Tuesday, September 27, 2016


The New York Post claims it has evidence of Donald Trump's deep appeal to Pennsylvania Democratic voters:
How Trump won over a bar full of undecideds and Democrats

YOUNGSTOWN, Pa. -- Ken Reed sat down at the main bar of the Tin Lizzy tavern with two things in mind: to dig into the tavern’s oversize cheese steak, and watch the presidential debate....

Kady Letoksy, a paralegal by day, a waitress and bartender at night at the Tin Lizzy, sat beside him. At 28, she has never voted before, and she is now thinking it might be a good idea to start.

Letosky entered the evening undecided in a town that is heavily Democratic in registration....
Reed, Letosky, and another bar patron, a Democrat, all have kind words for Trump. There are harsh words for Hillary Clinton. And this is really, really bad for Clinton, we're told:
Pennsylvania is a high-stakes state for both candidates, but particularly Clinton, and Westmoreland is a high-stakes county, particularly for Trump.

She needs to win this state, and he needs not just to win this county but to do so by 2,000 more votes than Mitt Romney did in 2012.
Oh -- so Youngtown is "heavily Democratic in registration," but Romney won the county? Well, yes, he did -- by a 61%-38% margin. Four years earlier, John McCain won it 58%-41%. And yet Barack Obama won the state twice, by 10 points in 2008 and 5 points in 2012.

If you make your way through the Post story, you get this, sort of:
Between 1960 and 2000, Westmoreland County Democrats handily won presidential races with one exception: Ronald Reagan’s 1980 victory.

By 1984, voters here were back to their Democratic allegiances, giving their votes to Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis and Bill Clinton.

When Al Gore turned the party toward its progressive wing in 2000, however, he left behind Westmoreland County Democrats.
And yet Al Gore won Pennsylvania in 2000 and John Kerry won it again in 2004, after which came Obama's two victories.

So why are we reading about this county?
Westmoreland is one of about 10 formerly or traditionally Democrat-blue counties across the state where Trump must drive up a higher-than-normal turnout, or even flip them to Republican red, in order to offset an anticipated high turnout for Clinton in Philadelphia.

The other counties are Cambria, Greene, Fayette and Washington in the southwest corner of the state and Bucks, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Luzerne and York in the east.
That's a bit deceiving. All of the southwestern counties mentioned are already red, based on Romney-Obama results, as are two of the eastern counties.

Look, we can argue about whether the Democrats should have fought harder to hold on to these voters. But the fact is that these voters aren't going to be crucial in Pennsylvania unless there's a huge groundswell. And the fact that the folks in this article are still making up their minds suggests that that won't be the case.


Jimbo said...

You know where else the electorate is decidedly Democratic in registration but consistently (since 2000) votes R for President? West Virginia. It's largely working class too but also the whitest state in the Union, very socially conservative and their coal miner jobs are getting hammered by fracking and energy efficiency. Joe Manchin is a nominal Democrat but a virtual Republican in reality. Clinton's not going to win WV for the same reason she's not going to get those counties adjoining Pittsburgh. God, the NYT has really been leaning on the scales for trump this year.

Professor Chaos said...

Dumbest anecdotal evidence this side of Thomas Friedman.

Belvoir said...

"Kady Letoksy, a paralegal by day, a waitress and bartender at night at the Tin Lizzy"

Her life sounds exhausting. She's clearly a very busy person. But I'm mystified by people claiming they're "undecided" at this late date. Does a candidate have to do a thrilling magic trick on television to get their vote? Plunge through flaming hoops on a motorcycle? What in the hell is it that these "undecideds" actually want?

blastaar said...

Lancaster County? I grew up in Lancaster County--home of ur-wingnut Rep. Bob Walker, founding foot soldier of the Newt Gingrich orc horde. Lancaster has gone Democratic exactly once since 1880--LBJ in '64 by less than 1000 votes. Calling Lancaster County "formerly or traditionally Democrat-blue" is a flat-out, 100% lie.

Anonymous said...

If you really want to poll a bunch of ignorant racist assholes, a bar is the best place to do it. This has about as much credibility as Donald T Dumpf uck.

Caveat Emptor
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