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Pennsylvania 2012 Congressional Districts by party
Democrats should target every U.S. House district in Pennsylvania this year.

In a diary last month, Steve Singiser made the case for why Democrats should run in every race.

But whether the district is winnable or not, it makes sense for Democrats to grind hard to fill out the entire card. Here are just a few of the reasons why:

1. Never underestimate the ability of GOP primary voters to mess the bed.

2. Thinning the playing field plays into the hands of the Republicans.

3. You simply never know when a wave is going to build.

Not only did I agree with his analysis, but in a comment I added my own additional reasons Democrats should always have a viable candidate running.

Nevertheless, in a majority of Pennsylvania's Republican-held districts, there's no Democrat running at all.

It's no wonder, though.

In 2012, Pennsylvania voted for Barack Obama over Mitt Romney 52.0% - 46.6%. Going by this percentage, the PA U.S. House Representatives should be 9-10 Democrat vs. 8-9 Republican.

Despite this, Democrats only hold 5 of 18 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, or 27.8% - 72.2%.

This disparity can largely be explained by some of the most aggressive gerrymandering in the country.

Given this, it may seem very far fetched to think Democrats could pick up any more than a couple of those currently-Red districts.

However, there are a few factors that make me think that this is not so far-fetched, that Dems could possibly pick up 4 of those Republican seats this year, perhaps even more.

First of all, let's look at how the US House Districts fared in the 2012 Presidential Election:

Pennsylvania CD Results 2012 Presidential Election
Of the 13 Republican-held districts, in the 2012 Presidential Election, four have less than a 3% gap between Romney and Obama, six are within 10%, and all 13 are within 27%. In comparison, the smallest gap in the Democrat-held seats is 12.1% but the rest are over 30%.

A pickup of 4 Republican-held seats would mean an equal delegation of PA US Representatives, with 9 Democrats and 9 Republicans.

The problem again comes to the gerrymandering, but as we shall see later on, perhaps it's not as much of a problem as initially thought.

Now, in a normal off-year election, a 2% edge in those red districts may actually be plenty comfortable of a gap for the incumbent to safely win re-election. For example, look at Dailykos Election's recent House ratings. Only PA-06 and PA-08 are considered Lean/Likely R; all other PA districts are rated Safe Democrat or Safe Republican. And to their credit, there are Democratic challengers in those districts at least.

So why should Democrats run candidates in those remaining Safe Republican districts?

For Pennsylvania in particular, I think what Singiser says about waves may play an important role.

If a wave does develop, in either direction, a critical side effect of that wave is seats that have been completely stricken from the list of competitive seats for years become races to watch. One must think that the Republicans are quite grateful that they lucked out and had Blake Farenthold running in what was viewed as solid blue territory in heavily Latino South Texas. His defeat of veteran Rep. Solomon Ortiz had to be considered one of the biggest upsets in recent House history. And an election like that can only happen in a wave election. Absent that GOP wave of 2010, Farenthold gets smooshed, like pretty much every Republican that had come before him in the long tenure of the Democratic incumbent.

But, as the cliche goes, you can only win if you play. It's tough to find candidates that may, for all intents and purposes, be sacrificial lambs. But, every now and again, the long shot pays off. And in order to turn minorities into majorities, or bolster majorities that are narrow and tenuous, it is beneficial to a political party to put those long shots into play.

Singiser also points out how incredibly difficult it is to predict when a wave will hit, so you are free to come up with your own conclusions.

However, these are the reasons I think PA Dems should plan for, or better yet, lead the 2014 Democratic wave:

1. Tom Corbett's low approval ratings.

It's no secret that Corbett is one of the most disliked incumbent Governors in the country, and things like this not going away probably aren't helping him. If Democrats across the state can truly harness this animosity for Corbett, unleashing an electorate the likes of which an off-year election rarely sees, not only can they hopefully reclaim the Governor's mansion, but Democrats throughout the ballot will likely be riding some hefty coattails.

