Action News Election preview

November 3, 2008 9:52:40 AM PST
A quick rundown on tomorrow's voting. U.S. PRESIDENT

To win the presidency a candidate needs to win a majority of the 538 electoral votes, or 270.

You can see an interactive version of the electoral map by Clicking Here. Here's a breakdown of electoral votes by state. It is based on the number of senators and representatives each state has (DC also gets three):

  • ALABAMA 9
  • ALASKA 3
  • ARIZONA 10
  • ARKANSAS 6
  • CALIFORNIA 55
  • COLORADO 9
  • CONNECTICUT 7
  • DELAWARE 3
  • D.C. 3
  • FLORIDA 27
  • GEORGIA 15
  • HAWAII 4
  • IDAHO 4
  • ILLINOIS 21
  • INDIANA 11
  • IOWA 7
  • KANSAS 6
  • KENTUCKY 8
  • LOUISIANA 9
  • MAINE 4
  • MARYLAND 10
  • MASSACHUSETTS 12
  • MICHIGAN 17
  • MINNESOTA 10
  • MISSISSIPPI 6
  • MISSOURI 11
  • MONTANA 3
  • NEBRASKA 5
  • NEVADA 5
  • NEW HAMPSHIRE 4
  • NEW JERSEY 15
  • NEW MEXICO 5
  • NEW YORK 31
  • NORTH CAROLINA 15
  • NORTH DAKOTA 3
  • OHIO 20
  • OKLAHOMA 7
  • OREGON 7
  • PENNSYLVANIA 21
  • RHODE ISLAND 4
  • SOUTH CAROLINA 8
  • SOUTH DAKOTA 3
  • TENNESSEE 11
  • TEXAS 34
  • UTAH 5
  • VERMONT 3
  • VIRGINIA 13
  • WASHINGTON 11
  • WEST VIRGINIA 5
  • WISCONSIN 10
  • WYOMING 3

In nearly every state it is winner-take-all. Only Maine and Nebraska divide their electoral votes.

In addition to the major party candidates, each state has a different total number of other candidates who qualified to be on their presidential ballot. This year, Pennsylvania has four candidates, New Jersey has ten, and Delaware has seven including John McCain and Barack Obama.

U.S. SENATE

Every two years, approximately one-third of the Senate is up for election. This year, seats in New Jersey and Delaware are up.

For an interactive on the U.S. Senate races, Click Here.

In New Jersey, democrat Frank Lautenberg is running for re-election. At age 84, he is the third-oldest member of the Senate, behind Robert Byrd of West Virginia, and Ted Stevens of Alaska. He is being challenged by Republican Dick Zimmer, a former congressman who ran unsuccessfully for the Senate in 1996. There are five other minor party candidates.

In Delaware, Joe Biden is simultaneously running for re-election to the Senate seat he has held for six terms and for vice-president with Barack Obama. If Obama and Biden win, it will be up to the next governor of Delaware to appoint a senator to replace Biden for two years, after which a special election would be held. Biden's Republican opponent is Christine O'Donnell a radio-TV commentator.

U.S. HOUSE

All 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are up for re-election this year. In our area, the most closely-watched races are in Bucks County, where democrat Patrick Murphy, the only Iraq War vet in Congress, is seeking a second term against Thomas Manion. In Delaware County, democrat Joe Sestak is also seeking a second term against Republican Craig Williams.

For an interactive on House Races, Click Here.

In New Jersey, longtime Republican congressman Jim Saxton is stepping down in the 3rd district, which covers parts of Burlington and Ocean County. The democrats hope to pick up this seat with State Senator John Adler. The Republican is Medford mayor Christopher Myers.

The current makeup of the 110th Congress is 233 Democrats, 202 Republicans in the House. (The Senate has 49 Democrats and two Independents who have aligned themselves with the Democrats, and 49 Republicans.)

Locally, the Pennsylvania House delegation has eleven Democrats and 8 Republicans. New Jersey has seven Democrats and six Republicans in the House. Delaware has one Republican in the House.

DELAWARE GOVERNOR

Democrat Ruth Ann Minner is barred from seeking a third term, so Delaware will get a new governor next year. The democratic candidate is three-term state treasurer Jack Markell. The Republican candidate is former judge Bill Lee.

Delaware separately elects a lieutenant governor. Democrat Matt Denn, the state's insurance commissioner, is running against Republican Charles Copeland.

PA. ROW OFFICES

Voters in Pennsylvania will also be electing an Attorney General, Treasurer, and Auditor General this fall.

For attorney general, Republican incumbent Tom Corbett is seeking a second term against democrat John Morganelli, the district attorney of Northampton County. By the way, no democrat has won this race since it became an elected office in 1980.

For auditor general, democratic incumbent Jack Wagner is seeking a second term against Lancaster County businessman Chet Beiler.

Pennsylvania's current treasurer, Robin Wiessmann, was appointed after Bob Casey Jr.'s election to the Senate. She is not running for a full term. The democratic candidate is Rob McCord, a businessman from Bryn Mawr. The Republican is Tom Ellis, a former Montgomery County commissioner.

OTHER RACES

Voters in Atlantic City will be choosing a mayor to serve out the final year of the term of former mayor Bob Levy. Current mayor Scott Evans lost the primary back in June. The candidates are: democrat Lorenzo Langford, a former mayor who lost to Levy in 2005, Republican John McQueen, and independent Joseph Polillo.

Half of the Pennsylvania State Senate, and all of the State House are up for re-election. In Philadelphia, voters will be choosing a successor to Vince Fumo, who is retiring due to health and legal trouble. The Pennsylvania State Senate is currently divided 29 Republican and 21 Democrats. The State House has 102 Democrats and 101 Republicans. Democrats took control two years ago in a wave of voter anger over the pay hikes lawmakers granted themselves.

There are also a handful of statewide ballot questions in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In Pennsylvania, it's a $400 million bond referendum to repair and upgrade water and sewer systems.

In New Jersey there are two statewide questions, one regarding voter approval of bond issues, and another dealing with the approval of judicial nominations.

In Philadelphia, voters will be deciding whether to merge the Fairmount Park Commission and the Recreation Department into one entity. A second question asks if applicants for civil service jobs who live in the city should get priority over non-residents who test at the same level.

In New Jersey, individual counties have freeholder elections.


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