Why so blue? New study finds Pa’s demographics favor Dems | Wednesday Morning Coffee
(Photo via Flickr Commons)
Good Wednesday Morning, Fellow Seekers.
This one is mostly for the trainspotters among you. But that doesn’t mean it’s not kinda fascinating.
As our friends at the soon-to-be defunct (this is very bad news) Governing report, demographics determine how a state will vote in most elections. And it goes some distance to explaining Pennsylvania’s primarily purplish tendencies.
The magazine used federal data to rank the most rural states to the most urban states, the most white states to the least white and those with the lowest rate of undergraduate degrees to the highest. From there, Governing’s highly trained squadron of number-crunchers determined how likely the states are to vote Democratic or Republican.
Pennsylvania finished just about dead-center in the national ranking at No. 28, despite Democrats mopping up in the 2018 elections, taking nine of 18 congressional seats and re-electing both Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., by comfortable margins (That the latter were running against utterly hapless opponents in a Democratic wave year also doubtless helped).
For those of you playing along at home, the five most Republican-friendly states (based on Governing’s demographic secret sauce) are:
1. West Virginia
And the five most Democratic-friendly states are:
50. New Jersey
“The purple-to-blue states of Maine, New Hampshire and Minnesota are the three most obvious places where Republicans ought to be doing better than they are according to demographic factors,” Governing columnist Louis Jacobson wrote “And the historically redder states of Arizona, Florida, Georgia and Texas should all be more friendly to Democrats based on demographics alone.”
Given Pennsylvania’s battleground status, its appearance in the middle ranking isn’t a terrible shocker. It was joined there by Michigan (No. 22) and North Carolina (No. 25). That other Rust Belt state so key to President Donald Trump’s 2016 chances, Wisconsin, finished at 18 in the Governing list.
“The makeup of key presidential battleground states illustrates why some have moved away from one party and towards another in recent elections,” Jacobson wrote. “These states, ordered from the most demographically friendly to Republicans to the most demographically friendly to Democrats, are Maine, Iowa, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Ohio, Michigan, North Carolina, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Florida, Virginia and Colorado.”
Stephen Caruso tells you who won Tuesday’s special election for the 85th House District: The Democrat, the Republican … or the Republican. The very busy Caruso also took in the latest Republican proposal to reduce property taxes.
Sarah Anne Hughes has what you need to know about #400YearsPa, the social media campaign marking black history across Pennsylvania on the 400th anniversary of the arrival of African slaves in the New World.
Pa’s hospital trade group has launched a cooperative effort to fight opioid abuse statewide.
On our Commentary Page, opinion regular Fletcher McClellan handicaps the chances for progress on gun-control in Harrisburg and Washington D.C.
Philadelphia’s Police Commissioner has abruptly resigned in the wake of allegations that he had an affair with a woman subordinate and ignored her complaints of sexual harassment by another officer, the Inquirer reports.
Commissioner Richard Ross’ interim replacement, Christine Coulter, the first woman to hold the position, was implicated in the coverup of a fatal police beating in the 1990s, BillyPenn reports.
Pittsburgh City Paper profiles the Pitt Law professor who wants to be a progressive alternative to long-serving Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle.
State Sen. John DiSanto, R-Dauphin, and a sibling will pay a $14K delinquent tax bill, PennLive reports.
The Morning Call looks at Rep. Frank Ryan’s, R-Lebanon, plan to cut property taxes by, among other things, taxing retirement income.
Here’s your #Carlisle Instagram of the Day:
The PA Post crunches polling data showing that ‘key suburban voters’ in Pa., and elsewhere, favor gun reforms.
There were four crashes in the first 48 hours of a road reconstruction project of Route 222 in Lancaster County, LancasterOnline reports.
The Erie County Housing Authority has landed a $1 million grant for lead remediation, the Times-News reports.
U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, R-10th District, raised $150K in Q2, according to new campaign finance reports. One Democratic challenger, Tom Brier, brought in $100K during the same time period, PoliticsPA reports. Auditor General Eugene DePasquale is also in the running.
Freshmen lawmakers in the U.S. House are keeping it local in their reelection campaigns – as the 2020 White House race devours all the oxygen, Roll Callreports.
Gov. Tom Wolf holds a 2 p.m. event at Coebourn Elementary School in Brookhaven, Pa., to talk about increases in education funding.
What Goes On.
The House Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee meets at 9:30 a.m in G50 Irvis Office Building to discuss a bill creating a pipeline safety board.
You Say It’s Your Birthday Dept.
Best wishes go out this morning to former PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch and to long-serving state Senate GOP comms office supervisor Carol Maravic Milligan, who both celebrate today. Congratulations and enjoy the day.
Here’s a dreamy little tune from Phoebe Bridgers: “Smoke Signals.”
Wednesday’s Gratuitous Baseball Link.
Baltimore got one back over K.C. on Tuesday night, beating the Royals 4-1.
And now you’re up to date.
Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site.