Pennsylvania Goes Blue: Midterm Election Results and Analysis


Shapiro and Fetterman both won their races on Tuesday night.

Vivi Melkonian, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Updated November 9, 2022. 

Pennsylvania’s highly publicized elections concluded late Tuesday night in an unexpected Democratic victory. Josh Shapiro won his gubernatorial race against Doug Mastriano, and John Fetterman won Pennsylvania’s contentious Senate seat against celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz.

 Shapiro was declared the winner of the Pennsylvania Gubernatorial late Tuesday night, leading Mastriano 56.2 to 42%. This election was called by multiple news outlets around 11:00 p.m. on Tuesday night. President Biden called Shapiro to congratulate him on his victory. 

Villanova political science professor Frank Pryor, ABD spoke with The Villanovan about what this means for the state and Villanova students. 

“[Shapiro] is a candidate who is very much in touch with the issues of college-age generation,” Pryor said. “Very much aligned with environmental concerns, healthcare, education, jobs, economic development as attorney general. He has an eye towards creating a Pennsylvania where we want to keep our young college graduates. We want to keep them in state.” 

Pryor offered his predictions for initiatives Shapiro will pursue now that he is elected. 

“I think you’ll see initiatives around that from a Josh Shapiro administration,” Pryor said. “He’s kind of made part of his platform around concern for our state’s higher education system but also around understanding the role that privates play in our state and to try to make our state a more attractive place. We’re the second or third oldest state in the Union, and in terms of talent retention he wants to keep college graduates in PA. I think you’ll see initiatives around that, so I think that’s a good thing for college-age students in PA.”

Fetterman defeated Oz in Pennsylvania’s high-profile Senate race. Fetterman took the stage in his signature black sweatshirt to deliver his victory speech on Tuesday night. He expressed gratitude for his constituents and vowed to always fight for the underdog in office. 

“This campaign has always been about everyone who’s been knocked down that ever got back up,” Fetterman said. “This race is for every community across Pennsylvania. For every small town or person that has ever felt left behind. For every job that has ever been lost, for every factory that was closed, for every person that works hard but never got ahead.”

Fetterman expressed pride in his campaign and the values he stands for, including his continued advocacy for expanded healthcare access. After suffering a stroke in May, healthcare became a stark pillar of Fetterman’s platform. 

“We bet on the people of Pennsylvania, and you didn’t let us down,” Fetterman said. “And my promise to all of you is I will never let you down. Thank you, Pennsylvania. Thank you so much.”

Fetterman’s victory paves a clearer path for Democrats to maintain control of the Senate. Fetterman and Shapiro’s wins mean Pennsylvania will be represented by two Democratic senators and now a Democratic governor, which will facilitate more opportunities for advocacy in Congress for the state. 

“For PA, this means they flipped the seat and that both senators [representing PA] would be from the Democratic party,” Pryor said. “This means a much larger voice in Washington D.C. It’s yet to be determined whether this changes the balance of power in the Senate. It’s too early to call that race. But in PA you’ll have some alignment there with a Democratic governor and two U.S. senators that are from the Democratic party. That’s the trend of the very diverse state right now – a shifting electorate we have in PA.”

Senate races nationwide are indicative of a tight margin for winning, and results are yet to be finalized. Pennsylvania along with pivotal states such as Georgia could determine whether or not Republicans gain control of the chamber. As it stands, the Senate is split with 48 Democrat senators and 49 Republican senators. 

Arizona and Nevada’s elections are yet to be called, and Georgia will hold a runoff election on December 6. The winners of these seats will determine which party controls the Senate chamber. 

Republicans need 51 seats to gain control of the Senate chamber, which requires a net gain of one seat. 35 of the 100 Senate seats are on the ballot this election. The House of Representatives is split between 125 Democrats and 176 Republicans. Republicans have picked up five seats so far and need 218 seats to gain control of the House of Representatives. 

When asked for his interpretation of Senate race results thus far, Pryor indicated things will be close regardless of the outcome. 

“It’s just too early to tell right now,” Pryor said. “I can say this, that with only 20 seats remaining, that the margin, if it doesn’t end in a tie, it’s gonna be close. Plus or minus maybe two seats, it’s going to be very tight.”

This midterm election is indicative of American satisfaction with the current state of our political leadership and can offer insight for upcoming election years. These races will change the political state of the country and determine national legislative next steps. Pryor explained this election illustrates the potential landscape for 2024 elections. 

“I think there’s something around implications for 2024 around presidential runs,” Pryor said. “You can look at Governor [Ron] DeSantis in Florida with an overwhelming victory, and that’s going to lead to serious consideration to run for president. That’s going to be key around his presidential aspirations.” 

Additionally, election integrity was a pivotal topic of discussion going into midterm elections, as many candidates are self-proclaimed “election deniers.” Accuracy in vote counting is of chief concern in every state including Pennsylvania. Pryor added his evaluation of ballot tallying on Election Night.

“[There were] a lot of concerns around how the elections were going to be conducted in each state,” Pryor said. “There were few shenanigans. Things seem to be going well. The things that happen on election night are things that happen in life: machines jamming, running out of paper, not having enough ballots, not having enough polling locations open late, voting machines not working properly but getting fixed. But these are the kind of things that happen on these nights. They seem to be handled appropriately.”

The 2022 midterm election had notably high voter turnout, especially amongst college students. For additional coverage of Election Day and voter efforts on Villanova’s campus, visit and follow @TheVillanovan on Instagram and Twitter.