Districts, Senate; and Shenanigans-Delegate: PA’s 2022 Elections
As the United States nears the 2022 Midterm elections in November (to elect all the members of the House and a third of the Senate), news of political elections have made their way into the public’s eyes. Primaries in both the Republican and Democratic parties have captured the attention of Americans and Pennsylvanians in particular. In the Democratic camp, the two frontrunners to replace Pat Toomey’s retiring seat, includes US Representative Conor Lamb and current Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman (John Baer, PennLive). Connor Lamb is a young, upstart candidate who is running to replace Toomey in the Senate after representing PA’s 17th district in the House of Representatives.
Fetterman is the Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania under Tom Wolf, with him seeming to be the favorite to win Toomey’s seat, according to a Pennsylvania poll, despite supporting controversial mask mandates. Meanwhile, the Republican front runner seems to be Dr. Oz, a reality TV host and cardiothoracic surgeon. There are many mixed feelings on Dr. Oz, especially as both Fetterman and Lamb lead him by nearly 4 points in a POLITICO poll (Garrett Ross, Politico). Despite this poll’s poor showing of Dr. Oz in the general election, he seems primed to become the Republican candidate campaigning to keep the district in republican control (Garrett Ross, Politico)(CNBC).
Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania State Legislature is currently conducting Pennsylvania’s redistricting. With both the Republican State Senate and State Assembly in control of redistricting, it is largely expected that this process will benefit the republican party and their conservative voters. Bipartisan commissions on redistricting have been hindered and deadlocked by the legislative Republicans and Democratic Governor Wolf’s disagreement over the new boundaries.(Spotlight PA). To compound the issue, Democrats themselves are disagreeing over the boundaries with members of their own party. In one map, Democrats would hold a very strong share of voters in a Philadelphia district, which some democrats disagree with, as they believe that this would cost democrats key seats in the state legislature. (The Philadelphia Inquirer)
While the 2022 Midterms and PA redistricting are still a year away, it is important to take interest in politics now as political squabbling in Harrisburg, a Senate election on the horizon, and still no decided redistricting map make the results of future Pennsylvania elections uncertain. More importantly, it makes the results of future political decisions uncertain. These decisions will decide key issues of your future and present, including how to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and whether voters will elect the Democrat candidate, whose vote will be critical in passing the Build Back Better Act in the Senate.
The two democratic candidates argue that they are best suited to satisfy the needs of everyone in the state through critical decision making. On the other hand, Oz and other Republicans promote the fact that they want to “drain the swamp” and provide politics for “the average Pennsylvanian”-which they argue does not occur in the current Democratic platform. Regardless, it is looking to be a great race, with both sides promoting respectable candidates. All that is left to be decided is who will be the democrat and republican candidate, and who will the majority of voters support! I strongly believe that Fetterman will defeat Lamb in the primary and face off against Dr. Oz in the full race, where the voters and residents of Pennsylvania will make the call for their, and our, future.