Sabato's Crystal Ball

Pennsylvania (06) House 2010


Crystal Ball Outlook: Likely R

Democratic candidate: Manan Trivedi, Veteran and Doctor

Republican candidate: Jim Gerlach, Incumbent

Recent updates from the Crystal Ball


Three-term Republican incumbent Jim Gerlach has decided to contend for the governor’s mansion in 2010, leaving behind a competitive house race in his 6th District. Philadelphia Inquirer journalist Douglas Pike currently leads the small field of Democratic candidates with $630,000 already in his war chest, and the Republican pack consists of Chester County Recorder of Deeds Ryan Costello, venture capitalist Steven Welch, and state Representative Curt Schroder. While Schroder is the only Republican candidate with any campaign money at this point, expect the Republican fundraising effort to start moving as the election season nears.

After Republicans gerrymandered the 6th District in 2002 to resemble a “dragon descending on Philadelphia,” shifting voting patterns extinguished the Republican flames of victory in the last two presidential elections. In 2004, John Kerry edged George W. Bush by only 2.5 percent, but in 2008, Barack Obama soundly defeated John McCain by a 16.6 percent spread. In addition, Republican Jim Gerlach only beat his Democratic opponents in the last three congressional elections by a grand total of 7.4 percent, which looks ominous for the open-seat 2010 race that does not include a typical incumbent advantage. Perhaps, though, the growing public disapproval of the Democratic congressional majority and presidency will counter the erosion of Republican votes.

At this point, PA-06 is Likely Republican.