All The Drama Over The Pennsylvania Special Election, Explained

The outcome of the Pennsylvania special election says a lot about who has the upper hand going into the November 2018 midterms. That’s right, the middle of nowhere southwestern corner of Pennsylvania has a big say in which party is stepping into the 2018 midterms with the most momentum. You may remember PA deciding the fate of your life back in 2016, but thanks to everyone leaving the White House people losing confidence in Trump, the GOP has spent $10 million trying to keep a district that Trump won by 20 points just two years ago.

WTF is a Special Election?

A special election occurs when the elected official cannot fulfill their full term, and therefore an election is held to fill that seat for the remainder of the term. In the case of PA-18, that is until the 2018 midterm election. You may be wondering what happened to the elected official that originally held the seat, well #metoo! Turns out, pro-life Rep. Tim Murphy encouraged his mistress to get an abortion resigned amid a scandal, resulting in this contentious race. Very cool, Rep. Murphy

Now, please get ready for the most dramatic season of the Bachelor special election in history and remember only one of these men will take home the final rose become Congressman for PA-18.

Who TF Is Rick Saccone?


The heavily GOP and Trump-backed Saccone is a four time state legislator, and what you would expect from a party guy. (And by that I mean political parties, not party-parties.) He supports the GOP Tax bill, wants to repeal Obamacare, is anti-abortion, besties with the NRA, and supports Trump’s new tariff. He also claimed to be “Trump before Trump was Trump,” which I still have no idea how to even comprehend, honestly all I picture is a mini-me version of Trump. Scary.


Who TF Is Conor Lamb?

This is where things get interesting, and I’m not just talking about how this 33 year-old isn’t hard on the eyes. Lamb has broken with the traditional ideology of the Democratic party and said he “would not blindly follow Leader Pelosi.” He also believes life begins at conception, but stands by the Supreme Court decision to legalize abortion. He is pro-Trump tariff and only wants stronger background checks for gun buyers, not more restrictions on guns themselves. Are we sure this guy isn’t a Republican in sheep’s clothing? On the other hand, he wants to stabilize Obamacare and thinks the GOP Tax bill was a money gun pointed directly at the rich and famous, so he’s like, Democrat light, which is low-key a good strategy for someone running in bumfuck nowhere Pennsylvania. Did I mention Joe Biden and him seem to be besties?!

So Who The F Won?


This one was a nail biter fosho. The candidates were 50/50 towards the end, however Lamb claimed victory with a speech late Tuesday night after being a few hundred votes ahead. Rick Saccone is said to not have accepted defeat because he talked to Roy Moore there are still absentee and provisional ballots being counted. TBH, it doesn’t matter who wins at this point, because the Democratic party has shown that it can narrow the gap in what was previously considered a safely Republican district. Going into 2018 midterms Dems think they have a shot at taking back a lot of seats from the GOP, and potentially winning a majority in the House. I’m not holding my breathe, but I will say a quick prayer!

Why TF Does Any Of This Matter?

Sooo…in a way it kind of doesn’t. This election is mostly symbolic for a few reasons. The first, is that  whoever wins will still have to run in a regular election after the midterms. The second fun little plot twist is that the congressional district maps may be redrawn in PA (because gerrymandering) meaning this district literally will not exist next election cycle.

Hopefully, by the end of today all the ballots will be counted and PA-18 will have a legit Congressman-elect. But if not, I’ll be here for the continued drama.

Heads up, you need to keep up with the news. It’s not cute anymore. That’s why we’ve created a 5x weekly newsletter called The ‘Sup that will explain all the news of the week in a hilarious af way. Because if we weren’t laughing, we’d be crying. Sign up for The ‘Sup now!


How Gerrymandering Works, A Non-Boring Explanation

You may have heard the term “gerrymandering” recently and thought to yourself, “who tf is Gerry, what tf is mandering, and why tf should I care?” Perfect, you came to the right place. Tbh, Gerry isn’t some creepy white dude having a mandering time with his mandering friends, drinking mandering shooters, and soaking up each other’s maderringness. Gerrymandering is a shady af strategy used in politics, duh. Here’s a non-boring breakdown on everything you need to know when it comes to gerrymandering. Mmmyeah, you’re welcome.