2. The Affordable Care Act, and the Medicaid expansion.

As many people believe and I agree, as Obamacare starts to deliver on providing affordable health care and Republican doomsaying fails to materialize, people will start to see it as a definite good thing. And faced with Republicans who threaten to undo all that good, people will come to the polls to prevent that from happening.

Juxtaposed with the positive effects that Obamacare is having in the states that embraced it, Pennsylvania Republicans refused to set up a state health exchange or expand Medicaid. Regardless, even in PA, people are enrolling in affordable healthcare that they wouldn't have without Obamacare. Obamacare may very well be the crown jewel that Democrats sorely need to bring the voters to turn out, and to vote for them. Especially if Medicaid expansion is still on the table, but only if Democrats take control of the state legislature. As the beneficial results of Obamacare start to reach the voters - which is highly likely by the time November rolls around - it will be plain to see on which side Republicans fall.

3. Backlash against onerous Republican Tactics.

In Pennsylvania, Republican political stunts are rubbing many voters the wrong way. From the voter ID laws, to the Republican-engineered government shutdown, Pennsylvania voters may well show up to make the GOP pay for their underhanded and costly political tactics. Sam Wang - who calculated that if the elections were held in the midst of the shutdown, Democrats would retake the House - offers an explanation for how the shutdown could potentially put Republican-gerrymandered districts into play:

It is a common fallacy is to believe that seats gained by partisan gerrymandering are safe seats. In fact, the converse is the case. Gerrymandering achieves a net gain of seats by packing the opposition party into as few districts as possible...

Representatives who benefited from the great partisan gerrymander of 2010 were given enough of an advantage to get into office narrowly. In a district designed to give Republicans a narrow advantage, Republican loyalists are likely to be spread thinly, with the balance of the needed votes being drawn from independents. Some of these independents might be more prone to anger about the current situation. These polls suggest that Republicans in those states might be particularly ripe targets for pressure.

Now, I'm just a lowly blogger, without any real connections to the Pennsylvania Democratic machine. So I don't know how far this plea of mine will reach.

But if there are fellow PA Dkosers here who are involved with the state or local Democrats, I implore you to get in touch with them, and dig up some viable candidates the party can put up for all of those Red districts.

In short, Democrats should have a viable candidate for every House district, and ideally, every State Senate and State House seat (Dems only need to pickup 2 Senate seats, and 10 House seats, to control the PA General Assembly). The filing deadline is March 11, so there's not much time left.

I know it's a tall order, but turning Pennsylvania for real blue would have real lasting implications, not just for the state, but for Democrats across the nation, as a success story and possible blueprint in turning a blue state in-name-only into a blue state for real.

1:02 PM PT: Thanks for the Rescue!

Head over to this diary to see how awesome PA Dems can be, when they actually get elected.

Originally posted to The Progressive Atheist on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 07:07 AM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight, Pittsburgh Area Kossacks, Philly Kos, and DKos Pennsylvania.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This is great but PA Dems will never take (4+ / 0-)

    this advice.

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility

    by terrypinder on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 07:17:05 AM PST

    •  I suppose an enterprising candidate (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      terrypinder

      could run as a Dailykos Democrat ;)

      "In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.” -Confucius

      by pierre9045 on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 07:22:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I am a Dem in a bright red area (14+ / 0-)

      I can tell you that we work hard to find candidates. Many know that in some races they will be sacrificial lambs.

      It is not easy convincing someone to raise a lot of money in a losing race. We also have to have a strategy for a 2 or 3 election cycle in order to get name recognition.

      Believe me that we understand that this could be an excellent year to pick up seats both in Harrisburg and DC. Corbett is immensely unpopular and we are hoping to ride those coattails to win enough races to unseat him and turn the PA house and senate.

      There are a lot of disgusted Republicans. They are diehard. They will not vote for Democrats, but they may stay home.

      “Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well- warmed, and well-fed.” ― Herman Melville

      by techwriter on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 08:26:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  A Democrat did win PA-10 in 2006 but once he (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JayC, oceanview

        voted for Obamacare, he was toast sadly.  He did manage to keep the seat for 4 years and lost in 2010 along with so many other Democrats.  

