How did the Democrats win Pennsylvania 12?

By Ken Feltman

The Democratic candidate ran off with a decisive victory in the special election in Western Pennsylvania to replace Democratic Representative John Murtha, who died earlier this year. The Republicans looked for reasons but found mostly excuses.

They said that so many Democrats wanted to vote against party-switcher Arlen Specter in the Democratic primary that their sheer numbers overwhelmed the Republican turnout.

They said that Murtha had addicted his district to earmarks and voters figured that the Democratic candidate – a former Murtha staff member – would continue to bring home the bacon.

They missed the fact that the Democrat managed to get as far to the right as the GOP candidate (pro-life, pro-gun, anti-Obamacare). That made a difference in the conservative, “Reagan-Democratic” district.

They also neglected to mention that the Republican ran an unimaginative campaign. The Democrat ran an inspired campaign. Campaigns count. Will the Republicans learn by November?

About Radnor Reports

Ken Feltman is past-president of the International Association of Political Consultants and the American League of Lobbyists. He is retired chairman of Radnor Inc., an international political consulting and government relations firm in Washington, D.C. Known as a coalition builder, he has participated in election campaigns and legislative efforts in the United States and several other countries.
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