DocJess just had her day made. The Voter ID law is now under injunction through the election.
A judge postponed Pennsylvania's controversial voter identification requirement on Tuesday, ordering the state not to enforce it in this year's presidential election but allowing it to go into full effect next year.
The decision by Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson on the law requiring each voter to show a valid photo ID could be appealed to the state Supreme Court.
However, Simpson based his decision on guidelines given to him days ago by the high court justices, and it could easily be the final word on the law just five weeks before the Nov. 6 election. - AP
Stay tuned for more news and analysis on this victory
[T]he Law contemplates that the primary form of photo identification to be used by voters is a Department of Transportation (PennDOT) driver’s license or the non-driver equivalent provided under Section 1510(b) of the Vehicle Code. Furthermore, the Law specifically requires that – notwithstanding provisions of Section 1510(b) relating to the issuance and content of the cards – PennDOT shall issue them at no cost . . . . As such, the Law establishes a policy of liberal access to Section 1510(b) identification cards. - Think Progress
It's now up to the state to prove that voters won't be disenfranchised. If it's decided that they cannot prove as such, an injunction would be placed.
This week, Pennsylvania saw five interesting outcomes in the Tuesday primary. (I apologize for having taken so long to get to this....sometimes the week is just crushingly busy.) So here goes.
Starting with the top position: Mitt Romney received 464,765 votes. Barack Obama received 610,401. Obama was a scunch away from beating Mittens and Spawn combined. Full results here. While certain county results show challenges, it's early, there's time, and in the aggregate, it's good.
Next, the Senate races. Again, the Democrat, in this case Bob Casey with 80% of the primary vote, garned more votes then the top two vote getters on the Republican side. Tom Smith (who was a Democrat for 40+ years until switching sides last year) won, Sam Rohrer came in second, and Tom Corbett's pet Steve Welch came in third. The foregone conclusion is that Silent Bob will win easily in November, and he likely will. He will do so, however, without the votes of a lot of informed, progressive, line Democrats.
The AG race went to Kathleen Kane 53/47 over Patrick Murphy. This would seem surprising on its face, but she spent a lot of money on very negative ads, and money talks. If she can spend at that level for the general, she may well end up being Pennsylvania's first woman, and first Democratic, AG since elections for that position started 30 years ago. In addition to the $2.25 million her family pumped into the race, she had the support of Bill Clinton, and we'll need to see how that plays out in the general. It played in one other race, too.
In the 12th CD, Mark Critz beat Jason Altmire. Critz took John Murtha's seat after Murtha passed away, and the run-off primary of two Democrats was due to redistricting. Critz had Clinton support, as well as the well-placed Murtha machine. The money in the race was about a million on each side, with about half coming from PACs. Another major reason Critz won was due to Altmire's Blue Dog vote against the ACA: Democrats like health care.
Finally, there's the 17th, where long-term incumbent Tim Holden lost to Matt Cartwright. This is Matt's first real election. He's run as a delegate to the national convention before (and won) but he's never held elective office. He won because the redistricting process made Holden's district more Democratic, and Tim is far to the right of Matt. The Democrats of the 17th chose an actual Democrat over someone whose views could win over Republicans. NICE!
It's not enough for the Corbett administration and its cronies in the legislature to deny suffrage to the poor, elderly and minorities. The administration, through its budget, is going to cause death and intolerable suffering amoung those least able to provide for themselves.
The numbers projected in Philly are striking: Some 4,000 mentally ill people will lose outpatient services; 400 of them will lose case management services; and 500 to 600 people with chronic mental illness will lose out on housing support, according to [Deputy Mayor for Health and Opportunity Donald] Schwarz, meaning "We expect people will be discharged from hospitals and other places into homeless shelters." Thirty to 40 young people with intellectual disabilities who would have received bridge services between youth and adult support systems will not. Sixteen percent of hospice beds for patients with HIV/AIDS will be cut: "There are folks that will die on the streets in Philadelphia because there will not be hospice placements." One out of two daytime mental health emergency teams and six out of eight walk-in centers dealing with emergency mental health services will likely be cut. And 437 addiction treatment beds will be removed, meaning more people will stay in the already strained prison system due to lack of treatment options. As for those homeless shelters — which can be expected to absorb much of this new overflow — they'll be losing critical case management services. (emphasis mine) Source
Dying on the streets. Could there be anything more shameful?
