There were both a few surprises and some expected results in the Pennsylvania primary on April 26.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton easily won the state’s Democratic presidential primary as expected.
The strong showing by Clinton and Trump added fuel to speculation that they will become their respective party’s nominee and face each other in the general election in November.
We wish to congratulate Clinton and Trump, but they should not see their victories on Tuesday as a sign that most Americans are happy with them as their presidential choices. Polls show that both Clinton and Trump have to overcome negative perceptions by voters.
Fifty-five percent of Americans say they have a negative opinion of Clinton in the latest Associated Press-GfK poll released in April. Trump doesn’t fare any better, as 69 percent of American say they have a negative opinion of him.
The negative opinions for Clinton and Trump are a harbinger of a general election contest that could shape up to be less about voters supporting the respective candidate, and more about them picking the lesser of two evils.
After losses to Clinton in Tuesday’s primaries in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and Connecticut, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont told The Associated Press that he would now seek as many delegates as possible to “fight for a progressive party platform,” acknowledging he had only a “very narrow path” to the nomination. He has chalked up 1,318 delegates vs 2,165 for Clinton in securing the 2,383 delegates to win the nomination outright.
“Every person in this country should have the right to vote for whom they want to see as president of the United States, and what they want to see the agenda, Democratic agenda, look like,” Sanders told The AP.
Sanders should continue his campaign to help shape the Democratic Party platform and Clinton’s policy agenda. His movement to address income inequality, criminal justice reform and other issues should continue.
Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a Clinton supporter, said Sanders had every right to compete until the end of the primaries as Clinton did in 2008 when she faced Barack Obama.
In the U.S. Senate race, former government official Katie McGinty easily beat Joe Sestak in the Democratic primary, benefiting from an infusion of cash from national Democratic groups and backing from Vice President Joe Biden and President Obama.
The Democratic Party establishment scored a major victory and now has the candidate it wants to take on Republican Pat Toomey. The incumbent is seen as one of the most vulnerable Senate Republicans as Democrats aim for the four or five seats they need to regain the majority status they lost two years ago.
In the 2nd Congressional District, state Rep. Dwight Evans should be congratulated for defeating incumbent Congressman Chaka Fattah and two other Democratic opponents. In November, Evans will face Republican James Jones.
Despite his considerable accomplishments in Congress, the cloud of a 29-count federal indictment and limited campaign funds hurt Fattah’s effort at an 11th term in the U.S. House. To his credit, Evans ran an issue-oriented campaign against Fattah.
In the state’s attorney general primary races, Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro’s reformist message carried him to victory among the Democrats. Shapiro has the management and legislative experience as well as the intelligence and integrity needed to reform the Attorney General’s Office, which is now in turmoil under the current head, Kathleen Kane. His GOP opponent will be state Sen. John Rafferty Jr.
The Tribune wishes to congratulate all the winners in the Pennsylvania primary and hope they all prove to be worthy of the trust given to them by the voters.