VoteCast: Trump, Congress big factors in Pennsylvania vote
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Most Pennsylvania voters said their views on President Donald Trump and which party will have control of Congress during the final two years of Trump’s first term in office were factors in their decisions, according to a wide-ranging survey of the American electorate.
As voters cast ballots for governor, U.S. Senate and members of Congress in Tuesday’s elections, AP VoteCast found a majority of voters in Pennsylvania said the country is headed in the wrong direction.
Here’s a snapshot of who voted and why in Pennsylvania, based on preliminary results from AP VoteCast, an innovative nationwide survey of about 135,000 voters and nonvoters — including 3,890 voters and 806 nonvoters in the state of Pennsylvania — conducted for The Associated Press by NORC at the University of Chicago.
Two-thirds of Pennsylvania voters said Trump was a factor they considered while casting their vote while one-third said the president didn’t influence their decision.
In the U.S. Senate race, Democratic incumbent Sen. Bob Casey was a frequent critic of Trump while Republican challenger U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta has been among the president’s most reliable defenders.
Democrat voter Jeremy Kastrup, of Falls Township, Pennsylvania, said the Trump administration has been “just straight up sloppy” in running the country.
CONTROL OF CONGRESS
Tuesday’s elections will determine control of Congress during the next two years, and nearly all Pennsylvania voters said that was on their minds as they considered their vote. Seven in 10 said it was a very important factor.
Democrats came into the midterm election hoping to flip as many as six seats after a state Supreme Court decision forced a redraw of the congressional district boundaries
Republican Rosanne Palmieri, of Falls Township, Pennsylvania, voted for Trump in 2016 and gives him mixed reviews, but she wishes he would “keep his mouth shut.” Still, she hopes Republicans keep control of Congress. “Sometimes I think that he is his worst enemy,” she said.
TOP ISSUE: HEALTH CARE
More voters in Pennsylvania said health care was the most important issue facing the nation in this year’s midterm elections followed by immigration and the economy.
STATE OF THE ECONOMY
Voters in Pennsylvania have a positive outlook on the nation’s economy, with two-thirds saying it’s in good shape. But they took a different turn when it comes to the direction of the nation. Nearly 6 in 10 think the country is on the wrong track.
The question in Pennsylvania was who will benefit from a healthy economy — the Democratic incumbents in the Senate and governor’s race or Republicans who credit Trump for the recovery.
During his run for governor, Republican challenger Scott Wagner has credited Trump with invigorating the economy, but said that too many state regulations and taxes were holding back Pennsylvania’s fortunes.