, “public opinion research shows an enthusiasm gap, with Republican voters more likely to vote this fall, and independents leaning Republican.” This factor clearly favors Republicans, who “are salivating at the chance to parlay a favorable national political climate into a return after four years to majority status.” Further, Rep. Dave Reed, the GOP’s point man on House campaigns said, “‘We've got a menu of seats we can win from.’”