Sunday, April 6, 2008

Reagan Democrats- Will the Farce Continue in Pennsylvania this Year?

Wikipedia describes a 'Reagan Democrat' as voters who ' longer saw Democrats as champions of their middle-class aspirations, but instead saw them as working primarily for the benefit of others: the very poor, the unemployed, African Americans, and other political pressure groups. In addition, Reagan Democrats enjoyed gains during the period of alleged economic prosperity that coincided with the Reagan administration following the "malaise" of the Carter administration. They also supported Reagan's strong stance on national security and opposed the 1980s Democratic Party on such issues as pornography, crime, and taxes.'

Where will they be this fall? Many pundits say that the state of Pennsylvania may be key to electing a Democrat to the White house this fall. One joke about the voters of that state is that Pennsylvania is Philly and Pittsburgh with Alabama in between. Odd conglomeration of political thought.

Bush lost Pennsylvania in 2004 51-49 as he did in 2000 . The map above indicates in shades of red 'swing' counties, counties that vote either Republican or Democrat depending on the candidate and the mood of the voters. What is the 'mood' of the Pennsylvanians this year?

Here's a question that a group of us discussed yesterday at breakfast: If the country continues to move more deeply into recession from now until November, will those 'Reagan Democrats' whose economic situation is shaky turn away from a black candidate on racial grounds? Will they suspect that Barack Obama would be 'working primarily for the benefit of others: the very poor, the unemployed, African Americans?'

Perhaps the Pennsylvania primary on the 22nd will give us a clue. How will the swing counties vote? Will they vote Hillary because she's white? As a multi-millionaire, Mrs. Clinton cannot be thought of as a blue-collar Democrat, but where will these blue-collar Democrats turn? Will they cast a racial vote out of economic fear? I wouldn't be surprised.

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