At around 3:30 p.m. at a polling place in Allentown, voters trickled in one or two at a time, inspired by a sense of democratic duty more than any loyalty to a specific candidate. Less than 200 out of the more than 900 registered for that location had voted so far in races with little fanfare and not much at stake.
With Rick Santorum out of the running (yet still on the ballot), the Republican presidential nomination is a lock for Mitt Romney. The U.S. Senate Republican slate to take on incumbent Bob Casey is, as Philadelphia-based media consultant Neil Oxman told The Atlantic "not even C-team people. It's the D team." On the Democratic side, for voters in the 15th district, the primary between Jackson Eaton and Rick Daugherty to face Republican U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent has been low drama.
Republicans Dan and Sue Miller voted for Romney not because they are overwrought with excitement for his candidacy but, like most Republicans, they want President Obama defeated.
"I’d vote for Donald Duck if he was on the other side of the ticket. I work in special ed, any of my kids I’d vote for, they’d do less damage," said Sue Miller, 59, a paraprofessional educator.
They voted for establishment-pick Steve Welch for Senate. Dan Miller said he settled on him because he'd heard a radio ad saying he was endorsed by Gov. Tom Corbett. "That was good enough," he said.
Miller, who had a few choice negative words about Casey, said whoever wins the Senate nomination doesn't have a chance against him. The Republicans haven't put much effort into the race because they know Casey is "a lock in," he said.
William Faylor, 52, who owns a computer consulting company, also a Republican, shared the Millers' low expectations for their party winning the Senate seat back from Casey, who beat incumbent Rick Santorum in 2006. Faylor, who voted for Tom Smith because he'd seen the most TV ads from him, said Republicans don't "have a shot against Casey."
But Democrats aren't overly excited about their chances against Dent either. Janet Hogan, 65, said she voted for Eaton only because she'd met him once and he seemed enthusiastic.
"You know what, there's no real reason. I just met him, he's young, either one would have been fine. Eaton struck me as more enthusiastic and more energetic, but I may be wrong," she said. "I have absolutely no idea why Charlie Dent has this district so locked up. I think he's beatable by the right candidate, but I'm not sure these are the right candidates."
Republican voter, Carol, 47, who declined to give her last name, voted for Romney and for Smith. On the latter, she couldn't remember who she'd voted for until she was read back the list of names.
In the last election, she'd voted for Obama, but doesn't believe she will this time. Unemployed for two years from her job as a teacher's aide, Carol said nothing seems to be getting better, at least not for her.
"I thought like everything would change, like would really change America cause that’s what his political saying was," she said of voting for Obama four years ago. "Obama has done some good things but the economy is still suffering and there are still people out of jobs, like myself."
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