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Old 11-21-2009, 05:11 PM
 
783 posts, read 1,098,275 times
Reputation: 634
Default When did Western PA become so GOP friendly, and why?

I saw some stuff on the news about Sarah Palin making a stop in Washington County and it made me think about a poll for the 2010 Senate race that I saw recently. The poll showed the approval ratings of Toomey, Specter, and Sestak in different regions of PA. Toomey had his best numbers in Western PA, while Specter and Sestak both had their worst numbers in Western PA. This surprised me, because I had assumed that Central PA was the GOP heart of PA, but things seem to be changing. Even during the late 90s, Clinton was very popular and Democrats had a lock on Western PA, but in 2008 Obama lost every county outside of allegheny. I know people will claim this is racism and he lost simply because he's black. But, why are the white Democrats doing so poorly too? It's hard to find someone outside the city of Pittsburgh that really likes Rendell or Obama. I will also say that I've lived in many different places and the Pittsburgh region has become one of the most anti-union places around. Even the people in unions seem to hate them. I'm not saying that this change is good or bad, but simply pointing out what is obvious. The GOP is winning pretty much every national election in western PA and are winning a lot of local elections in butler, westmoreland, and washington counties. It won't be long before that trend spreads to fayette and beaver as well, imo. Throw in 20 more years of drilling in the Marcellus Shale and this place is gonna be like West Texas. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think so. The trends show some big changes coming for Western PA and they're happening very quickly.
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Old 11-21-2009, 05:59 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
3,872 posts, read 3,392,534 times
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I don't think it's that people's views have changed, it's more that the Democrats have gone more liberal and the union lock this region had is dying. I don't really think people are more conservative, I just think they haven't gone more liberal like Democrats have. I think the move toward a more liberal Democratic party nationwide will bode bad for the Dems in the long run. Idk about local elections though, excluding Bulter County which has been GOP for a really long time, it seemed like most of the winners in all local county elections were Democrats.
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Old 11-21-2009, 06:42 PM
 
Location: North of the hood, south of the valley
2,965 posts, read 6,619,937 times
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I think Bradjl2009 has a pretty good picture of the situation. If you compare the Democrats of today, to the Democrats of the 30s, 40s and 50s, there is a substantial leftward drift of the former. The Democratic Party moved left, but Blue-Collar, deer-hunting, private sector, union Democrats didn't move with them. What has happened in Western PA is not unique. The unionized workforce of resource extraction industries in the western US have also experienced this same trend. After that, their non-unionized, non-resource extraction working children complete the transition towards the Republicans. The internal contradictions of the Democratic Party cannot be maintained forever. At some point, one part of their coalition had to drift away, and it did.
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Old 11-21-2009, 07:57 PM
 
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Sounds good! Just one more reason to tempt me to move to the 'burgh! The liberals have a stranglehold over everything here in Minnesota and it is really getting annoying.
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Old 11-21-2009, 08:39 PM
 
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Pennsylvania has historically elected democratic presidents but republican senators and congressmen. Just look at all other presidential elections. The metropolitan areas of Philly and Pittsburgh have elected democratic presidential candidates in almost every election. Don't just focus on the elections where a democrat got into the white house. Pittsburghers aren't really liberal---they are blend of something that no political party represents.
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Old 11-21-2009, 08:47 PM
 
Location: Macao
12,676 posts, read 18,896,164 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
Pittsburghers aren't really liberal---they are blend of something that no political party represents.
That's something I like about Pittsburgh. I tend to lean Democratic as well...although not entirely.

Both political parties have so many strong contradictory interests..I've always been amazed how people can buy into any party line 100%.

Always interesting when a new issue comes up, a lot of people say and do nothing until they hear their favorite political commentators, then they just mimic them. If those commentators ideas change over time, so do the followers - nearly identically.

I wish there were more people, or parts of the country, who could get beyond the party lines on things, and just examine each individual topic on it's own merit and decide if it something that they would support or not support regardless of party lines.
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Old 11-21-2009, 09:26 PM
 
42,506 posts, read 47,596,826 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
I wish there were more people, or parts of the country, who could get beyond the party lines on things, and just examine each individual topic on it's own merit and decide if it something that they would support or not support regardless of party lines.
I wish we could vote directly on the most important issues.

The house and the senate shouldn't be the people deciding issues like healthcare reform. They're more worried about relection.

I wish we didn't have relection for senators and representatives.

I wish they just did their term once---sort of like a two/six year long jury duty (with the public still electing who gets sent of course).
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Old 11-21-2009, 10:43 PM
 
783 posts, read 1,098,275 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
That's something I like about Pittsburgh. I tend to lean Democratic as well...although not entirely.

Both political parties have so many strong contradictory interests..I've always been amazed how people can buy into any party line 100%.

Always interesting when a new issue comes up, a lot of people say and do nothing until they hear their favorite political commentators, then they just mimic them. If those commentators ideas change over time, so do the followers - nearly identically.

I wish there were more people, or parts of the country, who could get beyond the party lines on things, and just examine each individual topic on it's own merit and decide if it something that they would support or not support regardless of party lines.
One nice change would be to eliminate the "straight party" slot on the ballots. You'd be shocked if you saw the percentages of people that simply vote straight party. In some districts it's close to 75% of the voters. I don't think I'd even vote if I was just going to spend 5 seconds in the booth voting straight party.
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Old 11-21-2009, 10:56 PM
 
294 posts, read 395,148 times
Reputation: 137
It's not so much that the democrats have moved farther left, it's that the republicans have moved way to the right over the last 8 years. The republican party does not represent it's constituents anymore, it has been taken over by corporations who use it as a means to protect themselves and make money.

The democrats in congress are gutless and can't pass anything with even large majorities. The 2 party system has become a total joke, this country deserves so much better.
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Old 11-21-2009, 11:24 PM
 
Location: Great White North Hills
8,288 posts, read 7,351,461 times
Reputation: 4514
Quote:
Originally Posted by SewickleyPA View Post
The 2 party system has become a total joke, this country deserves so much better.

You are correct, sir!!!

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