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Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Up Next: Pennsylvania

Posted by DavidNYC

Since I'm making a geographical loop of sorts, the next swing state that is physically nearest to New Hampshire is Pennsylvania. If you have any thoughts or helpful links, I would, as always, be appreciative. I'll put together a more authoritative post in a day or two, hopefully.

Posted at 08:28 PM in Pennsylvania | Technorati


Some PA thoughts:

1) Ed Rendell is as important here as Jeb is in Florida.
As former DNC chairman he understands what it takes to win a state
and how important his job is. He will be a key.

2) That philly mayor race is rove desperately trying to get
control of that city- which is going to throw the election
one way or another (it was urban turnout that helped Gore in 00).

3) A lot of our candidates are well-positioned here:
Dean can speak to the New England, small-town rural PA.
Gep is great for trade/union.
Clark helps in conservative rural PA.

4) Don't discount the Senate race. great for turnout. and if
Specter wins a primary fight with a rightwinger, expect lowered
R turnout.

Posted by: jgkojak at October 23, 2003 10:19 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Usually state wide races in PA turn on the suburbs (particularly the Philly suburbs). The Dem has to win the cities by a large margin and decrease the losing margin in rural PA. But they must win over the suburbs.

Posted by: seamus at October 23, 2003 10:28 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I get the impression -- heck, they have given us Santorium and Spector, and lests not forget our Homeland Security Sec. Ridge, that PA tends conservative.

I believe they poll strongly pro-life. How will Dean play with this crowd? Can some other Dem do better?


Posted by: Boulanger at October 23, 2003 11:12 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

That philly mayor race is rove desperately trying to get
control of that city- which is going to throw the election
one way or another (it was urban turnout that helped Gore in 00).

I don't think so. Rove is smart enough to know that Bush doesn't have a hope of making a dent in the Democrat's strength in Philadelphia. Philadelphia County went 80% to 18% for Gore���the most lopsided urban win for Gore outside of the District of Columbia.

I will agree that turnout in Philadelphia is key. If we can get the same turnout we got last time���and you're right to zero in on Rendell as a major strength���Pennsylvania should be a pretty safe state.

Posted by: KevStar at October 23, 2003 11:16 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

It was the usually R-voting Philly suburbs swinging to Gore that turned the 2000 election.

Turnout in Philly is always key; I agree with KevStar though that it won't matter who the mayor is. In fact, turnout will increase if the voters think Street got sandbagged.

Senior issues are number one in PA. A smaller issue is gun control; Al Gore lost a lot of union votes because of the NRA's campaign against him.

Posted by: Mary Mary at October 23, 2003 12:44 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

This might be stating the obvious, but any Democrat who cannot carry Pennsylvania will not become President. It is a MUST win swing state as is Michigan. Having said that, I think it is relatively safe for the Democratic nominee given the sagging economy there, and the older population who, unlike in 2000, are now very worried about the Republican positions on Social Security and Medicare. Pennsylvania has the second oldest population behind only Florida. Barring any cataclysmic event or October surprise or successful Rovian shenanigans (which would apply to all the states) PA will go to the Democrat. It also helps to have a popular Democratic governor who loves the political fight on our side, unlike 2000 when Ridge was in there.

Posted by: fred at October 23, 2003 12:54 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment


I mention Philly because there were, some, er, irregularities in the voting (nothing compared to Flordia or Georgia in 02 or any other number of Repug controlled areas). How do I say this... we need the Mayor to make sure the, er, um, you know, make sure things go our way in a big way there. Ahem.

Posted by: jgkojak at October 23, 2003 05:23 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Pennsylvania can easily go for Dean. He can sweep Philadelphia and other urban areas on traditional Democratic themes, win the suburbs on foreign policy and social issues, and reverse Democratic losses in the rural areas due to his leadership of a largely rural state and his belief that states, not the federal government, should make gun control decisions. His environmental record should play well throughout the state.

Posted by: Rep. Mark B. Cohen at January 10, 2004 10:41 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I'd disagree with Cohen's assessment of Pennsylvania easily falling into the Dean column. That's not to say it would be a cake-walk for Bush to win it over this time (as he failed to do in 2000), but the simplicity of PA remaining a blue state isn't as in-the-bag as Cohen (who is running for office as a Democrat, so we'll forgive his optimism here) makes it seem.

Politically Pennsylvania is split into three regions (most people say two, but there can be an argument for three) -- Philadelphia, the Appalachian region, and the western third.

Let's assume for a moment that Dean is the nominee, and also that he wins Philadelphia easily. (This may or may not be the case, as Republicans haven't had as difficult a time recently in the city of Philadelphia, with the mayoral candidate, Sam Katz, running strong campaigns the last two times this office was up).

If we're going to assume it's a simple cut-and-dry election, we'd also have to grant the Appalacian section of the Commonwealth to go Republican, as it has in nearly every election since it was defined as a political region, way back to the early 1900s. This part of the state won't be pleased with Dean's position on civil unions, and although Cohen tries to make it seem otherwise, this region simply is not looking for a Democrat to vote for; his gun position won't help him in the face of Bush's "stronger" position on this issue and perhaps the NRA endorsement. (A quick aside... it seems doubful Dean would get the NRA endorsement over GWB; the best he could probably hope for is them not to endorse at all.)

That leaves the western portion of the state. This is the region that has raised many notable Republican candidates -- Tom Ridge, Rick Santorum -- and is currently represented 4-2 by Republicans. This section of the state also went pretty much 50-50 for Bush and Gore in 2000, while the other two regions were mostly one-sided contests (about the same margin here as the final statewide tally, while the other two regions were about as equal pro-Gore and pro-Bush, cancelling each other out).

So, in order for Dean to carry the Keystone State, he's going to have to do well in this western portion. That's not to say it's impossible, ultimately this region *did* vote for Gore in 2000. However, with the power of incumbency, with Bush's several trips to this region (just look up how many times he's been to Pittsburgh compared to other cities since Inauguration Day), and with Tom Ridge being Secretary of Homeland Security, several of these areas that went for Gore are going to at least have second-thoughts this time around.

Posted by: Tim Vickey at January 12, 2004 09:48 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Dent in trouble...

(PA-15th. Congressional District) As Toomey battles Specter and everyone watches. Toomey's open congressional slot is up for grabs. State Senator Charlie Dent was suppose to be a shoe in. But his prior lead in the polls has evaporated. Running against a candidate that is similar to Toomey. Dent has found himself in a tight battle in the Lehigh Valley. Dr. Joe Pascuzzo has found something too, a large following of Toomey supporters. Many of them do not like Dent's liberal conservative tatics. Dent has started the negative campaign ads against Pascuzzo. The ads attack Pascuzzo's tax record as a Lehigh County Commissioner. Voters are not taking the bait Dent has set. The ads may be backfiring the way Specter's did against Toomey. As all eyes are on the Specter/Toomey race. Another upset could be in the making in Toomey's home area. The 15th Congressional District is a democratic area, but the replublicans have had good luck with Toomey and the lack of good democratic candidates.

Posted by: Mark Zovak at April 24, 2004 01:59 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment