3 Big Takeaways From the 2018 Midterms (and Other Results to Know)

The Philly suburbs played a strong role in the Democrats’ House-winning blue wavelet across the nation — and there were a few other surprises in local contests. Here’s our election results breakdown.

The 2018 midterm election results are in. From left, clockwise: Republican U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick secures a second term; Gov. Tom Wolf wins reelection; Democrats Mary Gay Scanlon, Madeleine Dean and Chrissy Houlahan break into the state’s male-dominated congressional delegation; Sen. Bob Casey will serve a third term.

Across the nation, the 2018 midterm election brought a mix of surprises, upsets, first-time wins and, if not a blue wave as Democrats had hoped, at least a blue wavelet that won them control of the U.S. House (thanks in part to some wins near Philly).

Local contests saw a few notable results. Here are our three biggest takeaways:

  • Both Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and Sen. Bob Casey held onto their seats, fending off Republican challengers Scott Wagner and Lou Barletta in two races that served as litmus tests for President Trump’s influence in our state.
  • More exceptionally, four women from the Greater Philadelphia area will head to the U.S. House for their first time next year — in a U.S. delegation that hasn’t included a woman since 2015. They are Mary Gay Scanlon, Chrissy Houlahan, Madeleine Dean and Susan Wild.
  • In a major Republican victory, U.S. Rep Brian Fitzpatrick retained Pennsylvania’s 1st Congressional District, beating out Democratic competitor Scott Wallace. The highly contested (and expensive) race functioned as a scale for the potential strength of Democratic upset in a solidly purple state, where Fitzpatrick maintains a decent reputation as a moderate candidate.

Roughly 54 percent of registered voters statewide showed up at the polls on Tuesday, a notable increase over Pennsylvania’s 43 percent turnout for the 2014 midterm election, according to unofficial numbers reported by The Morning Call. For comparison, voter turnout reached 70 percent across the state for the 2016 presidential election.

Here are the unofficial result breakdowns from the 2018 midterm election, with 99.33 percent of precincts reporting statewide and 97.52 percent reporting in Philadelphia.

The Gubernatorial Election

Across Pennsylvania, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and his lieutenant governor running mate John Fetterman secured roughly 57 percent of the vote, while Republican Scott Wagner and running mate Jeff Bartos took nearly 40 percent. Green Party candidate Paul Glover and Libertarian Ken Krawchuk each received less than 1 percent of the vote.

In Philly, Wolf secured about 87 percent of the vote, while Wagner won over nearly 12 percent. Glover and Krawchuk each received less than .5 percent.

The Senate Race

Statewide, incumbent Democratic Sen. Bob Casey won about 55 percent of the vote, while Republican challenger Lou Barletta won nearly 43 percent. Green Party candidate Neal Gale took .62 percent and Libertarian Dale Kerns took about 1 percent.

In Philly, Casey won with nearly 87 percent of the vote, while Barletta secured about 12 percent. Gale received just over .5 percent, while Kerns received exactly 5 percent.

1st Congressional District

Includes Bucks County, part of Montgomery County

As mentioned, Republican U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick held onto his seat, with roughly 51 percent of the vote. Democratic challenger Scott Wallace received just over 48 percent. Even amid seemingly stronger-than-ever backlash against Donald Trump (resentment that spurred Democratic victories in every other Philly suburb), voters in the purple suburban district found something dependable in a Republican candidate who distanced himself from the president and fostered a reputation as moderate representative. And that says something.

2nd Congressional District

Includes Northeast Philadelphia, the River Wards

Incumbent Democratic Rep. Brendan Boyle took nearly 79 percent of the vote, while Republican challenger David Torres secured roughly 21 percent. No big surprises here.

3rd Congressional District

Includes Center City, South Philadelphia, Northwest Philadelphia, West Philadelphia

As expected, incumbent Democratic Rep. Dwight Evans held onto his seat with a whopping 93 percent of the vote, while Republican candidate Bryan Leib took just over 6 percent.

4th Congressional District

Includes part of Montgomery County, part of Berks County

The chain of women victors begins: Democrat Madeleine Dean won with roughly 63 percent of the vote, while Republican competitor Dan David secured just over 36 percent.

5th Congressional District

Includes South Philadelphia, part of Delaware County, part of Montgomery County

Democrat Mary Gay Scanlon won with roughly 65 percent of the vote, while Republican Pearl Kim received nearly 35 percent.

6th Congressional District

Includes part of Berks County, part of Chester County

Nearly 59 percent of voters brought Democrat Chrissy Houlahan to victory, while roughly 41 percent opted for Republican Greg McCauley.

7th Congressional District

Includes Lehigh, Northampton and southern Monroe counties

Democrat Susan Wild won with about 54 percent of the vote, while Republican challenger Marty Northstein took just under 43 percent.

Local State House Races

Here are the notable midterm results for local Pennsylvania House races.

  • In the 170th Legislative District, which includes Somerton, Chalfont, Millbrook, Parkwood, and parts of Bustleton, Republican incendiary Martina White secured her third term, beating out Democratic competitor Mike Doyle with roughly 57 percent of the vote.
  • In the 177th Legislative District, which includes Bridesburg and Northwood Mayfair, as well as parts of Port Richmond, Fishtown, Lawncrest and Tacony, Democrat Joe Hohenstein won over Republican Patty-Pat Kozlowski, turning the district blue for the first time in three decades.
  • In the 181st Legislative District, which includes parts of North and North Central Philadelphia, West Poplar, Glenwood, Francisille, Northern Liberties, Hunting Park, Feltonville and Kensington, 28-year-old Malcolm Kenyatta made history as the first openly gay candidate of color to win a Pennsylvania House seat.

Philadelphia Ballot Question

Philadelphians voted to allow the city to borrow $181 million to be spent for capital purposes, including mostly infrastructure projects — transit, streets and sanitation, municipal buildings, parks, recreation and museums, and economic and community development. Residents have voted “yes” to similar ballot questions throughout the last decade, according to Philly.com, which reported that the collective answer will add to the city’s current $5.5 billion debt tab.