Rumblings in Pennsylvania
More bad news for Democrats from the Rust Belt. In Pennsylvania, it’s not looking so hot for Democrats in three weeks:
“For at least this past decade, Pennsylvania has been a battleground state where the political parties have fought over competitive House seats,” said Lara Brown, a political scientist at Villanova University.
Since 2002, Pennsylvanians opted for Democrats by voting for Gov. Ed Rendell, Sen. Bob Casey Jr. and, for president, John Kerry in 2004 and Barack Obama in 2008.
“This year the tables have turned,” Brown said.
She pointed to recent opinion polls showing that most Pennsylvanians disapprove of President Obama’s job performance and hold unfavorable views about the stimulus legislation and health care overhaul championed by a Democratic Congress.
“This disapproval of the job the Democrats are doing in Washington has created opportunities across the Keystone State for Republican candidates for the House,” Brown said.
Two House members who benefited from the Democratic surge in the 2006 elections were Rep. Chris Carney of Dimock in Susquehanna County, who represents northeastern Pennsylvania, and Rep. Jason Altmire of McCandless, whose district stretches from Mercer County through the North Hills to Murrysville.
Carney’s seat is a case study of what is happening across the nation, Brauer said.
“He portrayed himself as a centrist and bipartisan; yet he voted for large government solutions like the stimulus package and health care reform, which drives up the national debt,” Brauer said.
In 2006, the Democrats took back control of the House on the backs of conservative Democrats in Rust Belt states and red states throughout the nation, not because they were being asked by voters to veer left, but because they were being asked to fill a void that used to be filled with moderate to conservative Republicans, a response to a Republican party that wasn’t as conservative.
The Democratic majorities were not built on a liberal/progressive groundswell, as much as the current majority leadership in both chambers wanted us to believe it was so. With the hard left turn that the Obama Democrats have taken, it’s no wonder that their majorities are quickly about to unravel.
And this is just Pennsylvania. We’re talking about this against a backdrop of Republican gains in states like West Virginia, Wisconsin, Ohio and Illinois.