In the end, it wasn’t even close.
In the end, as usually is the case, the incumbent had the advantage.
In the end, incumbent progressive District Attorney Larry Krasner beat his traditional liberal challenger, Carlos Vega, by a 2-1 margin in a predictably low turnout race. The turnout was 17.6%, according to the City Commissioners.
In the end, Krasner doubled his vote total from the 2017 primary, where he had six opponents, from 59,358 to Tuesday’s total of 103,195 (preliminary figures). Out of 1 million registered voters. So Krasner’s “mandate” is 10% of Philadelphians. But he won.
In the end, as predicted, the more traditional Northeast, the River Wards and a large pocket of South Philly went for Vega, while the rest of the city wanted Krasner — with turnout being good in progressive Black wards.
With his re-election, Philadelphia progressives proved they could hold on to an office — even though more than 3/4s of Krasner’s financial support came from outside the city — a lot from the West Coast — from people who don’t have to live with the consequences of Krasner’s troubled policies.
Progressive billionaire George Soros gave less this time than last.
In the end, if I were a denizen of the far left, I would cast this as a racist vote to secure the privilege of a white supremacist.
“Racist” because a brown man lost to a white man, and “white supremacist” because all white people are racist, according to what’s known as critical race theory.
But I don’t play that sick game.
The vote may not have been racist, but it was undeniably anti-cop, which is why the FOP tried so hard to beat Krasner.
Using his incumbency, and the same people who supported him last time, Krasner outperformed Vega, despite a near 40% increase in homicides on his watch, despite not getting the endorsement from the Democratic City Committee, despite not getting the progressive mayor’s endorsement, despite popular politician Ed Rendell endorsing Vega.
It is a tribute to the blind, one-mindedness of progressives who agree there should be no consequences for failure.
Even his supporters admitted Krasner was “not perfect,” which was the understatement of the race. “Not perfect” is code for falling short.
I go back to the anti-cop sentiment to try to explain why more Black people voted for the white guy than the brown guy, given that the brown guy’s views were traditionally liberal. It’s not like Vega is a conservative. He’s nowhere close.
I have to conclude that Black people who voted for Krasner are more afraid of the police than they are of the Black murderers in the midst.
That’s a terrible conclusion. Almost 80% of homicide victims were Black, according to 2017 statistics, and it is higher now. Almost every perpetrator of these crimes is Black.
My liberal Center City ward went for Krasner. My neighbors read about the murder rate but they don’t feel it. What happens in the killing fields of North, West and Southwest Philly is like South Sudan to them.
Krasner was credibly accused of undercharging homicide suspects and of turning loose dangerous suspects or convicts. This was known and the main reason Vega ran.
Not enough people cared.
Now it’s up to Republican Chuck Peruto to make the uphill case. No Republican has won for D.A. since 1985 when Ron Castille captured the vacant office, with no incumbent.
Expect Peruto to come out swinging. His only hope is to get the traditional voters off their asses and into the polling booth.
In the end, that’s the only thing that can make that race close.