Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Swinging Pennsylvania. Who knew?

Should Republicans carry all 2012 Romney states plus Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, they will win the 2016 presidential election (see map here; hit to enlarge). Only 3 states (Virginia plus Florida and Ohio) Barack Obama won were closer to going red than Pennsylvania, a state Mitt lost by 5.4%.

Pennsylvania has 18 congressional districts, 13 Republican, 5 Democratic. Both houses of the state legislature are Republican. And why not? The bulk of the state is Appalachia (see map above), dominated by the lower income white population that is leaving the Democratic Party, their cousins having already delivered West Virginia to the GOP.

Remember Obama’s famous statement:
You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and . . .the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. . . And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them. . .
I hadn’t noticed the Keystone state’s movement toward “swing” status, but others had. Quinnipiac’s “swing state” poll, released today, covers only Pennsylvania along with Florida and Ohio, pointing out that “Since 1960, no candidate has won the presidency without winning at least two of those three states.” In the poll’s early readings, Hillary Clinton garners 44% in Florida against Florida’s own Jeb Bush at 43%; 47% in Ohio against Bush’s 36%, and 50% in Pennsylvania against New Jersey’s Chris Christie at 39%.

In May 2013, Amy Walter of the Cook Report wrote that the only blue states trending red since 1998 are Iowa, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania, with Pennsylvania the biggest prize. Walter noted
In 2012, Obama carried the Philadelphia area by 63%, while Romney won the rest of the state by 55%. If Romney had gotten just 45% of the vote in Philadelphia--and still carried the rest of the state by 55%--he would have won the state.
Walter also found that
The Romney campaign spent $8.9M on broadcast TV in Nevada during the general election to get 46% of the vote. In Pennsylvania, the Romney campaign spent a paltry $2.4M and got 47%. . . Now, imagine that the [Nevada] money [were] invested in Pennsylvania [instead].
In 2016, Republicans will do more than imagine.

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