On the last day before the Nov. 6 midterm, Tom Wolf, Scott Wagner, Lou Barletta and Bob Casey were spending their remaining hours campaigning Monday, criss-crossing the state in a last-ditch effort to attract voters.
Despite polling showing the incumbents, Democrats Wolf and Casey, in the lead, Republicans Wagner and Barletta were banking on a surprise akin to that seen by their political ally, President Donald Trump, who was considered unlikely to win in 2016 by many veteran political observers and polls.
Wagner, a businessman from York who launched his political career with a successful write-in campaign for state Senate in 2014, started his day in Pittsburgh. His day was scheduled to conclude in the evening with a rally in York alongside his running mate, Jeff Bartos.
“Started my tour of the commonwealth today with breakfast at Central Diner in Pittsburgh,” Wagner wrote on Twitter. “Lots of people are excited to come out and vote for school property tax elimination tomorrow. #FixPA”
Started my tour of the commonwealth today with breakfast at Central Diner in Pittsburgh. Lots of people are excited to come out and vote for school property tax elimination tomorrow. #FixPA pic.twitter.com/c6ua85Plim
— Scott R. Wagner (@realScottWagner) November 5, 2018
In seeking his second term as the state’s chief executive, Wolf was sticking to the eastern part of the state with a rally planned for State Rep. Tina Davis’s state senate campaign headquarters in Levittown. Wolf, like Wagner a York businessman before his entry in politics, was looking to prevent Wagner from doing to him what he did to former Gov. Tom Corbett four years ago in knocking off an incumbent with an outsider message.
“Everybody, [running mate] John Fetterman and I are here to tell you tomorrow’s Election Day,” Wolf said in a video posted to his Twitter feed. “We need you to get out and vote to keep Pennsylvania moving in the great direction that we’re moving in right now.”
.@Johnfetterman and I want to remind you that TOMORROW is #ElectionDay! Do you have a plan to vote? Visit https://t.co/aYlVRrEt9d to create a plan and make your vote count. RT to remind your friends to VOTE tomorrow. #WolfForPA pic.twitter.com/eUseYwUyZ7
— Tom Wolf (@WolfForPA) November 5, 2018
Like the gubernatorial candidates, U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta was shaking hands and trying to make a last-minute impression as he met voters in Greensburg on Monday morning. The former mayor of Hazleton and one of the earliest supporters of Trump in Congress, Barletta is aiming to unseat two-term U.S. Sen. Bob Casey.
“With less than 24 hours until polls open, we’re barnstorming the state to get out the vote,” Barletta wrote on Twitter. “Thank you to Sen. Kim Ward and all who joined us in Greensburg. Call 5 friends and VOTE TOMORROW! #Lou4Senate”
With less than 24 hours until polls open, we’re barnstorming the state to get out the vote! Thank you to Sen. Kim Ward and all who joined us in Greensburg. Call 5 friends and VOTE TOMORROW! #Lou4Senate pic.twitter.com/0kFCq5nLfy
— Lou Barletta (@louforsenate) November 5, 2018
Casey is the son of former Gov. Bob Casey and has shed his former label as a moderate Democrat this cycle to embrace some of the more left-wing principles of his party’s platform. During the campaign, he sought to paint Barletta as someone willing to strip enforcement of coverage of pre-existing conditions from law, a charge that Barletta has angrily rejected.
“Got to thank some wonderful @AFSCME volunteers for phone banking this morning,” Casey said Monday on Twitter. “With only one day to go, every phone call matters — let’s #MakeItHapPENN tomorrow!”
Got to thank some wonderful @AFSCME volunteers for phone banking this morning. With only one day to go, every phone call matters — let's #MakeItHapPENN tomorrow! You can call voters from anywhere by clicking here: https://t.co/tARDG0TNXu pic.twitter.com/s1UusDltZh
— Bob Casey Jr. (@Bob_Casey) November 5, 2018
The latest polling from Franklin & Marshall College seemed to indicate long odds for Wagner and Barletta to upset the sitting governor and senator. The poll gave Wolf a 59-44 percent lead in the governor’s race, a 15 point margin, while Casey had a similar margin at 50-35 percent over Barletta. The survey was conducted Oct. 22-28 and included responses of 537 registered voters and included 254 Democrats, 211 Republicans and 72 independents.