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Old 02-14-2008, 02:31 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
14,317 posts, read 22,254,359 times
Reputation: 18436

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I lived in State College for 3 years and experienced some pretty backwards people from parts of rural PA, WV. There was your occasional exceptionally nice, open-minded, good-natured Pennsylvanian though, and my wife is from Pittsburgh. She is very liberal and favors Obama. Many fine people in this state.

I once heard that politically, PA is "Pittsburgh on one side, Philadelphia on the other side, and Mississippi in the middle." I think it was former president Clinton's campaign manager Cravelle who coined this phrase. Anyway, I haven't lived in the state since '87, and was wondering if the politics of the Mississippi portion of the state is the reason that 1) Lynn Swann was not elected Governor and 2) Why Hillary appears to be favored over Obama. Has PA gone more towards the conservative side?

Thanks for your insights.
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Old 02-14-2008, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Selinsgrove, PA
1,518 posts, read 6,657,823 times
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The "Mississippi" part of the state (I've also heard to it referred to as Kentucky) is the middle, between the big cities. The big cities typically vote for the liberals or Democrats. The center is more rural, farm communities, and conservative. We tend to vote for the Republicans. However, number for number, the big cities outnumber us and PA usually goes Democrat by majority.

This is probably why Lynn Swann lost the governorship, although trying to oust a sitting governor (no matter how bad) is always difficult, and being a black former professional jock probably didn't sit well with some people either.

As far as Hillary vs. Obama, the primary in April will tell which way PA leans since only Democrats can cast a vote for one or the other.
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Old 02-14-2008, 04:01 PM
 
1,627 posts, read 6,474,809 times
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I consider myself very liberal, but will vote for Hillary. Of course if Obama wins the primary, he will get my vote in the general election. I don't really understand why you think the "Mississippi" part of PA (obviously an insult to those people) is to blame (or credit) for this. I am a very well educated liberal who happens to very much like Hillary and her experience. I did not choose her b/c I am "less liberal" than those voting for Obama. I chose her b/c of her positions and my belief that she is better equipped to carry out her promises with the experience she has. I imagine this thread will get moved to politics but there you go...

Don't get me wrong--I have nothing against Obama and I will certainly be lining up to vote for him if Hillary isn't on the ballet. There's more to a choice of candidates that "liberal" "more liberal" though in my opinion.
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Old 02-14-2008, 04:16 PM
 
13,247 posts, read 33,286,229 times
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Every democrat I've talked to (and several Republicans!) are for Obama. We shall see...
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Old 02-14-2008, 04:18 PM
 
1 posts, read 3,071 times
Reputation: 10
Default An Obama Supporter

I am not certain that most Democrats in PA will support Hillary Clinton. I think Gov. Rendell might have spoken too soon in stating that many will not cast a vote for Obama merey by virtue of his race.
He is picking up a good bit of the ethnic white Catholic vote in other places, and that trend might well continue here.
The governor gave short shrift to the most recent polls...
This is a contest that has been full of surprises, and we should not expect PA to be any different.
sdfinhbg
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Old 02-14-2008, 07:56 PM
 
Location: South Central PA
1,565 posts, read 4,289,343 times
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We like to be refered to as Pennsyltucky, although Pennsylbama is used only rarely.

It was James Carville who was election advisor to bill clinton supposedly said "Philadelphia on one end, Pittsburgh on the other, and Alabama in the middle".

I've never heard of this area beign called Mississippi.

From what I can tell from liberals I know, as a person, they dislike hillary. There is some dislike towards obama's positions though. I really don't know how this area will vote.
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Old 02-14-2008, 08:13 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
7,230 posts, read 10,443,603 times
Reputation: 8727
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexus View Post
I lived in State College for 3 years and experienced some pretty backwards people from parts of rural PA, WV. There was your occasional exceptionally nice, open-minded, good-natured Pennsylvanian though, and my wife is from Pittsburgh. She is very liberal and favors Obama. Many fine people in this state.

I once heard that politically, PA is "Pittsburgh on one side, Philadelphia on the other side, and Mississippi in the middle." I think it was former president Clinton's campaign manager Cravelle who coined this phrase. Anyway, I haven't lived in the state since '87, and was wondering if the politics of the Mississippi portion of the state is the reason that 1) Lynn Swann was not elected Governor and 2) Why Hillary appears to be favored over Obama. Has PA gone more towards the conservative side?

Thanks for your insights.
Lots of interesting questions. Here's my take as someone who closely follows and studies state and national politics:

As other have succinctly put, there is a pretty big rural/urban divide in Pennsylvania, but that hardly makes us unique to other states. That being said, the overwhelmingly Republican/conservative areas -- typically in the central, rural part of PA -- are consistently outvoted by overwhelmingly Democratic Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and the Democratic-leaning suburban areas. Due to this stark divide, political analysts in the media will call Pennsylvania a "swing state," but due to increasing margins of victories for Democratic candidates in statewide and national elections (i.e., Swann vs. Rendell, Casey vs. Santorum, Kerry vs. Bush, etc.) the political landscape in PA is becoming much more reliably Democratic -- not to mention Democratic party registration outnumbers that of Republicans by over 440,000.

