Vote 18

Midterm voter turnout increased up statewide in Pennsylvania from 43 percent in 2014 to 58 percent this year.
Emily Previti / Keystone Crossroads

Voter turnout was up in every county in Pennsylvania this year compared to the last midterm election in 2014.

Statewide, it jumped from 43 percent in 2014 to 58 percent, according to our analysis of Department of State data.

Preliminary ballot counts suggested as much, but the state only just released data this week making it official.

In Tuesday's midterm elections, incumbents including Gov. Tom Wolf, U.S. Senator Bob Casey and Congressmen Tom Marino and Glenn Thompson were reelected.
Matt Rourke/AP

Democratic Governor Tom Wolf has won a second term, along with running mate John Fetterman. U.S. Senator Bob Casey also won re-election for a third term, beating Republican U.S. Representative Lou Barletta, who was supported by President Trump. The two races were called early on in the evening.

Erin McCracken standing
Anne Danahy / WPSU

An Amish buggy passes by as Erin McCracken gives a tour of the Breman Town Ballroom in Millheim. She and her husband, Joshua, host events in the space they converted from a bar.

“We’ve had some of the best concerts in here," McCracken said. "We’ve had hip-hop. We’ve had Texas country, where we taught everybody how to two-step and everybody was doing it. We’ve had polka parties. We just basically try anything.”

Republican incumbent of the 34th State Senate district, Jake Corman, left, is facing a Democratic challenger, Ezra Nanes, in this year's midterm elections.
Min Xian / WPSU

 

It was a Wednesday afternoon in the Toftrees neighborhood in State College. Ezra Nanes was canvassing and ran into a college student outside his house.

 

“Are you at Penn State?” Nanes asked. The young man told him, yes, and it’s expensive to go to school there.

 

State Rep. Tina Davis, a Democrat, knocks on doors in Bucks County in her attempt to win Pennsylvania's 6th Senatorial District.
Jim Saksa/Keystone Crossroads

“Do you walk that slow?”

Tina Davis is impatient. It’s cold and blustery on this Sunday morning in Levittown, but it’s not the weather that has her so eager to get going. Davis is a Democratic state representative challenging long-time incumbent Robert “Tommy” Tomlinson for the Pennsylvania 6th Senate District seat, and she’s the underdog. If she wants a shot at winning, Davis knows she needs to out-hustle her opponent.

U.S. Senator Bob Casey, Jr. (left) and Congressman Lou Barletta both hail from Northeastern Pennsylvania's coal region. Their philosophies, though, are worlds apart.
Abby Drey/Centre Daily Times via AP and loubarletta.com

The new Pennsylvania congressional map.
image: PA Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to consider another appeal by Republican state lawmakers over this year's changes to Pennsylvania's congressional district map.

With the way the old districts were drawn in 2011, Republicans had such a substantial advantage that they captured nearly three-quarters of the state's congressional delegation with a far smaller share of statewide votes - in some years, fewer than half.

These lopsided results ultimately prompted lawsuits in 2017.

McCarthy and Epstein pose for a picture at an event for the National Institute for Civil Discourse
Reagan McCarthy / Penn State College Republicans

As the midterm elections draw closer, Americans seem more divided than ever. But Penn State seniors, roommates and best friends Reagan McCarthy and Katierose Epstein share a bond that crosses the aisle even in today’s polarized climate.

McCarthy is the president of the Penn State College Republicans and Epstein is the president of the College Democrats.

The women met in the spring of their freshman year on opposing sides of a debate between their clubs. The topic was federal funding of Planned Parenthood, and the encounter wasn’t exactly friendly.

This combination of October 2017 file photos shows Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidates Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf, (left), and Republican Scott Wagner.
(Matt Rourke/AP Photo, file)

With under a month until the general election, Democratic Governor Tom Wolf and his Republican challenger Scott Wagner appear to be locked in an uneven contest.

Their latest financial disclosures show Wolf with $8.9 million on hand to Wagner’s $1.8 million. The incumbent is also leading by almost 17 points in an average of recent independent polls.

