Energy - April 1, 2016

Primary Day on the horizon in PA

As Pennsylvania marches towards April 26, Primary Day, Presidential candidates are descending on the Commonwealth. Republican candidates Ted Cruz and John Kasich are scheduled to speak in Camp Hill this afternoon at the Pennsylvania Leadership Council. Kasich has made several stops already in Pennsylvania and will also hold a town-hall style meeting in Hershey. This will be Cruz’s first visit. Donald Trump was also invited to attend the Pennsylvania Leadership Council but organizers say he did not respond to the initiation.

On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders made his first appearance in Pittsburgh this week. Sanders drew a crowd of around 8,000 people and hit topics such as income inequality and trade deals that he says have damaged America’s middle class. He paid particular interest to the loss of manufacturing jobs Western PA to Mexico and China; calling out several US based companies who have moved operations out of the Commonwealth and overseas. While Sanders may be drawing large crowds, polls are showing that he still trails Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania. The latest poll by Franklin & Marshall has Clinton over Sanders 53% to 28%.  

While the Presidential race continues to heat up, there’s a lot at stake in the state races as well. gave a breakdown in the numbers:

In the state House the current split is 118 Republicans to 83 Democrats. Of those 66 Republican seats and 34 Democratic seats are safe because they are uncontested. Up for grabs are 52 Republican held seats and 34 Democratic held seats. While there may not be a huge shift as far as Republicans vs. Democrats, voters may be swayed away from incumbents based on dissatisfaction with the budget stalemate over the last year.

Only half of the Senate seats are up for election this go around; with this election cycle being the odd numbered Senate districts. Currently there are 38 Republican seats, 21 Democratic seats and 1 vacant seat. There are 27 Republicans and 13 Democrats who are safe with 3 Republican seats and 6 Democratic seats up for grabs plus the 1 vacant seat.

If you’d like a visual head over to Pennlive for maps and House and Senate seat breakdowns.