        And Barletta's seat was held by a Democrat for many, many years. His name was Paul Kanjorksi but there was always a scandal of some sort afoot with him and he would narrowly win time after time and finally lost in the wave of 2010.

        PA is interesting as there are some counties with towns that are rather liberal like Centre County.  It is the home of Penn State's main campus and State College and the University are where I met so many liberal political activists. Students voted heavily for Obama.  But then Centre County is surrounded by many rural towns..you leave Penn State and within a few minutes, you are in a very rural farm areas.

        The thing with PA is we are second only to Florida in senior citizen population but our seniors are overall older  than the majority of FL or AZ senior retirees.

        Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

        by wishingwell on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 03:13:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  They are DLC (6+ / 0-)

      and timid.  Rendell is a big deal here.  Only safe seats get any attention or funding. They are very similiar to the Ohio Democratic Party.  We need Howard Dean in every state.

  •  50-State Strategy (16+ / 0-)

    We need a Democrat running for every seat every time every where. Give voters a choice.

    Will we get outspent? Oh yeah. But your diary is right on. You never know when the other side will nominate a Todd Akin or a 'chicken lady' or a 'witch', and you never know when a state or national wave might develop. If you don't have a candidate, the Republicans walk in no matter how bad they are.

    Election Day is Nov 4th, 2014 It's time for the Undo button on the 2010 Election.

    by bear83 on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 07:25:25 AM PST

    •  435 district strategy. (8+ / 0-)

      If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

      by CwV on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 07:49:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  YES!! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TofG

        It wouldn't be so much a problem if these elections were publicly funded, as they ought to be to achieve a more honest Congress (I know, I know!)

        Real plastic here; none of that new synthetic stuff made from chicken feathers. By the morning of 9/12/2001 the people of NYC had won the War on Terror.

        by triplepoint on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 01:10:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Every seat, with a viable candidate. (7+ / 0-)

        In 2004, PA 8 was in the safe Rep hands of Jim Greenwood.  So the Dems nominated a very weak candidate.  Then, abruptly, after the primary, Greenwood retired.  If we had nominated someone with name recognition and campaigning skills, we could have taken that seat.  

        In 2006, Howard Dean and the contest-every-seat strategy found a candidate, Patrick Murphy, who held the seat until the 2010 wave.

        The point being, you never know when someone is suddenly going to retire, or get caught in a situation.  Or get beat by "I am not a witch" type candidates.  We have to be positioned to take these opportunities.

        Of course, my vote barely matters -- that's me in the +81% PA 02.  I will be going to the polls to vote against (shudders) the evil Corbett.  

        "The next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be president of the United States, please, pay attention." Molly Ivins

        by janmtairy on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 04:40:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  penn state, u pitt endorse GOP on 7 rush stations (4+ / 0-)

    those 7 limbaugh stations will be used by the GOP and their think tanks to keep republicans in office. they're going to attack dem candidates and lie about them and the issues.

    because of how loud they are and with the nittany lions and pit panthers logos on them they will allow a few loudmouths and PR pros to undo the work of hundreds of volunteers and thousands of dollars in donations practically for free.

    dem chances in penn will be a lot better if the state dems know what's coming out of those stations and respond to it in the media in real time, and maybe even protest when they lie about dem candidates.

    and dems can give the GOP a serious kick if students faculty and alum can get those universities to declare they won't renew and will start looking for apolitical alternatives, or even make a stink about it,

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 08:02:47 AM PST

  •  HERE's the real problem..... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, LookingUp, mightymouse

    In most of those PA districts, they have lousy schools.

    Therefore, democrats don't live there.

    The people who live in these very red districts are just as Candidate Obama described,

    "You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them.  And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.  And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

    Plainly and simply, the people in western PA are just like southerns - they vote against their own best interests and are not smart enough to know better.

    •  is that so? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell

      nah, i don't think it's so.