PICA is the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority. It was created two decades ago to help Philadelphia with its financial crisis, and to this day provides support and analysis. PICA has reviewed the Corbett budget and its impacts on Philadelphia. Its report is after the jump.
Last night on Al Sharpton's show, he had a segment on voting rights, which included an interview with Daylin Lynch, a terrific PA state senator. Also, a clip of Corbett, (at about 7:15) from 2010 about how Corbett wants to discourage turnout in Philadelphia. Obviously from the budget, it's not enough to deny suffrage, but he wants "those people" gone from Pennsylvania.
Yesterday, the Federal District Court threw out the 2010 State Assembly and State Senate district map, saying " we are compelled to conclude that the election should proceed under the only-existing plan, the 2001 Plan." No one sued about the CD map, so that monstrosity stays. This use of the 2001 map is a good thing.
Sadly, in the annual budget, Tom Corbett set forth a plan to cut medical assistance, set an asset threshold for food stamps, cut cash grants to people who are temporarily disabled or victims of domestic violence, and which included no Marcellus Shale taxes. The biggest ax was reserved for the public universities. Only Lincoln was spared: a 30% cut to Penn State and Temple, and 20% cut to all the other universities. This on top of last years approximately 20% cuts. So my question is: at what point does Pennsylvania lose all of its public colleges and universities? What makes them public is that they're predominantly funded by public monies. Public higher education facilities provide good educations to people who might not otherwise be able to afford college. College educations generally being seen as an investment for states: educate people giving them the skills to work jobs requiring college-level skills. Go figure. Would it be snarky to infer that Corbett is only concerned with getting kids enough education to read enough to get drivers licenses so they can go dig for shale oil? But never enough education to do the engineering for that hellish project?
Another interesting part of the budget is that it takes away all sorts of funding to cities and counties, replacing the programs (state-funded, city/county administered) with block grants. Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of block grants, but not when the dollar amounts are cut in half.
Right now, both the state Senate and the Assembly are majority-Republican. Here's hoping that people take a look at the budget and decide to vote out the Republicans and vote in a majority that respects education, transportation (which was also woefully underfunded in the Corbett budget) and funds the needs of people who are hurting. Corbett was committed to no tax increases: we pay a 3.1% income tax here. A hike to 3.5% would have kept the social net in place, or greatly decreased the cuts in other areas, and would barely impact the people who are working.
Last week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck down the redistricting plan for the state assembly and state senate districts. You can view the order after the jump. Kudos to all the local Democrats who sued to make this happen. (Hi Dariel! It gave me great pleasure to have seen your name there!). Dan over at PJVoice has a great article with all the details and the new petition schedule, which can be viewed here. For 2012, the 2001 local districts will be in place.
However, the Congressional Districts will not be changing. Why, you ask? No one challenged them. I'm unclear why there was one suit and not another, but I'm glad for the win.
There's something else I believe the state assembly should be sued over: that post will be up at noon.
Republicans notched a major redistricting win on Tuesday with the unveiling yesterday of a Pennsylvania congressional map that deals a sharp blow to Democrats' prospects in the state. The plan is not final — it must be passed by both houses of the state Legislature and then signed into law by Republican Gov. Tom Corbett. But Republicans control all levers of redistricting in the state, leaving Democrats with little power to contest the map.
