(Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) – The Brunch is on the road again this weekend, this time stopping in the Keystone State of Pennsylvania and the capital of Harrisburg. As with many “rust belt” states, the demographics and dynamics of Pennsylvania are changing; and that could have an impact on the 2016 Presidential campaign. Let’s “brunch” on that this week:
“The Big Five” – While its population has declined (and, so too, its number of Electoral College votes), Pennsylvania remains a key player in the Presidential sweepstakes. Pennsylvania - with 20 Electoral Votes – is tied for fifth place with Illinois. (California leads with 55; Texas has 38; and New York and Florida are tied with 29 apiece).
“A Sign of the Times” – While 20 Electoral College votes still seem like a lot, that number pales compared to the 38 votes Pennsylvania had after the 1910 U.S. Census. In 100 years, the Keystone State has lost half its clout in the nation’s capital, though it still has a lot. Where did the clout go? Well, in that same 1910 U.S. Census, Florida had just six Electoral College votes; today it has 29.
“Recent Elections” – Here are the past ten Presidential results in Pennsylvania: 2012 - Obama 52 to Romney 47 percent; 2008 – Obama 55 to McCain 44 percent; 2004 – Kerry 51 to Bush 48 percent; 2000 – Gore 51 to Bush 47 percent; 1996 – Clinton 49 to Dole 40 to Perot 10 percent; 1992 – Clinton 45 to Bush 36 to Perot 18 percent. Prior to the past six elections, Republicans won Pennsylvania in 1980, 1984 and, 1988; Democrats won in 1976. Bottom line: It’s still a “blue” state, but the margins are getting tighter; and Republicans believe they can win here in what’s now a “battleground" state.
“Congress” – Pennsylvania has one Republican and one Democrat in the U.S. Senate. In the U.S. House, Pennsylvania is represented by thirteen Republicans and five Democrats.
“In the State House” – Pennsylvania has a Democratic governor, but Republicans control both chambers of the General Assembly.
“Why All of This Matters?” – Republicans had all but given up on the Keystone State in Presidential races after five straight losses. But in 2012, Mitt Romney saw a chance to recapture the state; so he put a lot of money and manpower there, and lost by less than five percentage points to President Obama. Growth in the GOP in the state’s legislative delegations has also been promising, so put Pennsylvania in the “toss-up” column for 2016.
“White House Trivia” – Like Massachusetts, Virginia, and New York, Pennsylvania had a crucial role in founding this nation. Those other three states combined, have produced eighteen U.S. Presidents. Surprisingly, Pennsylvania has produced only one: President James Buchanan, a Democrat, who preceded Abraham Lincoln in the White House. You learn something new every day!
Hershey Park is my favorite spot in Pennsylvania. What is yours? Just click the comment button at www.MarkCurtisMedia.com.
© 2015 Mark Curtis Media, LLC.
Photo courtesy: fiftyplates.com