And the candidates’ divergent campaign styles are reflecting that divide.

The possibility of higher than average voter turnout for a midterm, an increase in the number of women representing Pennsylvania and a match-up of two incumbents running for the same seat are some of the topics WPSU talks about with Terry Madonna leading in to the 2018 election. Madonna directs the Franklin and Marshall College Poll.

Brent Ottaway
Min Xian / WPSU

WPSU spoke with candidates running for U.S. House in the 12th, 13th and 15th Congressional Districts in the 2018 election.  In this interview, Brent Ottaway, the Democratic candidate in the 13th district, talks about why he's running. His Republican opponent, John Joyce, declined to be interviewed.

Tom Marino
Min Xian / WPSU

WPSU spoke with candidates running for U.S. House in the 12th, 13th and 15th Congressional Districts in the 2018 election.  In this interview, Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Marino talks about why he's running in the 12th district.

WPSU spoke with candidates running for U.S. House in the 12th, 13th and 15th Congressional Districts in the 2018 election.  In this interview, WPSU talks with Marc Friedenberg, the Democratic candidate in the 12th district.  

Susan Boser at table
Min Xian / WPSU

WPSU spoke with candidates running for U.S. House in the 12th, 13th and 15th Congressional Districts in the 2018 election.  In this interview, Democratic candidate Susan Boser talks with WPSU about why she's running against Republican incumbent Glenn Thompson in the 15th district.

NextGen America, progressive advocacy group, says State College is one of the highest performing areas in terms of numbers of registered young voters. The group has been working to get young people to register and vote.
Photo courtesy of NextGen America

 

Since the Parkland shooting in February, there have been movements nationwide to energize young people to vote in this November’s midterm elections.

 

Jessica Maggio is a part of that movement. Recently, she stood outside of the HUB Robeson Center on Penn State’s University Park campus, attempting to strike up conversations with students streaming into and out of the building.

Lou Barletta shaking hands
Anne Danahy / WPSU

Several hundred people, including Bikers for Trump, were at a get-out-the-vote rally in Wilkes-Barre Sunday night. One of the messages at the event was that voters should support Representative Lou Barletta, the Republican trying to unseat Democratic U.S. Senator Bob Casey.

 

Oliver North, the retired Lieutenant Colonel and NRA president, and U.S. Representative Tom Marino were among those who spoke at the rally. The message: get and out and vote or face the possibility of a Democratic takeover.

 

Photo: AP Manuel Balce Ceneta

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A spokesman for U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey says Google alerted the Pennsylvania Republican's office that hackers with ties to a "nation-state" had sent phishing emails to old campaign email accounts.
Steve Kelly says Google alerted Toomey's office earlier this week about the attempt to infiltrate email accounts. Kelly says the accounts hadn't been used since the end of the 2016 campaign, and the nation-state wasn't identified.

Wagner Says He Doesn't Want Workers Knowing What He Makes

Aug 21, 2018
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner said he will not release a tax return because his income is nobody else's business and he suggested that labor unions will use it to try to organize workers at the non-union waste-hauling business he owns.
Wagner made the comments in response to a questioner at a Monday night question-and-answer session in Erie in video captured by the Democratic Party.

Malcolm Kenyatta, who won the Democratic nod for the 181st district in the Pa. Legislature, cheers during the first night of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in 2016.
Kimberly Paynter/WHYY

The Pennsylvania Legislature is poised to soon make history as it welcomes its first openly gay lawmaker of color.

Malcolm Kenyatta won the Democratic nomination for Philadelphia’s 181st District during last week’s primary, and, given the city’s voter registration numbers, is strongly favored to assume the seat.

For the 27-year-old, who grew up in the projects, the idea of being a role model is appealing.

Marc Friedenberg sitting
Photo provided

In a very tight race, a Penn State professor has won the Democratic primary for the 12th Congressional district. 

Democrat Marc Friedenberg beat Judy Herschel by 223 votes, according to unofficial results Wednesday afternoon.

He said his win in the primary came from work by volunteers — getting results in places they put the effort.