"This congressional redistricting plan is breathtakingly brazen in its defiance of the interests of Pennsylvania's voters" said Common Cause/PA Executive Director, Barry Kauffman, upon the Senate State Government Committee's vote to approve the Congressional redistricting plan (SB-1249) that will be in place for the coming decade. Calling the plan the "ultimate in political cynicism" the bill abandons any pretense of maintaining congressional districts as communities of interest.
The plan unveiled today features a district (CD 7) that meanders bizarrely through five southeastern counties resembling the mythological three-headed dog that guards the gates of Hades. Another (CD 15) stretches from the Delaware River (Bethlehem and Allentown areas) to the Susquehanna River (just south of Harrisburg) following close to the I-78 and I-81 corridors; while another reaches from the Delaware even deeper into the Allegheny mountains (CD 10). One western Pennsylvania district, resembling an emaciated hammerhead shark, reaches from the Ohio border to Johnstown.
Erie County has been split in half. Scranton and Wilkes-Barre have been separated from the rest of Northeastern PA. Easton has been separated from the rest of the Lehigh Valley.
Meanwhile, Southeastern Pennsylvania's fractal lines wind and intertwine in such a way that it is difficult to tell who lives where, and the 7th Congressional District is barely contiguous. On the other side of the state Congressmen Mark Critz and Jason Altmire have been drawn into a district together and will have to compete in the Democratic primary.
Common Cause/PA noted that the legislature has had the census data, on which the redistricting plan is based, since the beginning of April, but did not release its proposed plan until December 14th. The legislature could easily have developed the new congressional district plan by the end July, put it out for 60 days of public comments and public hearings, and still passed it before the end of October. Instead, with the date for candidates to circulate nominating petitions looming just six weeks away, the bill will move forward on the legislative fast track, with no public hearing on the plan, and no meaningful opportunity for interested citizens and community leaders to review the plan and attempt to improve it during its one week of legislative life.
Reps. Jason Altmire (D-PA), left, and Mark Critz (D-PA) must face each other in a primary.
While states likes Iowa, California and Arizona have moved forward to take redistricting out of the hands of self-interested politicians whose principal goals are to create a gerrymandered advantage for their parties and to protect incumbent lawmakers from the voters, Pennsylvania's system remains the ultimate incumbency protection program. Several senators even noted that Pennsylvania's system manifests an abuse of power regardless of which party is in charge. "If Pennsylvanians ever hope to take back control of their government" said Kauffman, "we must reform our system for drawing legislative and congressional district boundaries. This plan is a clear-cut case of politicians picking their voters in order to prevent voters from having a meaningful opportunity to pick their elected officials."
The Democratic party has created a website where citizens can vote on which Congressional District is the most gerrymandered and a Rorschach test where you can propose what each district most resembles. (Examples include "Zombie aardvark in an airplane seat" [District 3], "A rabbit pulling the tail of a giraffe" [District 7]" and "A seahorse riding a platypus" [District 17].)
Close-ups on Southwestern Pennsylvania and Southeastern Pennsylvania
House Democratic Caucus Whip Rep. Mike Hanna (D-Clinton/Centre) intends to offer a fair Congressional map as an amendment to the Republican maps unveiled Tuesday (SB 1249).
The Democratic Governor's Association is running a petition about the unfairness of what Pennsylvania Republicans are doing about the redistricting process. It appears they're stealing Democratic seats. And it turns out, they are, those related to 129 precincts. Since the process is virtually completely opaque, there's no way to tell which precincts are involved.
The 5- member Reapportionment Committee accepted the US Census figures on 17 August, starting a 90 day clock during which time they need to have a draft map prepared, and then another 60 days to finalize. If you live in Pennsylvania and want to see what little you can see, public hearings have been scheduled for 7 September in Allentown and 14 September in Pittsburgh. Notice that there is nothing in Philadelphia, nor even in Harrisburg, which is the state capital and currently considering bankruptcy.
