Considering projections of the Republican wave, Democratic officials were ecstatic with anecdotal evidence that turnout was running relatively high in parts of Philadelphia and other targeted areas early Tuesday.
Election officials and poll watchers were reporting more voter traffic than is typical for a midterm election in Center City (8th and 5th Wards) Wynnewood, Chestnut Hill, Germantown and South Philadelphia – all encouraging signs for the Democrats if the trend holds.
Turnout was also reported high in parts of the Lehigh Valley, up to three times normal for an off-year election, according to ABC affiliate WFMZ-TV.
“I spent the last couple of days on the road with the governor in the Lehigh Valley, and there’s a sense of an uptick in enthusiasm and engagement,” U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D.,Pa.) said in an interview. “A lot of Democrats were late to focus.”
Democratic strategists believe that they need Philadelphia turnout of about 35 percent to have a realistic shot at winning the competitive U.S. Senate race for Rep. Joe Sestak over Republican Pat Toomey, and of gubernatorial candidate Dan Onorato catching up to his GOP rival, Attorney General Tom Corbett.