A pretty crappy night for the GOP in Pennsylvania.
No, Tim Burns was never expected to win in PA-12, but he WAS expected to put up more of a fight than he did.
Jim Geraghty discusses why he may have underperformed:
Tim Burns’ task was complicated by the fact that he was running against a pro-life, pro-gun Democrat who ran against the health care bill and the cap-and-trade legislation. The Burns campaign did everything they could to tie Burns to Democratic figures and laws that polled badly in the district – Pelosi, the health care bill — and it appears that in the end, voters in the district weren’t buying it.
I would add two things to that. First, there’s no doubt the Dem Senate primary had a huge effect on turnout. Nathan Wurtzel tweeted a little bit ago that the Dem/Rep turnout ratio was almost 2:1. He doesn’t believe, nor do I, that the Dems will have a 2:1 turnout ratio advantage in November. We’ll get to see then how tonight would have shaped up without the Sestak/Specter race in the mix, though Critz will have six months to prove he’s the right man for the job in PA-12. That gives him a pretty big advantage right off the bat, as well as a pretty long leash in a heavily Democratic district.
Secondly, I don’t think you can underestimate the “We have to do this for Murtha” mentality among many of PA-12’s Democratic voters. Some may have been tempted to vote for Burns, only to pull the lever for Critz at the last moment to honor Murtha’s memory and keep his legacy going.
As far as Arlen Specter goes, at first glance, him losing seems awesome. His loss, however, means a tougher race for Pat Toomey in November, as he’s now set to square off against Joe Sestak. Take a look at the recent poll numbers, and you’ll see why Specter would have been much easier to defeat.
I’m going to need Charles Djou to get me out of this funk on Saturday night when HI-01 votes are tabulated.