The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College

The Centurion

The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College

The Centurion

The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College

The Centurion

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Pennsylvania Election Results Debunk Red Wave Narrative

Grace Levy
Local Republicans and Democrats stood outside of Perkasie Borough’s 2nd Ward election hall, where they greeted voters and provided information about candidates.

Pennsylvania voters took to the polls on Nov. 8 and chose Josh Shapiro to be the state’s next governor, sent John Fetterman to the U.S. Senate and re-elected Brian Fitzpatrick to represent the 1st Congressional District in Congress.

In a midterm election comprised of issues like abortion, inflation, crime, and student loans, these candidates used their stances to sway voters and win their seats.

Nationally, some of the Democratic wins were surprising. While polls had predicted large victories for Republicans in the House, the Senate was uncertain, and Pennsylvania was a state that strategists were unsure of. President Biden’s approval rating is below 51 percent, and “historically the party out of power wins by a lot” during the midterms, and yet Republicans seemed to underperform, reported NPR.

Fetterman, who beat Republican opponent Mehmet Oz by over 100,000 votes, built his Senate campaign around protecting women’s reproductive rights, fighting inflation, and criminal justice reform. His win gained Democrats another seat, furthering their hopes for winning the 51-seat majority they need to secure control of the Senate.

Fetterman’s campaign took a hit when he had a stroke in May, and Oz released many television ads questioning his opponent’s ability to serve in office. However, Fetterman continued to campaign by showing voters he was not a standard politician and shot back at Oz with TV ads attacking Oz for his wealth.

In a tweet on Wednesday, Fetterman recognized his win and said, “It’s official. I will be the next U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania. We bet on the people of Pennsylvania- and you didn’t let us down. And I won’t let you down. Thank you.”

Incumbent Fitzpatrick defeated his opponent Ashley Ehasz, and he secured his 4th term as Representative of Pennsylvania’s 1st District, which includes Bucks County and parts of Montgomery County. Throughout the campaign, polling consistently showed Fitzpatrick as the projected winner, largely due to his significant campaign budget and funding, name recognition, and bipartisan stances.

Ehasz’s campaign focused on abortion rights and had received an endorsement from The Philadelphia Inquirer in October. Fitzpatrick beat Ehasz by nearly 40,000 votes.

Democrat Josh Shapiro won the governor’s race against Republican Doug Mastriano, amassing over 500,000 votes more than Mastriano. Shapiro celebrated the win at his election night party, where he also live-streamed his speech on Facebook.

“Real freedom prevailed here tonight,” said Shapiro. “I can stand before you here tonight, and say that because of you, our democracy endures. Your efforts here in Pennsylvania reminded me that the foundational principles that kept our commonwealth and our country moving forward, they really are strong.”

Shapiro, currently the state attorney general, built his campaign around protecting women’s right to abortion, funding schools, reforming the state’s criminal justice system, and affordable healthcare. Mastriano’s campaign, endorsed by former President Trump, focused on abortion bans and voter fraud.

“I understand you chose to [vote for me] not because we agree on everything. And because you understand that it’s okay that we don’t agree on everything. But what we agree on is that we have to keep on working at it together, that we have to keep coming together to make progress,” said Shapiro to a cheering crowd of supporters late Tuesday night. “That is what we agree on.”