Election 2018: Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District

According to the NY Times, votes should start to roll in at around 8:20. When they’re done, the dust is going to settle and yet another “bellwether” election will be over, but as I’ve said repeatedly, special elections don’t count. They especially don’t count when the weather is horrendous thanks to a nor’easter that’s sweeping up the east coast of the US.

That said, I’ll repeat for the peanut gallery: I don’t trust polls. I trust votes.

When the dust settles, we’ll see how many people showed up. There’s a Democrat, a Republican, and a Libertarian. Guaranteed, the Libertarian is going to suck votes away from the Republican, but the real question is one of quantity. Would it have been enough to push the Republican (Rick Saccone) into office? How irrelevant will Drew Miller’s presence be tonight?

I know there are a lot of people pulling for Conor Lamb, but it’s already been pointed out that this district still shows the original, presumably heavy gerrymandering that existed before the recent Pennsylvania State Supreme Court case that forced redrawing, and is still being fought in the courts.

So check in here again in a while and I’ll have an update, and we’ll see if the Republicans keep this seat or give it up.

Update 1: It’s now 11:47pm, Westmoreland County has decided to hold back it’s official precinct counts and won’t count the absentee ballots until tomorrow.

I’m going to bed. I suggest you do the same. Whatever happens, it’s going to look fishy to someone. Ballotpedia has already published the recount rules, which are byzantine on purpose, to make it as hard as possible to contest a vote. I hope it bites the GOP on their collective asses, but the race is too close to call and I won’t finalize my numbers until the state does it, anyway.

Regardless, it’s important to know that close to 100k voters didn’t bother to show up at all, and those were predominantly Red. We have no idea what this is going to look like in November because the jury is still out over whether the new districts will stick. So I’m not excited about this outcome. May it work to our advantage, whatever happens.

Keep the faith and Good Night.

Update 2: The state still hasn’t certified the winner, but according to Politico, it’s Greene that’s the holdout, not Westmoreland, and all districts have counted the rest of their ballots, including absentees. Naturally, the GOP are waiting to concede. With less than a 700-vote spread, that doesn’t surprise me at all. The real question is going to be how they handle those absentee ballots and whether they can figure out how to declare enough of the ones cast for Lamb as invalid.

So, for the moment, cautiously, Lamb is the winner in this race.

When they certify the election, I’ll update Cassandra’s List, so that it shows who won the district. Note that with 226,799 votes cast for Republicans or Democrats, this still falls well short of the general election numbers, and that there’s no telling how those numbers will look if the redistricting goes forward.

More later. I suspect the decision will come this afternoon.

Update 3: While we’re not quite to the final numbers, chances are slim that the Republicans will find enough votes to reverse Conor Lamb’s razor-thin lead. I’ve updated Cassandra’s List again, and called the race for Lamb. And that’s where this stops until Saccone concedes and the state declares a winner.

I would find this ironic if I didn’t know for a fact that the GOP worked damn hard to put those voting machines in place so that tampering would be untraceable. Wanna bet that they’re gone, come November, replaced with machines that can provide a real paper trail?

Anyway, while I was looking at numbers, I also updated Texas’ Primary info, since I missed a few who are on the “Run-off list” for May.

Next important date: March 20 (next Tuesday) and Illinois Primaries. Time to focus on the shitshow that’s happening in the White House this week. Wondering what Trump is doing to draw attention away from Russia and Putin? Check in tomorrow. I’ve got a new post coming soon.

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