As for Swann and Rendell, that race had absolutely nothing to do with race. I'm sure there were a couple morons that perhaps tossed out the idea of voting for an African-American politician, but please, that's HARDLY widespread. What you should understand is that Rendell has a HUGE political machine in Pennsylvania, and to say Swann lost to a certain degree because he was Black is ridiculous -- he was inexperienced and didn't have nearly the same name recognition.

As for the Hillary/Obama nomination battle, I don't think PA will somehow skew from the trend. As others have said, with the primary over two months away, that's an eternity in politics. If Obama continues his momentum, I don't think PA Democratic voters will be static to that -- regardless of the significant Blue-Collar demographic that supposedly finds Hillary so appealing.

As for this Democrat, I plan on enthusiastically voting for Obama in the primary.

Last edited by Duderino; 02-14-2008 at 08:28 PM..
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Old 02-14-2008, 09:19 PM
 
Location: Oklahoma
30 posts, read 153,269 times
Reputation: 24
Default Fyi

This is floating around the internet and has many people concerned that Pennsylvania might have more than just a few people who will not vote for Obama due to ethnicity while using "lack of experience" as the smokescreen.

Pennsylvania governor: Some whites won't vote for Obama - CNN.com (http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/02/13/pennsylvania.presidential.race.ap/ - broken link)

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (AP) -- Gov. Ed Rendell, one of Hillary Rodham Clinton's most visible supporters, said some white Pennsylvanians are likely to vote against her rival Barack Obama because he is black.

Last edited by Marka; 02-19-2008 at 09:36 AM.. Reason: copyright issues
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Old 02-15-2008, 12:13 AM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
14,317 posts, read 22,254,359 times
Reputation: 18436
Quote:
Originally Posted by frogandtoad View Post
I consider myself very liberal, but will vote for Hillary. Of course if Obama wins the primary, he will get my vote in the general election. I don't really understand why you think the "Mississippi" part of PA (obviously an insult to those people) is to blame (or credit) for this. I am a very well educated liberal who happens to very much like Hillary and her experience. I did not choose her b/c I am "less liberal" than those voting for Obama. I chose her b/c of her positions and my belief that she is better equipped to carry out her promises with the experience she has. I imagine this thread will get moved to politics but there you go...

Don't get me wrong--I have nothing against Obama and I will certainly be lining up to vote for him if Hillary isn't on the ballet. There's more to a choice of candidates that "liberal" "more liberal" though in my opinion.
I'm not really here to debate politics, but I'm just trying to understand the mindset that is in PA right now since I haven't lived there in 20 years. The place does hold a special place in my heart because 1) It is where I got my first job after college, and 2) It is where I met my incredible wife. I of course support Obama for a number of reasons, but I respect those who think Hillary is better even if I disagree. That discussion has been taken to the political forum.

The reference to Mississippi of course refers to the notion that a person like Obama is viewed negatively because he's black. Of course there are many in Mississippi who don't think like this, but there are many who still are fighting the civil war no doubt (I know this is not true in just Miss.). I would like to think that PA is above this for the most part, but I was curious about the central portion of the state. When I lived there, I knew plenty in "Happy Valley" who were extraordinarily racist and would not vote for a black man for president under any circumstances. Just wondering if things have progressed or regressed in the region in general.

Throw out the word "liberal." I'm not here to get caught up in semantics. I simply want to know what people thought about the "Pittsburgh, Philly, and Alabama (or Kentucky)(or Mississippi)" comment.
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Old 02-15-2008, 06:30 AM
 
Location: South Central PA
1,565 posts, read 4,289,343 times
Reputation: 377
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexus View Post
I'm not really here to debate politics, but I'm just trying to understand the mindset that is in PA right now since I haven't lived there in 20 years. The place does hold a special place in my heart because 1) It is where I got my first job after college, and 2) It is where I met my incredible wife. I of course support Obama for a number of reasons, but I respect those who think Hillary is better even if I disagree. That discussion has been taken to the political forum.

The reference to Mississippi of course refers to the notion that a person like Obama is viewed negatively because he's black. Of course there are many in Mississippi who don't think like this, but there are many who still are fighting the civil war no doubt (I know this is not true in just Miss.). I would like to think that PA is above this for the most part, but I was curious about the central portion of the state. When I lived there, I knew plenty in "Happy Valley" who were extraordinarily racist and would not vote for a black man for president under any circumstances. Just wondering if things have progressed or regressed in the region in general.

Throw out the word "liberal." I'm not here to get caught up in semantics. I simply want to know what people thought about the "Pittsburgh, Philly, and Alabama (or Kentucky)(or Mississippi)" comment.
But no one ever calls it mississippi...
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