Sunday, May 8, 2016

Conservative Analysis of the 2016 Pennsylvania Primary Election

            Now that all the votes have been counted, it is possible to make an more thorough analysis of the 2016 Pennsylvania Primary Election.  The results were mostly positive in the Republican Primary (Democrats simultaneously conducted their primary) for conservatism. 

There was a significantly higher turnout in the Republican Primary than four years ago, when there was a non-competitive presidential primary, as this presidential primary was the first in 36 years to be competitive, which was also true for the direct election in each Congressional District of three unbound Delegates and Alternate Delegates to the Republican Convention, for which Pennsylvania voters could choose among candidates who favored particular candidates, were uncommitted or who promised to vote in accordance with the popular vote, as there had remained at the time the prospect of a contested convention.  However, the increase in the number of voters was in no small part because there were many Democrats and others who had recently switched their registration to Republican to participate in the closed primary and vote for the candidate with whom they agreed because of that candidate’s non-conservative positions, which helped that candidate to win most of the states Delegates.  

Nonetheless, conservative candidates were nominated by Republicans, both for statewide offices and for federal and state legislative offices.  Conservative state legislators who were candidates for re-election or for higher offices, such as for Attorney General or for United States Representative, as in the District (the 16th) in which I reside, apparently benefited for their stand against liberal Democratic Governor Tom Wolfe’s proposed tax increases.  Republican Party-backed incumbents generally, whether conservative or moderate, were renominated.  Similarly, party-backed candidates for open seats also won the nomination, despite the supposed voter anger at the party leadership and particularly at the Republican-majority Congress.  Also, a number of candidates were elected Delegate who will vote at the Convention to nominate more conservative candidates for President and Vice President of the United States.

For ballot questions, in a kind of simultaneous special election, the electorate could be Republican, Democratic or, for ballot questions only, others.  On these questions, the voters preferred smaller government.  They approved a statewide constitutional referendum to abolish the Philadelphia Traffic Court, which had been plagued by corruption.  The court had already been eliminated legislatively.  Also, in Berks County, which is the county in which I reside, voters in the Borough of Strausstown approved a merger with Upper Tulpehocken Township.  The borough will be the fourth one consolidated into other municipalities in Berks in the last seventeen years.  

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