GOP expected to retain majorities in Pa. House, Senate

    The GOP’s majority in both chambers of Pennsylvania’s General Assembly might be a bit smaller after Election Day, but not by much.

    The state House, in particular, has seen tectonic shifts in power in the past decade.

    In 2006, Democratic candidates rode a wave of anti-Iraq War sentiment and captured the House majority.

    In 2010, when the tea party was ascendant, the GOP won back the majority.

    Terry Madonna, political scientist and pollster at Franklin and Marshall College, says there’s no such zeitgeist motivating voters now.

    “There won’t be the huge coattails that would help the Democrats win back control of the Legislature,” Madonna said. “It looks like, in the House anyway, they may pick up a couple of seats, but I think it’s largely going to be the same composition in the House.”

    He’s not predicting a blowout in the state Senate, either.

    Republicans hold a 10-member edge in the chamber.

    Madonna says it’s unlikely the Democrats will pick up more than a couple of seats.

    Nearly half of the House’s 203 members aren’t even facing a challenger, Madonna said.

    “Very close to a hundred — I think the actual number is 96 — House incumbents are running unopposed, so you’re not talking about a lot of room for change,” he said.

    Nine of the incumbent candidates in 25 state Senate races are running unopposed.

    Madonna says it’s unlikely the Democrats will pick up more than a couple of seats.

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