We're rather wary of doing "winners vs. losers" posts, largely because branding somebody as a "loser" seems like overkill on a day like this. But we still want to talk about some of this stuff, so we'll call the second category "non-winners" instead.
Neil Oxman. Oxman's Campaign Group gets on this list alone for producing one of the most effective campaign ads in Pennsylvania history -- Joe Sestak's "The Switch," featuring Arlen Specter with Bush, Santorum and Palin. [It's right up there with James Carville's "Guru" attack ad about Bill Scranton in 1986, says the P-G's Jim O'Toole.) On top of that, his longtime playing-chicken strategy of delaying the ad blitz worked again, AND he represented gubernatorial winner Dan Onorato as well. If both Democrats emptied about their bank accounts in the last couple weeks (and we bet they did) that means something like $10 million bucks going through their doors (much of it paid to TV stations, but still). No wonder the dude can take months off to caddy for Tom Watson.
Tom Corbett/Dan Onorato -- The two Allegheny County attorneys were expected to win the governor primaries and they did, but not by these margins. Onorato won all but 5 of the state's 67 counties, cleaning up in the T where longtime foe Jack Wagner was supposed to clean up. Corbett won all but two -- Sam Rohrer's home base in Berks and neighboring Lancaster, where he lost by 3.5 points.
Pollsters -- For the most part the polls called the big races right, especially in races with so many undecideds. Hand it to the folks at Suffolk University who had Sestak up by 9 points late in the race (he won by 8). Everybody was way off in saying it was a dead heat in PA-12, but nobody really saw Critz's 10-point win coming there, did they?
Marty Griffin -- When Mary Beth Buchanan told the rabble-rousing Pittsburgh talk show host to "shut up" on the first day of her campaign in February, lots of people said her bid was essentially over. The outburst emphasized the combative style would come to hurt her in the campaign, and Griffin hammered her consistently through the next three months, including on Tuesday, when he repeatedly begged his KDKA Radio listeners to vote against her.
Brabender Cox -- The Pittsburgh campaign consultants supported the failed bids of two Western Pa Republicans who went down hard Tuesday -- Buchanan and Tim Burns (whose campaign manager was Brabender's Kent Gates).
TJ Rooney and Rob Gleason -- The respective chairs of the state's Dem and Republican parties have egg on their faces this morning, both for getting involved in inter-party disputes. Rooney looks bad for saying a Sestak win would be cataclysmic, and Johnstown native Gleason not only couldn't produce for Tim Burns, but got involved in a public feud with fellow candidate Bill Russell.
Reformers -- John Baer warned this would happen. Two former House speakers charged with corruption, Bill DeWeese and John Perzel, both sailed to renomination. Jane Orie -- also charged with using state resources for personal campaigning -- is making a serious bid to crossfile as both a Democrat and a Republican in November.
The Tea Party. Every Republican candidate this year sidled up to Tea Party activists in some way, but none of those most tied to the movement's goals (Sam Rohrer for governor, Clayton Grabb and Ed Frantz in PA3, Daryl Metcalfe for Lt. Gov) won in competitive elections. (In Pittsburgh's District 14, Melissa Halusczak didn't face a race.)