Thursday, November 3, 2011

Lackawanna County Election 2011

Lackawanna County is 26% Republican (38,561), 66% Democrat (96,117), and 8% something else (12,026.)

To recap the voter activity in the last 10 months:

Lackawanna County registered 2741 new voters. 24% were Republicans, 54% were Democrats, 21% registered as something else.

Far more experienced voters switched to Republican than switched to Democrat, particularly considering the ratio of Democrats to Republicans. This is no doubt due to the recent upsurge in Republican activity in Lackawanna County. In the last 10 months, 695 Voters changed from something else to Republican, 598 voters changed from something else to Democrat.

Despite only being 26% Republican, Tom Corbett received 45% of the vote in 2010. That marked a 19% increase above registration. 49% of Democrats and 50% of Republicans voted so all things were virtually equal.

In 2009, Frank Castellano received 43% of the vote or 17% above registration. 38% of Democrats and 32% of Republicans turnout out for this General Election.

In 2008, the flagship race was the presidency. In that year, John McCain received 37% which was only 11% above registration. 73% of Democrats and 69% of Republicans went to the polls to elect their president.

In 2007, 45% of Democrats and 37% of Republicans went to the polls and had the chance to vote for Commissioner. Around 70% went for Washo and O’Brien, leaving only around 30% for Munchak and Cordaro. Munchak and Cordaro didn’t win a single precinct in Lackawanna County.

While registration has consistently remained Democratic, Lackawanna County is increasingly trending more Republican since 2007. The question on everyone’s mind is if that will continue into 2011.

Based on past candidate recruitment, an outside observer could certainly come to the conclusion that the old guard feared waking the sleeping (Lackawanna County Democrat) giant. Instead, the old guard picked a race or two in the county to focus on and put all of their effort into that. They also neglected to run candidates in local races.

The young turks in charge of the Lackawanna County Republicans today have no such fear.

For the first time in a long time, Lackawanna County Republicans have put up candidates to challenge virtually all of the county offices and has challenged office holders in many cities, boroughs, and townships that haven’t been challenged traditionally. The last time a challenge like this was mounted for county government was in 1999.

In 1999, Cordaro received 24%, Harrison received 22%, Corcoran received 28%, and Castellani received 26% of the vote for county commissioner. Zitterman received 40% of the vote versus Mellow’s 60% for Controller. Talerico secured 35% versus Karpovich’s 65% for Treasurer. O’Boyle got 41% to Brennan’s 59% for Coroner.

The number for the Republicans to beat is 18. That is, 18%. That is the closest any head-to-head row office fight came to sending a Democrat packing in a similar election. If they cannot win a seat, 18% is the base number that the Republicans need to beat to show any kind of improvement.

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