Now, he has his eye on the general election where he will face Republican incumbent Tom Marino.

Marino beat challenger Doug McLinko, winning 67 percent of the vote.

Political candidates in a row
Anne Danahy / WPSU

Republican candidates trying to win their party’s nomination for the U.S. House, 13th district, fielded questions Monday night. The 13th district stretches across southcentral Pennsylvania, including Blair and Huntingdon counties.

The forum by Blair County Republicans drew a full house to the American Legion in Hollidaysburg.

States’ rights, smaller government and experience getting results were some of the themes covered during the forum.

Susan Boser and Wade Jodun
Photos provided

About 50 people turned out at the Smethport fire hall to hear Susan Boser and Wade Jodun, the candidates competing in the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania’s 15th district. The winner will likely face Republican incumbent Glenn Thompson in November.

The candidates spoke, answered questions and mingled with the McKean County voters.

Jodun said the night’s turnout out in a Republican stronghold shows people want to be heard. He pointed to the economy as a major issue.

Bernie Washabaught
Photo provided

Eight candidates are running in the Republican primary in the 13th Congressional district, one of Pennsylvania’s seats in the U.S. House. One of those candidates is Bernie Washabaugh. WPSU’s Anne Danahy talked with Washabaugh about why he’s running for Congress.

WPSU invited all candidates in competitive races for U.S. House seats in the 12th, 13th and 15th Congressional districts for interviews. 

Doug Mastriano
Photo provided

Eight candidates are running in the Republican primary in the 13th Congressional district, one of Pennsylvania’s seats in the U.S. House. One of those candidates is Doug Mastriano, a retired army colonel who lives in Franklin County. 

WPSU’s Anne Danahy talked with Mastriano about why he’s running for Congress and what he considers government overreach.

John Joyce
Photo provided

Eight candidates are running in the Republican primary in the 13th Congressional district, one of Pennsylvania’s seats in the U.S. House. One of those candidates is John Joyce. WPSU’s Anne Danahy talked with Joyce about why he thinks his career as a doctor would help him in Congress.

WPSU invited all candidates in competitive races for U.S. House seats in the 12th, 13th and 15th Congressional districts for interviews. 

Ben Hornberger
Photo provided

Eight candidates are running in the Republican primary in the 13th Congressional district, one of Pennsylvania’s seats in the U.S. House. One of those candidates is Benjamin Hornberger. WPSU’s Anne Danahy talked with Hornberger about why he’s running and what he thinks of Donald Trump’s presidency so far.

WPSU invited all candidates in competitive races for U.S. House seats in the 12th, 13th and 15th Congressional districts for interviews. 

John Eichelberger
Photo provided

Eight candidates are running in the Republican primary in the 13th Congressional district, one of Pennsylvania’s seats in the U.S. House. One of those candidates is John Eichelberger. WPSU’s Anne Danahy talked with Eichelberger about why he thinks he’s the best choice for the job.

WPSU invited all candidates in competitive races for U.S. House seats in the 12th, 13th and 15th Congressional districts for interviews. The primary is May 15. 

Judy Herschel and Marc Friedenberg
Anne Danahy / WPSU

The two Democratic candidates running for the U.S. House 12th Congressional district in Pennsylvania met for a debate Thursday night. 

Among the reasons Judy Herschel said she’s running in the Democratic primary is to be a voice for the community on topics many feel are being ignored. Those include health care, jobs, public education and the opioid crisis.

“I believe that we working individuals deserve a voice in Washington, and I’m ready to get in there and get the job done," Herschel said.

Rep. Tom Marino
Photo provided

Two candidates are on the Republican primary ballot for U.S. House 12th Congressional district. One of them is incumbent Tom Marino. WPSU’s Anne Danahy talked with Marino about why he’s running for reelection and how he responds to critics of legislation he sponsored.

WPSU invited all candidates in competitive races for U.S. House seats in the 12th, 13th and 15th Congressional districts for interviews. To listen to interviews and find out more about the races, go to wpsu.org/vote18.

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