      The "clinging to religion and guns" line was descriptive (I live in one of those little towns), but it's not because of the schools.

      Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility

      by terrypinder on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 09:16:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They are part of the same problem. (0+ / 0-)

        There are not enough democrats who live in rural communities with bad schools.

        Recent budget issues have made schools PA worse.

        Democrats are not moving into these districts, they are moving out.

        •  Are we absolutely sure about this? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TofG, gizmo59

          I live in a little town in the Harrisburg area, midway between Harrisburg and Sunbury. My school district is actually pretty good and so are our neighboring districts. If I had kids I wouldn't have too much of a problem sending them to the school district I live in. (there's too much emphasis on sports and not much on arts, unlike the district I grew up in outside Philadelphia.)

          the city of Harrisburg, which is a Democratic stronghold, has a horrible school district.

          People aren't moving out of my town. In fact they just built out a subdivision up the hill from me. But they are moving out of the city of Harrisburg.

          Let's think about this a little.

          Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility

          by terrypinder on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 09:53:33 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hey neighbor, I live near Susquehanna University (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TofG, terrypinder, mightymouse, bluezen

            and about 40 miles from Harrisburg.  

            I think our schools are overall very good.  And people forget that State College Area Schools are ranked as one of the top schools in the state and in the northeast.

            Yes are teachers are getting screwed over by the state GOP and Corbett but still PA teachers are paid better and there is more funding for schools here in PA than Georgia.

            I know this because my sister just retired from teaching in public schools in northeast Atlanta suburbs..she may a LOT less than PA teachers. And at least PA teachers can still collective bargain, in GA they cannot.

            Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

            by wishingwell on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 03:19:53 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  My sister teaches in GA and she said compared to (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TofG, bluezen

          GA, PA schools are well funded and the teachers are well compensated.

          Teachers in GA cannot collective bargain and they have to pay for most of their benefits out of pocket and buy a lot of their own supplies. PA teachers can still collective bargain and despite the cuts in education, our schools are still better funded than most any school anywhere in the deep south.

          Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

          by wishingwell on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 03:22:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  People in PA are... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse

      ...as smart as people anywhere else.

      It's just that many of them have different ideas about the role of government.

      So we do what we have always done. We talk, campaign, and make our case. We don't call them names. That is how we will win.

      Also, they have a point. If you are working class, it makes economic sense to be "anti-immigrant" and "anti-trade". Immigration and Trade help "the economy" overall, but tend to hurt low-wage workers.

      Yinz don't know what Western PA knows about Free Trade. Ask an ex-steelworker and you will learn something.

    •  It's the gerrymandering. And I hate it because.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TofG

      it seems like the only way to fight it, is to win control and draw up brand new nakedly crooked borders that benefit you instead.

      "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

      by TheHalfrican on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 06:47:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  When are filing deadlines? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG

    Who is whipping county chairs to recruit candidates?

    -7.75 -4.67

    "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

    There are no Christians in foxholes.

    by Odysseus on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 09:35:03 AM PST

  •  One other suggestion (5+ / 0-)

    All of the Republicans in the state legislature should be aggressively challenged.  It is mathematically more difficult to do extreme gerrymandering with a state legislature.  (Sure, the legislature is gerrymandered, too, but there aren't enough Republicans to go around in Pennsylvania to gerrymander it 2:1, even accounting for the tendency of Democratic voters to congregate in cities and inner suburbs.)

    Remember that even a solid-red district will have to be defended if there is an aggressive challenger.  (And never underestimate the power of consistent branding statewide or nationally.  In some states a candidate can put their own statement on the ballot: trademark a suitably focus group tested brand for liberal Democrat, give it out to people who are suitably liberal Democratic, and then drive home the brand hard in statewide advertising.  This is cheaper over all than district by district trench warfare.)