WTF Does Gerrymandering Even Mean?

Okay, so. Gerrymandering is when you fuck with an electoral map in order to manipulate district boundaries so that you gain political advantage. Still supes confusing, I know. Hold on, it’ll make sense in a sec. Each state has an electoral map, which draws the boundaries of each district. Depending on how this map is drawn, certain districts are predominantly Republican or predominantly Democrat. Now, do you think for one second that politicians wouldn’t try to mess with that and make it work in their favor? Obvs not. That’s where gerrymandering comes in.

There are two main tactics used in gerrymandering. The first is “cracking,” where you dilute the power of the opposing party by spreading their supporters across many districts. The second is “packing,” where you pool  the power of the opposing party into one district, so that they lose power in all of the other districts. How do you overthrow an evil dictator? You cut off their resources. They’d be nothing without their army of skanks. So you have to either spread out that army of skanks so they can’t work together, or put them all in one place, so they can’t influence others. In short, you’re messing with maps in order to take out the competition. Capiche?

How Common Is It?

Both Republicans and Democrats have been known to partake in gerrymandering, meaning it’s pretty prevalent in politics. Because why play by the rules when you are the literal leaders of the institution that is supposed to make, uphold, and represent rules? This is America, land of the shady, home of the petty.

Here are a couple examples of both: In Columbus, Ohio, there is an urban, predominantly liberal area that is split into thirds, with each segment attached to a conservative suburb that votes Republican. The Republican segments in these areas outnumber the liberals in the urban areas, making those districts vote Rebuplican. Voila, cracking.

In North Carolina between 2003 and 2016 there was a district where a concentration of African American residents who vote Democrat were grouped together in one spot, making the other predominantly Republican districts outnumber that district. Boom, packing.

And just to be clear, there is currently a case of Democratic gerrymandering in Maryland that is going to the Supreme Court so yes, both parties do do this, there are just more Republican examples right now because Republicans are like, in power and shit. Gerrymandering, it’s everywhere!

Why Is Everyone Talking About It Rn?

There is some gerrymandering drama going down in Pennsylvania rn. The state Supreme Court in Pennsylvania has required lawmakers to redraw the congressional map for the state. Why? Because that map has been gerrymandered so hard, to the point that it is just ridiculous and, tbh, discriminatory. The map currently favors Republicans, who hold 13 of the 18 districts. As we keep reminding you, there is an election coming up in 2018 (and you better fucking vote). Redrawing the map before the 2018 election means Republicans could lose their advantage in Pennsylvania. See where I’m going with this? Obv Republicans do not like that. Pennsylvania Republicans decided to fight the state Supreme Court and brought the case to *the* Supreme Court, hoping they could block the request to redraw the district maps. However, the Supreme Court upheld the ruling, meaning they agree with the original ruling from the state Supreme Court, aka the map must be redrawn.

Pennsylvania State Supreme Court: These maps are gerrymandered af and you have to redraw them because it’s just ridic at this point.

Pennsylvania Republicans: No!!!!! We’re telling the Supreme Court on you!!!!

The Supreme Court: Tbh, Pennsylvania State Supreme Court is right. Redraw the maps, bitch.

Anyway, the deadline to redraw the maps is on Friday, and Pennsylvania Republicans are still mad about it and trying to fight it. Republican State Rep. Cris Dush is even trying to impeach the justices that signed the original order. So. Much. Drama.

The good news is you now know wtf gerrymandering is, and you can talk about it at happy hour tn and look like, really smart.

Heads up, you need to keep up with the news. It’s not cute anymore. That’s why we’ve created a 5x weekly newsletter called The ‘Sup that will explain all the news of the week in a hilarious af way. Because if we weren’t laughing, we’d be crying. Sign up for The ‘Sup now!