Remember that this committee is comprised of 2 Democrats, 2 Republicans and a chair chosen by the 4 members. Since they couldn't agree, it went to court, and (no surprise) the chair is a Republican judge. Anyway:
The two Democratic minority leaders on the panel voiced concern about apparent errors in some data provided by a contractor that has been refining the numbers down to the precinct-level. Their Republican counterparts said the 129 districts in question represent only a small fraction of the more than 9,200 precincts and that such issues are sometimes open to interpretation.
There is supposed to be a web site where people can see progress of the committee's work. It was supposed to be approved at the Wednesday meeting. I don't know whether they did or not, because they didn't publish their minutes, nor their findings, nor the address of the supposed web site. I'll keep looking.
While Pennsylvania limps along with the redistricting process, it looks like the same names who ran in PA-6 last year will likely do it again next year. In 2010, there was a bitter Democratic primary between Doug Pike and Manan Trivedi. Manan won by 714 votes, and went on to lost to Jim Gerlach by 14 points. Manan has already started raising money (he sent a letter), and Doug is leaning towards running (I asked him).
Can both of them run against Jim? Maybe. The 6th district was created in 2001 FOR Jim Gerlach. Back in March, I posted on the current map, the census data, and the likelihood that the sole PA district that wouldn't change is Bob Brady's district, as no one messes with Bob Brady. You'd think the state would have made some progress since then, but this is Pennsylvania. The redistricting committee is always made up of two Democrats, two Republicans, and a chair selected by the four. As usual, they couldn't agree, so it went to court. The committee, with its court-appointed chair, is supposed to come up with a plan by 11 August.
As of this writing, the most likely outcome is that Mark Critz's district (Murtha's old district) will be the one to go away. From a census perspective, it's the most reasonable. This redraw will pit Jason Altmire (CD 4) and Mark Critz (CD 12) in a primary. The GOP committee (and it is) will try hard to also force Allyson Schwartz (CD 13) and Chaka Fattah (CD 2) into a primary. However, it's likely that Tim Holden's area (CD 17) will grow to include Scranton, and become a more safe Democratic seat. This in turn will shore up the Republican pockets Lou Barletta (CD 11) needs.
Meanwhile, the GOP wants badly to increase their holds of the 6th and 7th. The 7th was Joe Sestak's, but is now Pat Meehan's. I haven't heard that Joe is thinking of running again. The eastern parts of these districts would have to move to force the Schwartz-Fattah primary. If the 6th moves north, and the 7th moves west, Manan would be in the 6th (he lives in Birdsboro). Jim would be in the 6th (West Pikeland), but Doug may well be in the 6th, as he lives in Tredyffrin (which was part of the 7th until 2001). So a primary re-match is a maybe, but Jim will certainly be challenged. If you're having trouble with what's where, click on the map to see a larger version. It's hard, I know, as some of the numbers are across the state from one another.
We'll have to wait a while to find out where Manan and Doug will run, and it would be great if they could run without having to re-fight that primary, which was ugly. Both are solid candidates, and without having to spend time, money and resources on a primary would have a good shot against both Jim and Pat. There is a lot of animosity against both of the incumbents from long term Republicans who feel that they, especially Jim since he's been there longer, have abandoned Republican ideals for their sell-out to the teabaggers. Thus, Democrats running on what will likely be a bring back Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid platform will perform well. Remember, demographics in this area skew old.
I'll be back with a more detailed look after the districts are drawn next month.
The first thing I'd like to say about the Pennsylvania census numbers is that Philadelphia gained population for the first time since 1950. The current population of 1,526,006 raises it back to fifth largest in the US, replacing Phoenix, which had surpassed Philly about 4 years ago, and now has a population of 1,445,632. (Sorry, local pride and all that....plus we're not out to send people out of the country....)
