Some Pennsylvania voters are catching the blue wave, others not so much

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Jonathan Gorman, 31, a Democrat from Conshohocken, says the makeup of the Supreme Court is the biggest motivator for him to vote in the midterm election. Gorman attended the Conshohocken Beer Festival, on Saturday. (Bastiaan Slabbers for WHYY)

Jonathan Gorman, 31, a Democrat from Conshohocken, says the makeup of the Supreme Court is the biggest motivator for him to vote in the midterm election. Gorman attended the Conshohocken Beer Festival, on Saturday. (Bastiaan Slabbers for WHYY)

November 6, 2018 can’t come soon enough for Democrats still feeling scorned by 2016’s presidential election. But will the balance of power actually change after the midterms? WHYY went to what could be considered a nonpolitical event: the Conshohocken Beer Festival over the weekend to ask.

If Democrats do change the makeup of the Congress many will point to the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. The sexual misconduct allegations during his confirmation hearing, amplified the anticipation among voters in both parties nationally, according to several national news outlets.

Jonathan Gorman, 31, a Democratic voter from Conshohocken understands that feeling. He said the Supreme Court has been a major issue for him even before the controversial nomination.

“It’s probably been the biggest motivator for me,” he said, “but especially since 2016 with the age of some of the other justices. I will definitely be voting this year.”

The predictions of a “blue wave” of voters looking to turn the political tide isn’t a sure thing based on what voters at the festival said. There are some who are hesitant about what they’ll do.

Jessica Beresky, 30, of Phoenixville, is unsure she’ll vote at all.

She said she needs to do some research on the candidates. She says it’s a bit too much to keep up with, plus, she doesn’t trust the information shared on social media.

“It’s a little overwhelming,” she said. “You get caught up in your day-to-day life and I don’t think I followed it very well.”

Research has shown that midterm elections typically generate a lower turnout than presidential elections, especially among younger voters.

Shawn Becker, of Birdsboro, attends the Conshohoken Beer Festival, on Saturday. (Bastiaan Slabbers for WHYY)

Sean Becker, 29, of Birdsboro, said he hasn’t voted in any election.

“Up until I actually believe in somebody to vote for, I’m not going to do it,” said Becker.

Do Republicans feels the same as Democrats? Out of the ten or so people who agreed to be interviewed, Jeremy Lackey, 33, from South Jersey was the only Republican willing to go on the record. He labels himself a moderate, having voted for both parties in the past.

Jeremy Lackey, of Camden County, New Jersey, attends the Beer Festival, in Conshohocken on Saturday. (Bastiaan Slabbers for WHYY)

Lackey said he casts a ballot in every election and the issue for him this year is “good jobs for the middle class. But I also think we need to educate and move our workforce into areas that’ll continue to create jobs.”

Courtney Kennedy, 39, said she’s excited for the election because it is a chance for women to have their voices heard. She said “our human rights are at risk” and she hopes people look beyond their political affiliations when they enter the voting booth.

“I think that we all need to have a voice,” she said. “And we need to make sure that our voice has to do with what you feel and not necessarily what your party feels.”

Courtney Kennedy of Philadelphia attends the Beer Festival, in Conshohocken on Saturday. (Bastiaan Slabbers for WHYY)

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