In the fight for the Legislature, Dems, GOP looks to mail-in ballots

By: - November 4, 2020 5:15 pm

As Pennsylvania, and America, gears up for a long, litigious count of the presidential results in the Keystone State, state elected leaders are starting to get an early sense of how the 2020 election has changed the composition of the Legislature.

Despite some late optimism from Democrats, and a record $35.4 million in campaign fundraising, a Demopcratic flip of either chamber of the General Assembly does not appear to be in the cards.

At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Rep. Greg Rothman, R-Cumberland, who chairs the House Republican Campaign Committee, said he was “very confident with the numbers right now and where they will go,” adding that “it’ll be a very good election for House Republicans.”

The Associated Press already has called two blue to red flips. One is in a western Pennsylvania Senate seat, the other in a northern Bucks County House seat. Both were won by Democrats in the last two years.

Meanwhile, two open, GOP held suburban Philadelphia seats were retained by Republicans. Numerous other races across the state appeared too close to call.

As of Wednesday at 3:45 p.m., there are just more than 1 million ballots left to count in Pennsylvania, according to Department of State data. That total could continue to increase, as mail-in ballots can arrive by mail until Friday at 5 p.m. at county election offices and still be tallied.

Many of those votes appear concentrated in suburban Philadelphia, which could influence the outcome of some of the elections. The House Democratic Campaign Committee was claiming one flip of an open seat in Montgomery County and parts of Philadelphia.

Rep. Leanne Krueger, of Delaware County, who chairs the House Democrats’ reelection effort,  told the Capital-Star that a number of seemingly vulnerable rural Democrats also appeared on their way to victory as of Wednesday, such as Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, who’s district gave Trump more than 70 percent of its vote in 2016.

“These races were always going to be close,” Krueger said. “Mail-in ballots will be the margin of victory in many of them.

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Stephen Caruso
Stephen Caruso

Stephen Caruso is a former senior reporter with Pennsylvania Capital-Star. Before working with the Capital-Star he covered Pennsylvania state government for The PLS Reporter.