So here's the map:
And here is the current map of Congressional Districts:
If you look at the two maps, you can see that certain areas will win, and some will lose. So, what do we think will happen given that on the state level, Pennsylvania became a Republican state in 2010? Despite the fact that the governor and three of four legislative caucuses are all from the western part of the state, that's the most likely point of loss for the seat that will disappear. If John Murtha were still alive, there's no doubt that his would be the district gerrymandered out of existence. But it looks like that district, the 12th, currently held by Blue Dog Mark Critz might end up more blue.
Still, the GOP will be playing with the lines in Southeastern PA. The money is on redrawing the line between the 2nd and the 8th, currently held by Chaka Fattah and Allyson Schwartz, respectively. This would be a battle between suburban whites and Philadelphia blacks. The kind of bloodbath the Republicans would pay to see.
Another likelihood is that the 6th and 7th (Jim Gerlach and Pat Meehan (representing Joe Sestak's old district), respectively) will expand west into Lancaster County. Except, um, for Joe Pitts. He's the currently longest-serving member of the Pennsylvania delegation. He likes his job. He's a "good" Republican. He's also 71 and not spry. Still, the way population has grown more in Chester County as compared to Lancaster County, it's hard to tell. We'll see.
Almost everything else is in flux except CD 1, Bob Brady's district. No one messes with Bob Brady.
In many states, there is discussion about the growth of the Hispanic population and its affects on election outcomes. This is true in places like California, where the non-Hispanic white population is pegged at 40%. But here in Pennsylvania, Hispanics are not yet a driving force. Despite their huge percentage contribution to the overall state population growth, they are still less than 6% of the population, and are not organized as a political force.
Unlike California, both Ohio and Pennsylvania lost seats. That makes for very difficult decisions regarding who gets a free ride and who is going to have to face another representative next year. It is even more difficult in Ohio which lost two seats.
The target size for a district in Ohio is 721,000 persons. Both Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) and Hamilton County (Cincinatti) lost population to their suburbs. On the other hand, Franklin County (Columbus) did gain residents. The net result of these changes (and the increase in the population required for a seat) is that no county in Ohio is entitled to two representatives (though the above three are each entitled to one and fraction) None of the other counties is large enough for a full congressional seat.
The amazing thing in Ohio is that even with the loss of seats, there are seats that are over the new target size. The Twelfth (which includes part of Franklin County) has 756,000 people. Of the remaining 17 districts, the smallest is the 11th which includes Cleveland with 540,000 people. The largest is the 7th (taking in another part of Franklin County which has 683,000 people. The good news out of Ohio is that since the Republicans won 13 of the 18 seats in 2010, it is going to be very difficult for them to get rid of two Democrats. Because the five Democratic seats do currently join each other, its going to be difficult to avoid losing one of those seats. Those five seats (plus the 14th district in the extreme northeast corner of the state) combine to be just over 5 seats. Since the 14th is a pretty safe Republican seat, it can take the hit of 63,000 from the neighboring Democratic districts leaving the five districts to be recombined into four districts with a spare 74,000 to go to the rest of the state (probably into the 5th which is also safely Republican and can take the hit as well).
The real question for Ohio will be the swing seats -- all currently held by Republicans. The Republicans took 5 seats from Democrats in the 2010 elections, all by relatively close margins. The Republican goal in this cycle will be to split up one of these seats and between two or three safe Republican seats and then to send excess Republicans from those seats into the remaining swing seats.
Pennsylvania is a tale of two states. The western (more conservative) part of the state generally lost population. Only three counties gained population on the west side of the state. Two of those three were suburbs of Pittsburgh, and the other one was tiny Forest County which went from very very tiny to just very tiny. On the eastern side of the state, the population grew with only five counties in north central Pennsylvania losing population.
Of the five districts currently in Western Pennsylvania, the Republicans control 3 and the Democrats held onto the remaining two by the slimmest of margins. The Democrats are not doing much better in the rest of the state, holding only a grand total of 7 of the 19 seats.
