Surprise: Jim Gerlach’s Out, #PA6 Now an Open Seat

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Democrats were never going to win the 6th District with Jim Gerlach in the seat, but now that he’s not seeking reelection, the odds of a pick-up just got a lot better.

The new PA-6 district leans about 2 points toward the Republicans, so this isn’t some easy win or anything. But Gerlach got a lot of ticket-splitting Democrats to vote for him because he had an undeserved reputation as a moderate, and the conservative wing of the Philadelphia labor movement campaigned for him.

You see that in the 2012 results. Mitt Romney won the new 6th District with 51.32% of the vote, but a bunch of Democrats split their tickets and Gerlach got 57.19% of the vote over Manan Trivedi. Incumbency was worth about 6 points to Gerlach.

Romney was about as close to a warm body candidate as you could get. The base never liked him, he didn’t really campaign in PA, but he still beat Obama with this electorate, and that illustrates how much of a challenge this would be for Democrats.

The case for optimism goes like this: Republican primary voters will never nominate another Jim Gerlach. They will nominate some nutter like Sam Rohrer who will put off moderate voters enough that a top-tier Democratic candidate gets a fair hearing.

Are Democrats going to recruit a top tier candidate in time? Who knows! Bob Casey’s brother lives in the district, but there’s no telling who else might run yet. Anybody know someone we could try to draft?


This entry was posted in US House.

4 Responses to Surprise: Jim Gerlach’s Out, #PA6 Now an Open Seat

  1. Bob Casey’s brother lives in the district, but there’s no telling who else might run yet.

    So what? Is he just as much an empty suit as Bob is? Why do we want political dynasties?

  2. Sean Kitchen says:

    I guess now is Trevedi’s time to actually do something?

    • Jon Geeting says:

      I always thought Manan Trivedi was a great guy and would make an excellent Congressman if he could convince people to actually give him the job. I’d support him if he was the nominee again, but am open to arguments he may have lost too many times now to be viable. If Chris Casey is anything like Bob Casey, he’d be a good fit for the district. With R+2 you’re not going to get a super lefty in this seat, but you can get somebody like a Mike Doyle or an Allyson Schwartz probably.

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