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Analysis: How Does Jim Prokopiak’s Win in Bucks County’s 140th House District Compare to Recent Democratic Victories?

Prokopiak managed to outperform every major recent statewide Democratic nominee in Tuesday’s contest. Considering the stakes of the race, with control of the State House in the balance, that’s a particularly impressive feat.
Photo courtesy of Jim Prokopiak Facebook page.

Pennsylvania House Democrats once again held on to their thin majority Tuesday night in the 140th House district special election.

With nearly all the results now in, Democratic nominee Jim Prokopiak prevailed with 6,462 votes (67.33%) against Republican nominee Candace Cabanas’ 3,079 votes (32.08%), according to unofficial results.

Prokopiak performed strongly across the board, winning all 33 precincts in the 140th, which spans parts of Falls Township, Middletown Township and Morrisville. The map above shows that he even managed to win 60% or more in 31 of those 33 precincts.

So how does this compare to past results in the 140th district? Well, direct comparison to past races is difficult because this district was redrawn after the 2020 Census. What we can do, however, is map out the results from former State Rep. John Galloway’s last contested race in 2020.

140 map 2 - Bucks County Beacon - Analysis: How Does Jim Prokopiak’s Win in Bucks County's 140th House District Compare to Recent Democratic Victories?
 2020 HD-140 Election. Key: Navy – 65%+ Galloway, Blue 60-64.9%, Royal Blue 55%-59.9%, Dodger Blue 50%-54.9%, Light Sky Blue <50%. Light Salmon <50% McGee, Coral 50%-54.9%, Orange Red 55%-59.9%, Red 60%-64.9%, Maroon 65%+. Ties are yellow (All maps by Nick Field via Dave’s Redistricting).

Galloway secured only about 60% of the vote in his contest with Republican opponent Jeanine McGee in 2020. I mapped out these results, and as you can see, Prokopiak ran ahead of Galloway in all of their overlapping precincts. 

Still, given the differing district lines, this sole juxtaposition felt insufficient. So I decided to really open things up and compare the results in Tuesday’s race to President Joe Biden’s 2020 performance in these HD-140 precincts, as well as U.S. Sen. John Fetterman and Gov. Josh Shapiro’s 2022 numbers in this district. 

140 map 3 - Bucks County Beacon - Analysis: How Does Jim Prokopiak’s Win in Bucks County's 140th House District Compare to Recent Democratic Victories?
 2020 Presidential Election Key: Navy – 65%+ Biden, Blue 60-64.9%, Royal Blue 55%-59.9%, Dodger Blue 50%-54.9%, Light Sky Blue <50%. Light Salmon <50% Trump, Coral 50%-54.9%, Orange Red 55%-59.9%, Red 60%-64.9%, Maroon 65%+. Ties are yellow. (All maps by Nick Field via Dave’s Redistricting)

I found that over HD-140’s 33 precincts, Biden won 18,210 votes (54.48%) to Donald Trump’s 14,743 votes (44.11%). That ten point victory turned out to be a bit under Fetterman’s performance, as the senator won 14,053 votes (56.33%) while Dr. Oz secured 10,055 votes (40.3%).

140 map 4 - Bucks County Beacon - Analysis: How Does Jim Prokopiak’s Win in Bucks County's 140th House District Compare to Recent Democratic Victories?
 2022 Senate Election. Key: Navy – 65%+ Fetterman, Blue 60-64.9%, Royal Blue 55%-59.9%, Dodger Blue 50%-54.9%, Light Sky Blue <50%. Light Salmon <50% Oz, Coral 50%-54.9%, Orange Red 55%-59.9%, Red 60%-64.9%, Maroon 65%+. Ties are yellow. (All maps by Nick Field via Dave’s Redistricting)

Shapiro, as you might expect, put together the strongest coalition of the trio. He won 15,467 votes (62.05%) against Republican state Sen. Doug Mastriano’s 8,899 votes (35.7%). You can view my spreadsheet of the precinct-by-precincts results for all these races here.

140 map 5 - Bucks County Beacon - Analysis: How Does Jim Prokopiak’s Win in Bucks County's 140th House District Compare to Recent Democratic Victories?
 2022 Gubernatorial Election. Key: Navy – 65%+ Shapiro, Blue 60-64.9%, Royal Blue 55%-59.9%, Dodger Blue 50%-54.9%, Light Sky Blue <50%. Light Salmon <50% Mastriano, Coral 50%-54.9%, Orange Red 55%-59.9%, Red 60%-64.9%, Maroon 65%+. Ties are yellow. (All maps by Nick Field via Dave’s Redistricting)

Altogether, Prokopiak managed to outperform every major recent statewide Democratic nominee in Tuesday’s contest. Considering the stakes of the race, with control of the State House in the balance, that’s a particularly impressive feat. 

Does this mean anything for the more high-profile Presidential and Senate races in November? Well, it’s certainly not unusual for lower ballot candidates like state Reps to run far ahead of their ticket mates. After all, this is typically a seat where Democrats run unopposed for most November contests. 

Nevertheless, it must be encouraging for Democrats to be gaining ground in Lower Bucks County, where they’ve lost support over the past few cycles. Ultimately, though, the central question – both nationally and in Pennsylvania – will be whether the Democratic turnout advantage we’ve seen in recent special elections will hold for November’s general election. Perhaps we’ll get a hint to the answer from April’s primary contests.

Pennsylvania Capital-Star is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Pennsylvania Capital-Star maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor John Micek for questions: info@penncapital-star.com. Follow Pennsylvania Capital-Star on Facebook and Twitter.

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Nick Field, Author at Penn-Capital Star

Nick Field, Author at Penn-Capital Star

Correspondent Nick Field covers Philadelphia and its suburbs for the Pennsylvania Capital-Star.

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