Even with overwhelming Biden win in Chesco, Democrats have concerns down ballot in coming elections

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times @mikemcgannpa

To be blunt: what the @#$% was that?

Looking over the Chester County election results there were a couple of head scratchers — and races that defied the polling and conventional wisdom (especially mine).

While Joe Biden winning Chester County by a remarkable 17 points was a bit of a surprise, he had virtually no coattails. Typically, such a blow out would have unreeled a blue tsunami, making normally out of reach races in play.

Instead, we saw races that did not appear to be close – State House 158 and 160 are a prime example — end up razor thin. And despite expectations, the state house race in the 26th was not competitive, despite Democrats putting up a well-funded, strong candidate.

So, what to make of it?

I’ve gotta say, I’m kind of perplexed.

The idea that comes to mind is that Chester County reversed some old patterns, which should make presidential elections different in the years to come.

If you look back a few years to when the GOP dominated the county, the only years where Democrats had something like a fighting chance for some state legislative seats were presidential election years. Every four years, Democrats tended to show up to vote more and gave their legislative candidates a better chance to win.

After blow out wins for Democrats in 2017, 2018 and 2019 — the margin got a lot tighter this week, making me think that Republicans who typically stay home came out to vote against Donald Trump, but to vote for other Republicans.

It’s possible that the polling — much of it done by the parties — was way off. But it is equally or more likely that that infrequent/disconnected Republicans turned out as well or better than Democrats. Both could be true: the raw data might have been accurate, but the modeling, which predicts who will vote, might have been way off.

I suspect it means some near term changes in Chester County, politically.

Some Republicans will drift back to their party with the dragon that is Trump having been slayed. Some Democrats will become complacent. My early guess for the 2021 county row office races is that they will be hard fought and close. I think Chesco could become a swing county now for a period of time — until Democrats can build a decisive registration majority.


Despite a flurry of meritless lawsuits, there was virtually no fraud in our elections, even during a pandemic. As with any election with 150 million votes cast, there were mistakes and errors, but we’re talking numbers in the dozens and not enough to change any results.

The claims that votes were counted without observers from both parties is a lie. The claims that the mail-in votes — many sent in weeks ago — are somehow “late votes found in a pile” is a lie. The courts have already dismissed these meritless claims nine times in recent days and will continue to do so.

The inability of Republicans to respect the will of the people — despite making voting harder than it needed to be in so many parts of the country — is sad. It also discredits the many GOP wins in this county and state.

The people spoke clearly. Listen.

Meanwhile, kudos to the folks in Chester County Voter Services who managed a wildly difficult situation with grace and professionalism. These folks worked crazy hours before, during and after the election to ensure Chester County’s vote was counted quickly and correctly, despite record turnout in the middle of a pandemic.

They deserve our thanks and deep appreciation.


If you were frustrated that the TV networks and the Associated Press failed to call Pennsylvania and Nevada when it became increasingly evident those races were over, you were not alone.

Even some of the on-air talent was openly critical of their networks.

I have a theory: when AP and Fox News called Arizona, they were a bit out on a limb (I think the call will turn out to be correct). Out of, I’ll be generous and say, concern over Trump’s reaction, the other networks seemed to want Fox to call the race first. I’m not convinced that math was the overriding factor.

I’m kind of disappointed, to be honest.

Ultimately, NBC called the race at 11:28 a.m. Saturday, quickly followed by most outlets. Fox News lagged a bit, but followed within the hour. By that point the math in Pennsylvania was inescapable — Biden had clearly won.

As for the GOP pols whining about the election call and the media referring to Biden as “President-Elect” — I don’t recall the same attitude when the networks called the 2016 race for Trump and immediately referred to him as “President-Elect.” This crap of rules and norms being for just one party by some in the GOP needs to end.


If you, like Trump, thought COVID-19 would “magically disappear” on Nov. 4, this week was a rude awakening.

In short, the virus is again exploding across the county and in Pennsylvania – 3,300 new cases were reported here Friday, a new record. Thanksgiving and Christmas is very likely to make it worse. And truthfully, the public celebrations of Biden’s win Saturday — although most folks were wearing masks — probably won’t help.

Although almost no one wants it, it seems likely we’re going to need some sort of modified shut down again to get the virus under control — the numbers are climbing ominously, which means hospitalizations and deaths will follow.

And yet, there continues to be a sickening “death cult” of those who demand a full opening, immediately.

This is not about freedom, this is about greed. And their claims are ridiculous. One argued with me on Twitter yesterday about a young girl who is depressed because she can’t go to school. While we all sympathize, how depressed would this girl be — traumatized for life, actually — if she brought home COVID-19 from school and it killed her grandparents or parents? Kids, while less likely to get very sick or die, are great transmitters of the virus.

These same “geniuses” want all businesses to reopen, now, fully. Again, greedy and foolish.

There’s still no general liability protection for businesses who reopen — so employees and customers who get sick can sue and there’s no assurance liability insurance will cover these judgments. And if people are afraid of getting the virus, they’re not going to restaurants, movie theaters or concerts. Reopening fully just increases overhead and ultimately kills small businesses.

As I’ve said for months, we need meaningful federal intervention to help these businesses and keep them afloat during the crisis, or we will face an even bigger financial crisis in the spring.

We need to get the stupidity and ignorance of science out of these arguments.

Yes, we’re better at treating COVID, so less people are dying from it. But when we reach the point — as some states have already — when hospitals are over capacity, we’ll see deaths spike. We’re already seeing that in the plains states, as the virus is running rampant.

I don’t have a lot of faith that we’ll respond quickly enough to cut this outbreak down quickly. Too many people will die.

Please: wear your mask, keep distance and stay home as much as you can. Your life and the lives of the people you love may depend upon it.

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