All Eyes On Pennsylvania As Democrats Vie In Primaries

May 15, 2018 - 5:47 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Tuesday was primary day in several states, and it is an important day for the eventual makeup of Congress.

The races in Pennsylvania are under particularly close scrutiny, as Politico campaign reporter Elena Schneider told WCBS 880’s Steve Scott and Michael Wallace.

 “We’ve got voters in Pennsylvania who are going to be deciding the kinds of Democrats that they want facing Republican incumbents, and no state has gone through quite as much chaos and uncertainty as Pennsylvania this cycle,” Schneider said. “It’s obviously a presidential swing state, so obviously, always highly targeted. But this year, their congressional map was thrown out by the state Supreme Court – all those lines were redrawn – and it triggered a lot of retirements."

Thus, there are six open seats in Pennsylvania, many of them in districts where Democrats believe they have a real shot.

“So it’s anywhere from one to six Democrats feel like they could potentially pick up there, which would be huge in getting them on their way to try to retake the majority,” Schneider said. “So for Democrats, it’s a really critical night.”

Schneider said she is paying particular attention to the 8th Congressional District, which includes Bucks County and parts of Montgomery County north of Philadelphia. U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pennsylvania) is running for reelection and is the “last man standing” among the GOP in the area because of the retirements, Schneider said.

“He’s used to running tough races, and we’ll get the answer of the kind of Democrat who will come out of there,” she said.

Young Navy veteran Rachel Reddick is up against Scott Wallace, a self-funded millionaire philanthropist who has vastly outspent Reddick, according to Schneider.

“He’s really hit her hard on being a registered Republican at one time, and so it seems likely that Scott Wallace will come out of that,” Schneider said.

Meanwhile, Democrats are lining up in the race to replace U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pennsylvania) in the Lehigh Valley’s 15th District. Dent has been known for being critical of President Donald Trump at times.

“The race to replace him has got all stripes of the Democratic Party running there – everything from a Bernie Sanders-endorsed candidate in Greg Edwards to John Morganelli, the DA, who’s very well-known in the district, who actually tweeted at Donald Trump about potentially serving in the administration, and he’s somebody who’s a much more conservative Democrat,” Schneider said.

Primary elections are also underway in Nebraska, Idaho, and Oregon.