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Wolf vs. Onorato vs. Rendell

Published by James O'Toole on .

Any politician would be thrilled to post the kind of landslide that carried Tom Wolf to the Democratic nomination. But the Democratic turnout Tuesday was anemic.  That meant that, in absolute numbers, his vote total was not quite as impressive, compared to some recent Democratic winners, as it was in the comparison that counted _  to the totals of the three Democrats who trailed far behind him.

With about 99.5 percent of the vote tallied, Wolf had 58 percent of the Democratic ballots, or 484,495 _ far outdistancing Rep. Allyson Schwartz, who had 18 percent or 147,248 votes.  There's nothing not to like about that if you are a Wolf fan.

But only about 837,056 Democrats bothered to cast ballots Tuesday.  That's way south of the party's turnout in recent, comparable primaries.  In 2010, Dan Onorato won the Democratic nomination with 45 percent of the vote, way behind Wolf's 58 percent.   Mr. Onorato's vote total, however, was about 460,000, only about 25,000 fewer than Wolf.  And in the rock-'em, sock-'em 2002 primary, when party titans Ed Rendell and Bob Casey fought it out, Rendell prevailed with 56 percent of the vote.  That's a little shy of Wolf's percentage,  but Rendell's absolute numbers dwarf Wolf's.  Rendell collected roughly 704,400 votes, far outdistancing Wolf's tally.  That was out of a 1,242,000-vote turnout that similarly left the 2014 Democratic turnout in the dust.

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