Good analysis of Democrats’ chances of retaking the PA state Senate from David Jarman:
For an ostensibly blue state, Pennsylvania sure has been stuck with a Republican-controlled state Senate for an awfully long time—since 1994. However, in 2012, the Democrats managed to make some significant inroads with three pickups, reducing the Republican margin to 27-23. Normally, an off-year election wouldn’t be likely to help Democrats close the gap further, but with Republican Gov. Tom Corbett looking doomed going into 2014, reverse coattails might spur some additional Democratic gains.
With Democrats needing three pickups to take control (and just two if Corbett loses), Friday brought the news of a third Republican-held open seat opening up. But while the first two GOP retirements came in solidly-red terrain, the retirement of 74-year-old Edwin “Ted” Ericksen in SD-26 is a strong Dem opportunity. The district is primarily in blue-leaning Delaware County in Philly’s suburbs, including Upper Darby, Newtown Square, and Swarthmore. Like much of the southeastern Pennsylvania burbs, it has a GOP registration advantage and still leans Republican at the county and legislative level, but it’s blue at the presidential and statewide level (56 percent for Obama, 58 percent for Sen. Bob Casey in 2012).
Potential GOP replacements include state Rep. Nick Miccarelli and Delaware County Council Chair Tom McGarrigle. One Democrat, Plumbers Union business manager John Kane is already in, but as an open seat, SD-26 will likely attract more contenders. Other similar suburban districts up in 2014, which have been represented for ages by the same moderate, but now elderly, GOP senators, include SD-12 in Montgomery County (Sen. Stewart Greenleaf) and SD-06 in Bucks County (Sen. Tommy Tomlinson), so keep an eye out for potential retirements there, too. By contrast, all 10 Democrats up in 2014 have already announced they’re running for re-election.) (David Jarman)