Saturday, May 29, 2010

PA Republican Primary 2010 Election Analysis

The purpose of this piece is to provide a conceptual picture of where votes came from in the 2010 PA GOP primary. The graphs show a general trend of Corbett beating Rohrer and of regionalism in the Lieutenant Governor race.* The hope is that this information will be used by future candidates whom have not an endorsement by the Republican state committee.

The first graph depicts the number of votes Sam Rohrer received per county on a color grade scale. The redder the color, the more the people voted Rohrer, the yellower, the more for Corbett. (Yellow is a suitable color for Corbett.)

Please click the image for a larger, better view.

Rohrer did well in his home county of Berks, garnering over 80% of the vote there. He impressed in Lancaster County, as he beat Corbett there. Perhaps his message of freedom resonated well with the conservative land-owning farmers of the region. As depicted in the black and white graph below, Lancaster County was a major player in the primary election in terms of vote numbers. Despite winning aforesaid two counties, Rohrer got between 15 and 35% of the vote in most other counties, Corbett receiving the rest. Corbett did well in Western PA and in his home county of Allegheny. He also did comparatively well in metropolitan Philadelphia and its suburban outlets of Montgomery and Bucks Counties.

On a local note, Nesocopeck Boro was the lone precinct in Luzerne County to favor either Peg Luksik or Sam Rohrer, giving to each 60% and 55% of the vote respectively. The only precinct to favor Rohrer in Wyoming County was that of Lemon Township, where he got 52% of the vote. More significantly, Rohrer almost got the majority vote in Lycoming County, receiving 49% of the vote there.

Please click the image for a larger, better view.

The black & white graph above shows how important particular counties were in terms of overall votes in the gubernatorial primary. The darker the county, the more votes came from it in the 2010 GOP gubernatorial primary; and thus, the darker the county, the more important it was to win. Allegheny County had the largest amount of votes-- about 66,500. Differing conditions of rainfall and wind across the state may have affected regional voter turnout. Also, larger the counties typically have more voters, so the graph does not and is not meant to reflect Republican voter population density per county as a whole. However, differences in Republican voter population density between counties may discerned if one compares counties of similar size.

Please click on the image below for a larger, better view of it.

The graph above shows which Lieutenant Governor candidate got the majority vote in a given county. Because there were nine Lt. Gov. candidates, many of them received a county majority vote yet had, say, 25% of the county's total Lt. Governor votes. Additionally, many candidates just barely took the majority in a given county, beating an opponent by less than a percentage point. Regardless, the graph above reveals the stark regional preferences voters had in the Lt. Gov. primary. The local favorite Steve Urban won a nice little square of NEPA (the white-colored counties). The only candidates who really broke regional compartmentalization were the endorsed candidate, Jim Cawley, and the underdog favorite: Chet Beiler.

Way before the the May 18th primary, the Republican State Committee, with another swipe of ineptitude, endorsed Cawley over Beiler; and, although I'm no expert, I believe Beiler would have won the primary if the committee hadn't endorsed Cawley beforehand. In retrospect, it appears Beiler was the most viable of the non-endorsed candidates because he had the most money and hence sent out flyers and aired radio ads. Perhaps if Johnson, Kennedy, and Diamond hadn't run, Beiler would have won. Ultimately though, the voraciously authoritarian GOP state committee is responsible for giving Cawley an undue boost. Its "planners" would not even the Republican electorate a fair lieutenant governor primary.

Hopefully, the information presented here can be used in future elections to aid non-establishment Republicans to victory.

*The Luksik-Toomey race is not included but is available upon request.

All information used for the graphs was taken from:

I used color gradations on Microsoft Paint and a little math using statistics from the website listed above to come up with appropriate colors for each county in the first graph. In the second graph I did the same, only with shade gradations.

The colors in graph one should run concurrent with percentage of votes received within 0.8%. The naked eye can only be expected to see changes within 3%, however. The shades in graph 2 should run concurrent with statistics within 800 votes. And the eye can probably only see a difference within 2,000 votes.

Feel free to copy the maps but remember to cite the Nothington Post.

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