  •  So many retirees in Tim Murphy's district (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, wishingwell, musicsleuth, LookingUp

    I think the second or third highest number in the country although I'm too pressed for time to look that up. They flock to his office for help with Medicare and other government programs and his staff does a commendable customer service job, I'll give him that, and then Murphy votes with the Tea Party and these same constituents back him all the way by continually voting him back in. He is also a child psychiatrist who voted to repeal obamacare and sides with the NRA even though the LA Fitness shootings happened in his district.

    •  no kidding (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      janmtairy, LookingUp

      I end up voting for the 'some dude' that runs against him every time but our aging voters wont change without a reason.

      I think fracking could be that reason, though.

      If the local Dems could put up someone passionate on that issue -- keeping our drinking water safe and the drilling away from the schools -- there might be a real race. The heavy lift is having the local Dems actively recruit someone to do that.

      Hoping for the Warren/Sanders or Sanders/Warren ticket in 2016.

      by musicsleuth on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 03:50:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Right-Wing Straight Party Stupid Voters (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell

    I live in teabagger heaven where Democrats don't bother running because of the bigotry and stupidity of the voters.

    A former rethug friend who was a working class stiff told me that he would NEVER vote for a Democrat no matter how corrupt the Republicans are.  

    This is Tom Marino's district.  Marino resigned his US Attorney position in the Middle District of Pennsylvania during the Bush/Cheney administration rather that take the hot seat and testify in front of a specially-impanelled federal investigative grand jury about his close personal and professional relationship with his best friend forever Louis DeNaples who he was supposed to be investigating.  Marino ran for Congress and was elected.

    It's ironic how Tom Marino was unfit to be US Attorney for the region but OK to be our Congressman.

    •  The ethical baseline for Congressional candidates (0+ / 0-)

      is way lower than for the behavior of US Attorneys.  US Attorneys are appointed.  They have to convince their potential government employers that they have the required integrity for the job.  Congressional candidates just have to convince 50 % + 1 of voters that they'll do the things that they want them to;  integrity is not required for the job.

      -5.13,-5.64; GOP thinking: A 13 year path to citizenship is too easy, and a 5 minute background check is too burdensome. -- 1audreyrenee

      by gizmo59 on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 02:39:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Marino is very corrupt, I live in the small city (0+ / 0-)

      where he was district attorney during that time he was district attorney. I was glad to move from there. But I cannot get away from him. I moved an hour southeast of there and now he is my congressman. Ugh!

      So I live in his district, too, ugh.  

      We should talk sometime as we live in the same congressional district.  

      Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

      by wishingwell on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 03:26:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  wishingwell, I Live 13 Miles East of Billtown (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wishingwell

        so we should talk.

        Remember how Marino claimed he had the highest conviction rate in the state.

        He never mentioned that county "judges" helped by making sure no fair trials were conducted (allowing cops to commit perjury and allowing the d.a. to falsify "evidence" and hide/destroy exculpatory evidence), that the court administrator rigged/stacked jury pools with the limited numbers of potential jurors (who voted for him and would never acquit anyone prosecuted by his office) -- that's why the local newspaper quit printing the jury pool lists in their rag, the prothonotary would lose court files/public records, the defense attorneys would deliberately discard defendants' appeal rights in politically-motivated cases where hatchet jobs were done on innocent people, that he had jailhouse snitches in every pretrial cell block willing to perjuriously testify for a "Get Out of Jail Free" card or special d.a. recommendation of leniency at their sentencings and informing on anyone considering taking their case to trial reporting to his office via the prison counselors' telephone (They were the only inmates allowed to see their counselors in the counselors' offices -- every other inmate spoke to their counselors in the cell block.), and where the chief public defender prosecutes his former indigent clientele on behalf of the "court" for deliquent fines and court costs collecting 45% that he and his staff got for them by committing deliberate legal malpractice, etc.

        The Lycoming County kangaroo kourthouse crooks/legalized Mafia are the Republican version of the corrupt Luzerne County courthouse racketeering criminal enterprise which has been locked up in federal prison when the "Kids for Cash" scandal broke, a matter that Marino was supposed to be investigating with a Louis DeNaples possible connection when he resigne his US Attorney job.

