Pennsylvania - Democratic side

Clinton is ahead by 16 in the RCP rolling average for this 4/26 race but it could get very interesting … mainly because of divergent views on fracking and the Democratic primary for Senate. Closed primary.

Previous polls have shown strong support for fracking with tight regulations across the state but with some differences across party lines. Democrats in the state have been more supportive of a moratorium than Republicans … still in past polls (2014 so not so fresh) the anti-fracking sentiment was not overwhelming: 48 to 41.

Sanders is very vocal in his support for a complete moratorium on fracking. Clinton is not quite for a complete moratorium.

But as that article goes on she had in the past placed less emphasis on the magnitude of regulation.

Meanwhile fracking is also a big issue in the Democratic Senate primary race. Joe Sestak, unloved by the national Democrats, is running against early Clinton endorser Kate McGinty (and a distant third Fetterman). McGinty is currently 10 points behind. Sestak is for a complete moratorium; McGinty is for tighter regulation.

It makes for some interesting dynamics. Clinton’s “nuanced” answer will likely not play as well as Sanders clear unqualified anti-fracking position with Democrats in this closed primary, and it clearly is an issue of importance to these voters right now. Clinton is also motivated to help McGinty win both the primary and the the general. McGinty is endorsed by Obama. Distant third Fetterman was an early Sanders endorser.

In any case I think Sanders unqualified moratorium position will help him narrow that deficit over the next two weeks and Clinton will be having to parse her words carefully, reinforcing her belief in tight controls and supporting McGinty at the same time. It will put her in a defensive posture.

I don’t think he would be able to turn it into the victory he needs, but it could result in him pulling up quite a bit by voting day.

Thoughts?

I know very little of Pennsylvania politics. All I do know is that, each time I’ve driven through the state, I was surprised at all the billboards supporting the fossil energy sector and mocking clean/green energy. That a less than stridently opposed stance to fracking would be a liability there seems odd to me.

More to it, I’m skeptical that this will be “news” to the people of Pennsylvania and shift perceptions that much in the remaining couple weeks.

Remember, we’re talking about Pennsylvania Democrats, here, not Pennsylvanians in general. Driving through the state, you’re mostly talking about the broad expanses of rural area, which are pretty strongly Republican. Most of the Democrats are in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

I’m not going to pretend people here are more intelligent than Americans, because they’re not, and our neoliberal conservatives in charge detest green energy, and slashed it last year — although they wouldn’t dare disparage the concept and still have to make the right noises — but is this really a thing ? Open mocking of non-fossil fuel energy in American society ?
I’m sure even the dumbest are aware that burnt fuel particulates aren’t a tonic to the lungs, and make Baby Jesus cry.

“The sun sets. The wind dies. Clean, cheap, plentiful, Pennsylvania coal.”

“Mocking” is probably too strong, but the billboard quoted above certainly has little use for alternative energy sources. And while I’m not sure I’m quoting it exactly right I know the word “clean” is in there somewhere.

And I’ve seen some that were a lot ruder about it, too, though I can’t remember the wording.

I remember Ulf’s and alsothis one linking Lady Gaga to clean energy (um… ok?) with the obvious message being “Clean energy is something stupid weirdo Hollywood people talk about” and I could swear we saw others but I wasn’t exactly keeping score at the time.

Pennsylvania is Philadelphia in the east, Pittsburgh in the west, and Alabama in the middle. - James Carville

Pennsylvania is definitely a state that Sanders could take. Western PA is steel country and that vote will be dominated by Sanders, as will much of Central PA. The bigger question is how well Clinton can control Philadelphia. Clinton will not give the lead up easily as she enjoys overwhelming establishment support in PA. But the voters could surge for the Bern.

I was just reading up on voter registration for Pennsylvania. You have to register and declare a party at least 30 days prior to the election. Bernie has yet to win a closed primary so I think Hillary takes Pennsylvania.

538 shows a clear lead for Clinton as well.

I would expect Sanders’ closed-primary handicap to diminish as the race goes on, though. It might have come as a surprise to independents in the early states that they couldn’t vote, but by now, everyone should have heard of the issue, and has a chance to deal with it in most states.

But how have they, and others already previously registered, dealt with it?

To give some context - in 2008 a total of about 2.3 million voted in the Democratic primary, and the race went Clinton +214K (+9.2%).

Not sure what those numbers imply in this race.

I just got back from my first Hillary presidential campaign rally in 8 years. It was fun, but I really wish I could’ve gotten a seat. Also she was running late so people started cheering anytime there was any activity on the stage, including when her glass of water was brought out.