While the Admiral appeared somewhat stiff compared to how he is when you talk to him in person, his facts were on the money. He quoted from Toomey's book, called Toomey out when he just plain lied, and kept pointing out things that Toomey ignored, such as asking why it was okay for George Bush to try terrorists on American soil in civilian courts 200 times, but now it seemed to be a problem for Pat. Pat, for his part just kept repeating that Sestak was the far-left fringe, which is not only false, but easy to rebut, which Sestak did on a continual basis.
This was the first debate, held in Philadelphia. There will be one more, and I think it will be held next week in Pittsburgh, but I may have the location wrong. To win, Sestak needs to pull 400,000 votes out of Philadelphia and environs. Since Democrats have a huge edge in registration, so long as we can turn our voters out, this should not be a problem. Specifically:
Chet Harhut, the commissioner of elections, has yet to certify the official final figures, but he and his staff gave me the up-to-the-minute totals and here is the good news for the Democrats: the number of registered Republicans in Pennsylvania is shrinking, not growing. In 2006 there were 3.3 million Republicans in the state; as of today there are 3.1 million. Over that same period, the number of registered Democrats grew from 3.9 million to 4.3 million today.
GO JOE! You can donate or sign up to help with phone banking from home here.
I was looking at the House forecast, looked at Pennsylvania, and realized I could be living in a red state come January. I poured a shot of Bailey's in my morning coffee, since I may need to take up drinking, and I'll need to ramp up. Or move.
Currently, we have a Democratic governor, two Democratic Senators, and a Congressional delegation comprised of 12 Democrats and 7 Republicans. A HAPPY PLACE!!!! I believe there's a 50/50 chance we keep the governor's mansion, and I think we hold the two Senate seats. but we're poised to lose our House delegation. Eek!
There are six seats we will hold for sure: Brady (PA-1), Fattah (PA-2) and Schwartz (PA-13) in Philadelphia (yes, Allyson's district extends north); Altmire (PA-4), Doyle (PA-14) and Holden (PA-17). And the Republicans will for sure hold the seats they hold now in the 5th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 18th and 19th. In the 9th, by the way, there isn't even a place-holding challenger, Shuster is running unopposed. I don't see a path to victory for Manan Trivedi, which means Jim Gerlach keeps his seat. This is a personal sadness for me as I believe Doug Pike would have won the 6th. My prediction for Trivedi is that he loses by the largest margin a Democrat has ever lost by since the district was created for Jim back in 2001.
As for the rest:
PA-3 - This seat is currently held by Kathy Dalkemper (D), who won it in 2008. The most recent F&M poll shows her with 38% of the vote. Now, it should be remembered from 2008 that F&M weights their polls incorrectly, and didn't call 2008 as accurately as many other pollsters, but this is within one district and gives pause. However, Dahlkemper has TEN TIMES the money as Mike Kelly (R), so that may win out in the final analysis if it's spent well.
PA-7 - In this seat currently held by Joe Sestak (D), it's been an uphill battle for Brian Lentz (D), current state assemblyman against Pat Meehan, GOP darling. It's pretty neck and neck, but what might help is a guy named James Schneller (Nutjob), the teabagger in the race, who may take some votes from Pat. Obama recently singled out Lentz in an endorsement. Whether that carries weight is left to be seen.
PA-8 - This race is a rematch of 2008, although this time Patrick Murphy (D) is the incumbent, and Mike Fitzpatrick (R) the challenger. There have been recent polls: F&M has it going for Fitzpatrick, and an internal Murphy poll has him up 3 points. If TV ads sell, Murphy will come out on top: his ads have local residents sitting in empty rooms that used to be factories, and empty lots that used to be full pointing out that their jobs were offshored and Fitzpatrick voted for trade policies that cost them their jobs.
PA-10 - Chris Carney (D) has always been a blue dog. And it's not playing real well on home turf. While polls are contradictory, and Chris has a huge monetary advantage, it's not clear from what I've heard from friends in the district that Chris will be able to hold his seat.
