HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Looking back on Election Day, a heavily anticipated “red wave” never materialized and the Democratic party scored major wins. However, there is still debate as to why Election Day results favored the Democrats.
An election dissection is currently happening in Harrisburg, and even the chair of Pennsylvania Democrats tipped his hat to moderate Republicans.
“There were many Republicans that did the right thing and rejected extremism and voted for Democrats, not necessarily because they agreed with us on everything,” said Senator Sharif Street (D), Chairman of Pennsylvania Democrats.
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Senator Street said more fair maps and an extreme Republican gubernatorial candidate, Street’s Senate colleague Doug Mastriano, helped Democrats on Election Day.
“Do you know how hard it is to get thrown out of your own caucus in Harrisburg? It’s hard. It doesn’t happen a lot. He [Mastriano] got thrown out of the Republican caucus as a Republican Senator. That’s pretty extreme,” Street added.
Lowman Henry of the conservative Pennsylvania Leadership Conference said shaky GOP Primaries for governor and senate got nasty and personal, which helped Democrats.
“Our candidates came out of the primary with tens of millions of dollars in negative having been heaped upon them by our own side,” said Henry.
In Henry’s opinion, the GOP’s game plan should include kitchen table concerns, not personal issues.
“If you have responsible conservatives, cut in the mold of Ronald Reagan and William F. Buckley, talking about issues that people care about, that’s when we win. When we get off on side issues, that’s when we lose,” Henry added.
As for the Democratic party, John Fetterman broke the mold in the senate race. Street admitted he preferred Conor Lamb, a more moderate candidate, thinking he had a better chance at winning the seat.
“Something’s going on with the Fetterman formula that the rest of us who are more traditional politicians like me. We should probably spend some time looking at what he’s doing right instead of assuming he’s doing something wrong,” said Street.
Thanksgiving week politics are still to come. House Republicans will be in Harrisburg on Tuesday, Nov. 22, to select their leadership team for the new term.
Current majority leader Kerry Benninghoff is not running again, current speaker Bryan Cutler is.