(WHTM) – Polls have shown Democrat Josh Shapiro leading Doug Mastriano in the Pennsylvania Governor’s race throughout the campaign. Shapiro’s lead in the polls has remained in the double digits going into the November 8 election.
If elected, Shapiro would set several historic marks as a Democrat Governor replacing Tom Wolf.
Pennsylvania had not had consecutive Democrat Governors since 1955-63 when George Leader and David Lawrence were in office. It would also be the first time Pennsylvania has had three consecutive terms of a Democrat Governor since the 1800s.
In recent history races for Governor in Pennsylvania have not been close. In the last six elections, the winner has won by more than 200,000 votes. Ed Rendell and Tom Wolf won their re-election bids by more than 800,000.
Governor Bob Casey Sr. has the biggest popular vote difference after winning by 1,077,728 votes in 1990 over Barbara Hafer. The largest margin of victory in modern history was in 1926 when John Fisher won by 49.06% over Eugene Bonniwell.
In 1826 John Shulze won with a 95% margin of victory, defeating his opponent by more than 70,000 votes in a race where only 75,000 people voted.
Only seven times since 1900 has the Pennsylvania gubernatorial race come within 100,000 votes.
The lowest percentage of votes for a two-party race candidate since 1890 was Eugene Bonniwell, who received only 24.29% in 1926. In modern history, Ivan Itkin received 31.03% against Tom Ridge in 1998 and Hafer received 32.3% in 1990.
The closest Governor’s race was in 1848 when William Johnston (Whig Party) won by 297 votes, or 0.08%. This was essentially a special election after Governor Shunk resigned and died days later.
If elected, the 49-year-old Shapiro would be the youngest Governor of Pennsylvania since Mark Schweiker in 2001, who replaced Tom Ridge when he left to join George W. Bush’s administration.
Shapiro’s running mate Austin Davis would also make history as the first African American Lieutenant Governor.
Republican Doug Mastriano would be the first veteran elected Governor of Pennsylvania since Ridge in 1994. His running mate Carrie DelRosso would be Pennsylvania’s second female Lieutenant Governor, following Catherine Baker Knoll in 2003.
Election Day is November 8.