Thursday, July 29, 2010

Political Pivot Pennsylvania

I hate people who have better maps than I do. :-)


Anonymous BrianTH said...

Eh, doesn't mean much unless they use a population cartogram. People, not acres, vote.

Thursday, July 29, 2010 9:02:00 PM  
Anonymous The Wiz said...

Went back and read all the posts on this subject and must commend you for the effort expended. I would like to add a few observations of my own,

One is that you tend to view the elections more on the personality of the candidates, awarding Clinton's personality as a key to bringing Pa to swing state status rather than leaning strongly Republican. I contend it was less Mr Clinton than it was changing demographics.

Mr Clinton won the southwest/Pittsburgh block as it was still a democratic stronghold mainly consisting of older steel and union workers. But he managed to be the first to pick up counties in the Poconos and other eastern counties. (see map of '92 elections) That was the beginning of a huge trend.

Throughout the seventies and eighties, western Pa suffered greatly as steel and heavy industry collapsed, as we all know. That led a mass exodus of younger, more educated people from western Pa which explains how the west became more oriented towards conservative candidates. Younger people are general more liberal and older ones are more conservative. And the rural areas of "the T" had the same affect as young people left those counties to get jobs, often moving to the Philly area or along the Jersey border. These rural counties are now mostly older, retired conservatives.

But at the same time, eastern Pa has become solidly democratic. How did this come about? As a home builder in western Pa and with many contacts in Eastern Pa, I know we have different markets to build to. The Poconos and eastern builders sell most of their homes to people relocating from the over-heated and over-priced New York and New Jersey markets. People are fleeing these high priced, over taxed markets at a rapid pace. Restrictive zoning and other regulations make home building in NJ and NY very expensive.

But even as people flee these markets that have been distorted by over regulated Democrat policies, they bring their liberal views with them. Thus eastern Pa becomes more and more liberal and thus more likely to vote Democratic.

This a trend repeated across the country. While people are fleeing the devastation that extreme liberalism has brought to California, they cling to their liberal beliefs. Thus states where they relocate such as Nevada, Colorado, Arizona, and more become more blue every year.

Pa has changed dramatically the past two decades. In many respects, its now two different states.

Thursday, July 29, 2010 10:46:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

Huh? I really don't recall discussing the personality of Clinton, but I pontificate a lot and I suppose I said something those lines. I'll contradict myself in a second, but I don't think you can completely understand PA politics by rational analysis. Remember this was the state that in the same election voted overwhelmingly for both Al Gore and Rick Santorum. The psychology of the vote splitters that lead to that result happen to be the same conflicted folks that control most statewide elections to this day.. Might be changing I agree.. but I think we are still in that confusing paradigm for the time being.

Anyway, I was being a bit flippant on the map. For those who really are interested in these Pennsylvania political issues, you really need to read one of the books I have on the Amazon pinwheel widget there on the right. The book is "THe Reallignment of Pennsylvania Politics since 1960". It has more data, charts and maps documenting the changes going on within Pennsylvania than you can imagine. no need to speculate on any of this, take alook at what is in the book.

No doubt though.. The impact of migration on politics is a well documented phenomenon at this point. The whole conservative west is widely accepted as resulting from the selected outmigration from California over decades. Texas is the key some have pointed toward as the key toward future electorial poltitics as demographic change impacts the state.

Thursday, July 29, 2010 11:04:00 PM  
Anonymous The Wiz said...

Apologies are due as I thought I was posting my last comment on the Firedoglake comment section. Don't know how I got here....musta backed up once too often.

As for the the Al Gore/Rick Santorum schizophrenia, chock that up to the power of the incumbent. But the liberalization of Pa caught up to him next time around against Casey.

In any event, Pa is a changing.

Thursday, July 29, 2010 11:25:00 PM  
Anonymous BrianTH said...

Yeah, no one wants to live in NY/NJ anymore--they are too crowded.

Friday, July 30, 2010 12:38:00 AM  
Anonymous MH said...

People from New Jersey move into eastern PA because they see that we have the ability to pump our own gasoline. They live among us in the hope that they will be able to steal this knowledge.

Friday, July 30, 2010 9:23:00 AM  
Blogger Shawn Carter said...


Let's kidnap this guy!

Friday, July 30, 2010 10:42:00 AM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

Let's kidnap this guy!

Probably someone we all know already.

Friday, July 30, 2010 10:48:00 AM  
Anonymous DBR96A said...

Western Pennsylvania was bound to drift toward the GOP since it couldn't be any more Democrat than it was in 1984, when the region had arguably the highest percentage of people who voted for Walter friggin' Mondale in the country. You can't possibly be any "bluer" than that.

Saturday, July 31, 2010 4:05:00 PM  

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