An election worker continues the process in counting ballots for the Pennsylvania primary election, Wednesday, May 18, 2022, at the Mercer County Elections Board in Mercer, Pa. Vote counting continues as Republican candidates Dr. Mehmet Oz and David McCormick are locked in a too-early-to-call race for Pennsylvania's hotly contested Republican nomination for an open U.S. Senate seat. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
What factors influenced Pennsylvania and the nation’s voters in Tuesday’s election?
Airdate: November 09, 2022
The votes have all been cast in Tuesday’s mid-term election and while some votes are still be counted across the country, we do know how some of the most watched races turned out and there were a few surprises.
Here in Pennsylvania, Democrat John Fetterman defeated Republican Mehmet Oz to become Pennsylvania’s next U.S. Senator. Democrat Josh Shapiro will be the state’s governor in January after beating Republican Doug Mastriano handily.
There were some surprises though. Democrats across the country did better than expected as an anticipated Republican wave didn’t materialize, even though Republicans may still control the House and Senate.
Berwood Yost, Director of the Floyd Institute for Public Policy and Center for Opinion Research at Franklin & Marshall College on The Spark Wednesday to analyze the results and what voters were thinking Tuesday.
Historically, the party not in the White House does well in the first mid-term election during a president’s term, President Joe Biden isn’t popular according to polls, and voters said that inflation, including gas prices, were the most important issues to them. However, the U.S. Supreme Court Dobbs’ decision that overturned the Roe vs. Wade abortion ruling may have been the wild card that influenced voters. Yost commented,”When we were looking at the fundamentals, we were thinking that nationwide you’d probably see maybe a 25 seat loss for the president’s party. It could be as high as 40 seats. In fact, if you looked at real disposable income, which is a an indicator that’s often tied to performance, you might have predicted a 60 seat loss. So, all those indicators said that the president’s party was going to have a tough day. But at the end of the day, other issues became important. And I think it really comes down to Democrats being as interested in this election as Republicans were, which is what happens during a midterm, the president’s party — voters tends not to be as excited as the opposition’s voters. That wasn’t true this year. That was probably in large part because of the Dobbs decision. That changed the calculus. And then you layer on to that. Candidates that, let’s be let’s be honest, I think Mehmet Oz was not a great fit for this state. In fact, the exit polls said that something like only 43% of voters thought that he had spent enough time in Pennsylvania to represent us in the Senate. And Doug Mastriano just didn’t run a campaign as we would traditionally define it.”
Abortion access was on the ballot in several states and in all of them, voters decided to keep abortion legal. Yost said abortion is an issue that drives voters,”It’s an issue, I think, that many people want to see that access remain. I mean, it’s what they’ve known for 50 years. And people, I think believe that that’s something that shouldn’t be taken off the table. And so we saw it in Kansas. I think Kentucky is going to do that. It makes me wonder what our legislative leaders here are going to do because they’ve proposed a ballot amendment. It looks to me like all that does is encourage independents and moderates and Democrats to come to the polls.”