THE MIDTERMS MINUTE: Pennsylvania’s Battleground Races!

MIDTERMS_MINUTE_IMAGE_FINAL.pngThe Midterms Minute is a look at the candidates and races that you need to know about, shout about and support to make sure we have a blue tsunami on November 6th.

The primaries are over, the candidates are set and now it’s time to focus on the big picture. Democrats across the country, spanning the left side of the political spectrum, need to win and they need to win big in many cases to overcome gerrymandering. Everything we do between now and election day should be done while keeping the most vulnerable and disenfranchised among us in mind.

So if you haven’t yet, take a moment today to figure out how you are going to make a difference in these historic and critical midterm elections. We’ve included volunteer links and resources in the notes at the bottom of the page, including the specific Swing Left and the Democratic Party's Red to Blue pages for the districts we’ll be mentioning today.

Right up until election day, we are going to be highlighting the battleground races for the U.S. Senate, House and governorships, so that you know where your help and donations are needed most. You can also view all of our spotlight segments and every battleground race at THE MIDTERMS MINUTE H.Q..


Today, we’re talking about Pennsylvania, where the district lines were actually redrawn in February after the state’s supreme court ruled that they were illegally partisan. This was a huge win against gerrymandering and the new map gives Democrats a much better chance at picking up critical House seats in November. Pennsylvania is also one of five states with the biggest impact on the House majority and has a number of open seat races where incumbents aren’t seeking re-election. Incumbents are tough to beat, so this is more good news in a swingy state.


PA-01 - In Pennsylvania’s 1st district, philanthropist Democrat Scott Wallace is facing semi-moderate Republican incumbent Brian Fitzpatrick, who has landed labor union endorsements. This district includes Bucks County, a suburb of Philadelphia where Clinton won by just one point. The race is currently rated by The Cook Political Report as leaning Republican.

PA-05 - Pennsylvania’s 5th district is one of those Republican open seat districts where Clinton won. Democrat Mary Gay Scanlon faces Republican nominee Pearl Kim in November. As of right now, this new 5th district seat is rated as likely going to the Democrat. These candidates are simultaneously squaring off in a special election for the state’s old 7th district after Pat Meehan resigned over sexual harassment allegations.

PA-06 - Pennsylvania’s 6th district also has an empty formerly Republican seat. Democrat Chrissy Houlahan is facing Republican Greg McCauley. Clinton won here by more than 9% and the race is currently rated as likely Democratic.

PA-07 - Pennsylvania’s 7th district is the third open seat battleground race in the state. Democrat Susan Wild is facing Republican Marty Nothstein, who was recently accused of sexual misconduct. Clinton squeaked by with a win here and the race is currently rated as leaning toward the Democrat.

Pennsylvania is also home to two battleground districts where Trump won, but Democrats have a shot.

PA-17 - Democrat Connor Lamb won the special election for the Pennsylvania’s old 18th district in March by just 600 votes. But after the court’s redistricting, Lamb is now running to win in Pennsylvania’s newly drawn 17th district. His opponent, Republican Keith Rothfus, is also an incumbent from a redrawn district. Trump only won here by 2.6 percentage points and most ratings consider this race a toss up.

PA-16 - In Pennsylvania’s 16th district Democrat Ron DiNicola is facing Republican incumbent Mike Kelly. Trump won this district by 20 points, but Romney only won here by 5 points in 2012, which is why the race is rated as just likely Republican. It’ll be tough, but a win is possible.


And finally, it’s worth noting that Pennsylvania Democratic incumbent Senator Bob Casey is up for his third term in November and has drawn the ire of Trump. His opponent is Republican Rep. Lou Barletta, who was on Trump’s transition team and whose voting record is a horror show. Pennsylvania’s Democratic incumbent Governor Tom Wolf is also up for re-election this year and his Trumpian opponent is thankfully a long shot. Both Wolf and Casey should be safe, but I think we’ve all learned by now to take nothing for granted.

IMPORTANT DATES: To vote in the Pennsylvania Midterm Elections, you need to be registered to vote by October 9th. Absentee ballot requests must be made by October 30th and ballots must be received by November 2nd. Early voting is NOT available in Pennsylvania.

As for your own state, it’s never too early to check registration cut off dates and absentee ballot request and submission dates. We highly suggest reviewing your state’s important dates and voter ID laws at rock the vote dot org as soon as possible to ensure you will be able to vote in the general election.

So, if making the Blue Wave a reality in November is important to you, be sure to hit the share buttons to spread the word about supporting Democrats in battleground races across the country via social media so that others in your network can spread the word too.








Get Involved:

Swing Left (Help flip districts from anywhere) 

Red to Blue (DCCC program to flip seats) 

When We All Vote (Michelle Obama’s initiative) 

Voter Circle (friend-to-friend outreach tool) 

Vote Forward (mail letters to unlikely voters)

Volunteer for Democrats 

Abroad? Phone bank for Democrats  

Let America Vote (voting rights focus) 

Justice Democrats “Justice Dialer”

Brand New Congress GOTV Dialer 

National Democratic Redistricting Committee 

Easily donate to candidates with on your mobile browser. 

“15 Ways to Help a Campaign Win Their Election” (Political Charge) 


Pennsylvania Democratic Party

Important Dates: Must be registered to vote by October 9th. Absentee ballot requests made by October 30th and received by November 2nd. Early voting NOT available.


PA-01 - Scott Wallace 

Swing Left PA-01  |  Red to Blue PA-01

PA-05 - Mary Gay Scanlon 

(no Swing Left or Red to Blue page)

PA-06 - Chrissy Houlahan 

Swing Left PA-06  |  Red to Blue PA-06

PA-07 - Susan Wild 

Swing Left PA-07  |  Red to Blue PA-07

PA-17 - Connor Lamb 

Swing Left PA-17

PA-16 - Ron DiNicola 

Red to Blue PA-16


U.S. SENATE - Bob Casey (D - incumbent)

GOVERNOR - Tom Wolf (D - incumbent) 


What Pennsylvania’s new congressional map means for 2018 (Vox)

These 6 Pennsylvania Democratic nominees are key to the battle for House control (Vox)

5 States That Will Decide the House Majority (Roll Call)

Pennsylvania voters prefer Democrats for Congress after choosing Trump in 2016: NBC/Marist poll (CNBC)


Posted September 14, 2018; Researched & Written by Best of the Left Communications Director, Amanda Hoffman

Hear the segment in the context of Best of the Left Edition #1210: Brett Kavanaugh and the Imperial Presidency (Supreme Court)



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