Mastriano: Numbers Point to a Strong Contest

Mastriano was cast as an unelectable outsider. But the numbers suggest a close contest in November.

Arithmos Analytics

5/19/2022 2 min read

Mastriano In May 2022, Doug Mastriano convincingly won the Pennsylvania GOP Primary for Governor. The State Senator carried 55 of the 67 counties in Pennsylvania and came second in the remaining 15 counties. The counties that Mastriano won account for 83% of the population of the state, and the counties he carried contain 8 of the 10 largest cities in the state, including Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. It is clear that the GOP establishment attempt to stop his election was unsuccessful.

What is even more impressive is the way Mastriano won. In terms of funding, his opponents had deeper pockets, and were supported by well-funded by PACs with plush offices in Washington. BY contrast, Mastriano’s donations were far more modest in size and origins. He obtained $15,000 from a Central Pennsylvania shed company and $25,000 from an Indiana horse breeder. Most of his money came from small donations from mom and pop supporters. Yet this proved to be far more effective and suggests a strong degree of grassroots support. Not only are the grassroots willing to vote for him, at a time of inflation and hardship, they are still willing to put their hands in their pockets for him as well. This kind of enthusiasm cannot be underestimated.

Our research has looked at Mastriano’s chances in the general election, where he will face Josh Shapiro. Shapiro has already cast himself as a darling of the liberal media and has already begun to cast his opponent as “far-right”. But what are Mastriano’s chances?

Our research looked at every county in Pennsylvania in every one of the five Governor election in the 21st century. In the 21st century, eight counties have always voted with the eventual winner. They are; Allegheny, Beaver, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Lehigh, Luzerne and Northampton. These 8 counties contain 4,034,023 people, or 31.1% of the state population. Interestingly in the May 2022 primaries, Mastriano carried 6 of these 8 counties in the primaries. Whilst victories at county level in a primary do not always translate into wins at the general, it is a promising sign for the Mastriano campaign.

Registration statistics in these counties are very also revealing. We compared voter registration in May 2021 with May 2022. In 7 of the 8 counties that predict eventual winners, registered Democrats declined by a total of 21,093 whilst registered Republicans increased by 4,260. The increases for the Republicans were in Beaver (+890), Berks (+1,472), Bucks (+1,215), Chester (+1,848), Lehigh (+1,226) and Northampton (+1,567). There were decreases for the Republicans in Allegheny (-219 ) and Luzerne (-3,352). For the Democrats the decreases were in Allegheny (-5,691), Beaver (-1,639), Berks (-1,431), Bucks (-1,700), Lehigh (-387), Luzerne (-12,252) and Northampton (-478). The one and only increase in the 8 counties for the Democrats was in Chester (+2,485).

In short Mastriano is being cast as an unelectable outsider. But the nature and manner of his convincing primary victory, his interesting performance in the 8 bellwether counties and registration changes there suggests the fight in November may be much closer than people think.