PA-11 - Paul Kanjorski (D) and Lou Barletta (insane anti-immigration mayor of Hazelton) are going at it again. Nate Silver has this as a 60% Barletta win. A small, high-error poll has Barletta with a large lead. I don't trust the pollster, but if he's right, and someone who wants all brown-skinned people gone from America prevails, things are even worse than I thought.
PA-12 - This was John Murtha's district until his untimely death due to medical error. Mark Critz (D) and Tim Burns (R) are replaying the special election form a few months ago. What's interesting to me is that Critz won because of a supreme boots-on-the-ground effort (Hat tip - Chris Van Hollen and the DCCC)but the District didn't get another John Murtha, they got a blue dog. Mark might carry with the same ground game, but this time, he might not.
That's it: six Democratic seats that might or might not be held. It's the difference between a blue Congressional delegation and a red one. If you have the time, please consider making calls from wherever you are in addition to the ones you're doing in your home district. It could make the difference. Each incumbent's web site is linked to from his/her name. Thanks in advance for trying to help keep Pennsylvania happy blue.
In all the discussion of Democratic seats lost because of "anti-incumbent fever", we sometimes forget that there are also House seats held by incumbent Republicans. And so we come to the PA-6th, created in 2001 specifically for Jim Gerlach, who has held it ever since. Manan Trivedi is the Democratic candidate after winning a bitter primary fight. He's an Iraqi war vet, a doctor (one of 34 doctors running nationwide for office this year), a super-bright guy, and a far better candidate than the candidate in 2008. So, can he win? The answer is possibly, but probably not. Had Manan been the candidate in 2008, there is no doubt that he would have won this race: Bob Roggio lost the race more than Jim won it.
The 6th District is gerrymandered, including parts of Chester, Montgomery, Berks and Lehigh Counties. Manan is from Berks County: born and raised. His organization is very strong there, and Jim has always run weakly there, basing his wins on running up the numbers in Montco and Chesco, which make up the largest part of the district in population. Lehigh, with its one district in one town is not of numeric importance. The make-up of the district is heterogeneous: large swaths of farmland in lower Chester, highly dense relatively poor cities of Norristown, Coatesville and Reading, incredibly rich suburbs.
Manan's printed lit is fantastic: much of it shows off Jim's voting record and what Manan would do differently, including issues of great import to local voters like votes on economic issues. Manan ran no TV ads for the primary, and it's unclear if he will be running them for the general. If he did, it would be very helpful to his cause because not enough people who may well vote in the general know who he is. He's been doing all the right things in terms of getting out and meeting voters, and is strong in his presentation.
Manan is up against two major things: the primary really was bitter, and because of some of the last minute things the Trivedi campaign did, there is a block of Democratic voters who will sit this race out. They'll still be going to the polls to vote for Joe Sestak, but when the final numbers come in, the vote totals for the 6th will be lower for Manan than they will be for Joe. In addition, there are a lot of Democratic voters who are not voting this year at all. Thus, Manan needs to capture and enthuse the normal Democratic base to the extent possible, as well as capture a high percentage of the independent and non-aligned electorate.
Second, there is also the issue of the fact that Manan is of Indian extraction. Jim has steadfastly refused to make an issue of race. He is running a clean campaign, and when the Gerlach campaign has been provided with information that could be used against Trivedi, Jim himself has steadfastly refused to use that information. But many voters are racists, and see anyone with darker skin as a potential Muslim, which Manan is not. It's a sad and sickening problem, but it certainly exists.
In terms of money, the last information is from second quarter: Gerlach had raised about $1.4 million with slightly over half a million cash on hand, Trivedi had raised about $800,000 with $380,000 cash on hand. Gerlach has proved himself over the years to be a great fundraiser, and likely the disparity will be greater for third quarter.
It is possible that Manan can pull this out, but it will depend on whether or not the Democrats show up to the polls and vote for him. Despite the fact that the 6th is D+4, it's questionable whether or not the voters will come out.