A fairly eventful week in the history of the Republic.
Before the storm
In the final days before the election, Pennsylvania soaked in all the attention it could garner as a crucial swing state. Donald Trump held a rally in Scranton, as did Joe Biden on Hillary Clinton’s behalf.
Voting officials were getting ready for the big day. Some counties had to arrange for translation help at the polls, as required by a federal mandate. Others were dealing with the added attention of poll watchers dispatched by the Justice Department.
Finally, it was Tuesday, November 8th, and time to go to the polls.
Results roll in
By now you probably know that it was a good night for the Republicans in Pennsylvania.
County by county, Trump victories swept through Pennsylvania, taking the state for the GOP for the first time since 1988.
Incumbent Senator Pat Toomey beat Democratic challenger Katie McGinty, keeping the balance of power tied in Pennsylvania’s Senate delegation.
Even the state Senate went to the Republicans, giving them a veto-proof majority. If you thought Governor Wolf had a hard time passing the budget before, stay tuned for Gridlock II: Revenge of the Gridlock.
The morning after
For Trump supporters, particularly those in rural parts of the state, this was exactly the outcome they were hoping for. But in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, there were protests and “Stop Trump” strategy sessions.
In York, there were protests of a different kind, at a local high school. Students carrying Trump signs marched through the halls, yelling “white power” and harassing students of color. In Philadelphia, there has been racist and anti-Semitic graffiti spray-painted on some stores and walls.
Philadelphia is in a precarious position under President Trump. It’s a sanctuary city, and Trump has promised to cut off federal funding to any city with a similar policy within his first 100 days in office.
For coal miners, a Trump presidency could be a good thing. As the ubiquitous signs advertise, “Trump digs coal,” which the industry is hoping will translate into a turnaround.
Non-election transportation news
Other things did happen this week, even if they got a bit lost in the shuffle.
SEPTA, Philadelphia’s public transit system, struck a deal with the union and ended the strike that gridlocked the city, just in time for Election Day.
And a low-cost European airline is going to start flying in and out of Pittsburgh’s airport. If you get sick of all the post-election political talk, you’ll be able to get the heck out of town much faster — and cheaper — than before.