        •  Yes a friend of mine was a paralegal there at (0+ / 0-)

          the time and he knows so many things and he saw so many things, he could tell you stories for days.

          I left Williamsport in 99 but I still live in PA 10th district , I now live a bit south of Bucknell.

          Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

          by wishingwell on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 05:07:29 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Surely you mean (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mconvente

    "Romney vote 2012"?

    -5.13,-5.64; GOP thinking: A 13 year path to citizenship is too easy, and a 5 minute background check is too burdensome. -- 1audreyrenee

    by gizmo59 on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 02:43:27 PM PST

  •  T&R, but... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, janmtairy, mconvente

    I think you have to understand PA politics a bit better.  The ACA is NOT popular in much of the red districts out there, Corbett's decision to fuck with the Medicaid expansion will not be a winner and there is not the sort of backlash you might expect of the GOP baloney.

    Truth is, PA really is Pennsyltucky.  While there are pockets of blue in the red areas (Lancaster city, Reading, State College, etc.), the rural areas are set up to overwhelm them.  In fact, the race do rid us of Corbett is going to be closer than current polling suggests--especially if Alyson Schwartz is the candidate.  

    However, there are some real hopes of gains in the Philly burbs (Gerlach (retiring), Meehan, and Fitpatrick), which, when combined with Runyan and LoBiondo in South Jersey, offer real hopes of legit pick-ups.  Dent (Allentown and Bethlehem) should also be a target.

    Joe Pitts is safer than you think--his district includes rural Chester County and a good chunk of Lancaster County--those areas are about as red as they get, so don't be fooled by the numbers.

    The rest is a really a wash.  If there is limited cash available, I'd like to see the Dems focus on the winnable seats.  

    I really hope Manan Trivedi takes another shot at Gerlach's seat.  And where is Patrick Murphy?

     

    To be free and just depends on us. Victor Hugo.

    by dizzydean on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 03:19:40 PM PST

    •  Here's the problem (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pierre9045

      with the PDP - they don't support new candidates like Manan Trivedi.  We know it might take one or two cycles to get enough name recognition and now that Gerlach is retiring, Trivedi would have a much easier time.  But I don't blame Trivedi for running again.  Why put yourself through that again when there was no support from PDP, DCCC, DNC?  This is why Dems are not in the majority in the house.  Our campaign organizations do not support candidates.  They choose a few and to hell with the rest.  I've run for office and I can tell you it is a lot of time and energy and it would be nice if the state party would send a little love in recognition for the taking one for the team running in a red district.

    •  You Can't Win if you don't Play (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Orakio

      And the Dems need those lambs in EVERY District, and SOMEONE in every state house race.  Eventually a wave will turf enough of the Republicans out, and it is hard to turn voters (and volunteers) out if you don't have that undercard.

      In the dark shadow of the Great Satan of Retail

      by OzarkOrc on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 11:20:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've always thought gerrymandering could (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG

    possibly come back and bite them on the butt...if you gerrymander TOO aggressively, the R %'s tend to get closer to even, and it wouldn't take as much of a wave to knock a bunch of districts over all at once...

    Republican threats amount to destroying the present if we don't allow them to destroy the future too. -MinistryOfTruth, 1/1/2013

    by sleipner on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 05:45:22 PM PST

    •  gerrymandering (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TofG

      Don't forget, that very red map is the result of some serious gerrymandering by Republicans who controlled the process.

      By controlling the next round of redistricting, Dems would  acheive gains in Dem districts and competitive district even if they took the high road and used transparent, objective and non-political models and considerations in drawing the boundaries.

      This is the battlefield, and progressive and den big-talkers are absent.

      •  Correct (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TofG

        Gerrymandering is always more beneficial for the party with less voters population-wise. Based on the Presidential votes, Democratic voters outnumber Republicans voters in the state. The reason district-level representation does not reflect the popular vote suggests gerrymandering plays a significant role.

        "In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.” -Confucius

        by pierre9045 on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 07:23:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  that happened in 2002 (0+ / 0-)

      I think they learned from their mistakes.

      Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility

      by terrypinder on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 04:40:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It scares me that.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse

    ...there are such "nearly Teabagger" states such as PA and NH in the Northeast. I mean look at all that Red translating into control of the state legislature in states that Obama won !

    •  I don't think it's really 'teabagging' here. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse, Austin in PA, mconvente

      But the worldview is one made to be captured by the bagger's system of lies. Here in Central PA, it is very, very white - 95%+ in many counties. With the murder of the railroads and the steel industries, with the rattling breath of the coal industry, it is very, very poor, but remembers richer times.

      The "welfare queen" lie plays well here. White people don't interact very often with black or Latino people that are in worse shape than them - there just aren't many black or Latino people here, period. So, the lie is swallowed.

      People don't hear much how the rails failed due to lack of upgrades. They don't hear much how the mills failed due to dumping, and the march of technology. They don't see how the mines are failing due to the loss of steel and the natural gas boom. They do hear, though, a steady drone of how the EPA is using clean skies and global warming to come for their jobs - or at least what's left of them. The unions are broken, and they hear often how the unions killed the jobs here. "Drill, baby, drill" sounds real good when it costs two grand to fill a five hundred gallon tank with heating oil every winter.

      The GOP promises, but never delivers, the glory back, and twists the Democratic promise into a promise to take from us to give it to people my neighbors don't know and can't see enough common ground to empathize with. It sells well.

      •  excellently put. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mconvente

        Depressingly accurate.

        Speech, Worship, Want, Fear FDR's Four Freedoms

        by Austin in PA on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 09:05:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I went to college in central PA (0+ / 0-)

        And this was not Penn State, but one of the many little liberal arts colleges that seem to be in every town in Pennsylvania. It was easily the whitest place I've ever lived in my life--little diversity in the surrounding town and most of the diversity on campus came from foreign students. Albuquerque as of the last census was about 70% white (42% non-Hispanic) while this town is about 95% white. Some of the other towns in the area where my fiancee would like to live (having grown up near there) are 99% white.

        The area is mostly stagnating, which is one of the reasons I keep fighting her so hard on moving into the areas around Altoona and State College.

  •  Scott Perry is not as invulnerable (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG

    as those 2012 results would indicate.
    He's a freshman.
    He won in a field of neophyte GOP wackos because he most resembled the (relatively) moderate and even-keeled retiring Todd Platts (R).
    Turns out, he's no Todd Platts.
    Perry is not well liked.
    He has been gaff prone and tone deaf, often even with the constituency he hangs his hat on.  (see reactions to his ill-timed City Island fundraiser with Boehner)
    He may get a serious tea-party challenge.
    Dem enthusiasm (say, fueled by an appealing gov candidate) coinciding with waning tea-party/Corbett enthusiasm could make 2014 much closer.
    The
    Dems need a quality candidate, a woman would be interesting  (parts of Harrisburg and York lie within the district and both have had Lady Mayors).

  •  I totally support your sentiments (0+ / 0-)

    I guess it depends on who are the serious Dem potential candidates in these bloody Red or swingy Red districts.

    I identifying these potential candidates is the most difficult. The process needs to be a multi faceted approach with the Dem party, grassroot orgs, bloggers, major donors being on the same page, and having the same drive and zeal to change things.
    Thats a tall order right there. But its not a dis qualifier.

    On a personal level finding that one guy or gal ready to take one for the Dem party may be the most difficult one.

  •  Change "state" to "district" ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... and it's the fifty-state strategy.

    I'm all for it.  Just don't ask me to run -- I need the job I have!

  •  Dems should target every House district every year (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pierre9045

    i mean, every election year

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 04:16:57 PM PST

  •  In the PA 6th (0+ / 0-)

    Jim Gerlach was slick in waiting until the beginning of January to announce his tax payer "retirement".  The Democrats are now scrambling to find candidates in the gerrymandered 6th CD.

    Everyday above ground is a good day.

    by Cats r Flyfishn on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 06:43:23 PM PST

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