Let me set the scene: Republican Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-08) was in his district on Thursday, doing general Congressmen stuff: in this particular case, he was making an appearance at a local high school [political] science club. Basic, not-particularly-[partisan]-political constituent outreach, in other words. Rep. Fitzpatrick was off doing the unglamorous civics thing, which is a large part of any Representative’s job.
You knew that at some point, the Democrats with constituents who would benefit from the jobs that can be created through fracking — i.e., blue-collar voters and their representatives — and the Democrats who see fracking as a chainsaw massacre of Gaia’s baby seals would conflict. Democrats have largely papered over these differences, but you can only kick the can down the road so many times.
Now that simmering dispute is boiling over . . . in Pennsylvania.
Just in time for the midterm election cycle, too. …Yeah, I know: not entirely positive, for reasons that I will not get into until, oh, December of 2014.
(H/T: Instapundit) The principle is fairly simple: Pileggi proposes that the state assign Pennsylvania’s electoral votes semi-proportionally: which is to say, two EVs would be given to the winner of the statewide popular vote and the remainder divided up proportionally. Outside the Beltway did the back of the envelope calculations and concluded that the end result would have been 11/9 Obama/Romney, which explains why a: it’s being done and b: why the Left is screaming about it (oddly, almost nobody on the Left complained when Nebraska gave Obama an EV in 2008).
One thing that especially infuriates the Left about this is that plans to try this sort of thing are being advanced in states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan – which is to say, states where the GOP has control over the legislature and the governorships, but not the EVs statewide – but not in states like Texas or Georgia. Because, after all, cheerfully naked partisanship is only acceptable when the Left does it. I assumed that James Joyner of OTB knew that, but then he wrote “…maybe there should be Democratic proposals along those lines in states with a similar history of both being relatively close and yet always winding up in the Republican column?” The answer to that is simple: there actually really aren’t any. The closest is West Virginia, which Mitt Romney won in 2012 with 62% of the vote. Obama didn’t win a single county in that state, let alone a CD: under Pileggi’s system he’d have gleaned one Electoral Vote out of WV. (more…)
Let me just list the House races that Democratic strategists are willing to admit – some, even by name! – as having been endangered by Barack Obama’s sub-par October performance. Just list.
- AZ-01 (Jonathan Paton)
- CO-03 (Rep. Scott Tipton)
- FL-18 (Rep. Allen West)
- KY-06 (Andy Barr)
- NH-02 (Rep. Charlie Bass)
- PA-12 (Keith Rothfus)
- VA-02 (Rep. Scott Rigell)
And then there’s the generic ballot, which has gone from plus-Democrat to even-steven. Also note the ostensible swing-state nature of most of the races on that list; you can be certain that official political operatives from both parties have. All in all, this is pretty good news to have, less than two weeks out – both on the Congressional, and the Presidential, level.
Needless to say, the Republicans in all of the races above could use whatever support that you can muster. The Democrats were counting on taking or holding all of those seats. Deny them the satisfaction.
Some background: essentially, walking around money is this thing in Philadelphia (and a few other places) where Democratic candidates give a bunch of local party workers a hunk of cash and they use it to fuel GOTV efforts. Before you ask, yeah, it’s legal. Not exactly ethical, but legal: it’s not used to pay people to vote, exactly. It’s used to pay people to make sure that other people vote. The difference is sufficiently perceptible to keep people from going to jail, which is the primary consideration here; in other words, welcome to machine politics, and here’s your accordion.
Barack Obama passed up doing it for the 2008 PA Democratic primary, but went ahead and did it in the general election, possibly because Barack Obama happened to lose the PA Democratic primary by over nine points. He went to win the PA general election by over ten points, but nobody’s expecting that kind of result again – particularly Senator Bob Casey, who is in the middle of a fierce re-election battle and who still could easily end up the loser in a state that returns a, say, O+5 result. So the question is: will Obama be handing out walking around money again?
Heck, does he even have it at this point?
This is a race that has recently hit the radar, largely because Tom has seriously narrowed the gap between him and incumbent Senator Bob Casey – and if you don’t like a Republican-leaning pollster’s +2, well, there’s always Quinnipiac’s -3, or Morning Call’s -2. Heck, even the Democratic-leaning PPP had to struggle to get Casey at 50: amazing what you can get with a D+11 sample, huh? Anyway, we at RedState had spoken with Tom earlier in the year, and we are just as happy to check up with him on the state of the race now:
Tom’s site is here. Check him out.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PA-13 is, of course, the district of Allyson Schwartz. It’s been considered safe in the past, largely because the district hasn’t changed hands since 1988 – despite being only about D+7. Speaking frankly: I like districts like that. They’re more fun to take away from the Other Side. Particularly when we’re talking about a cipher like Schwartz. And doubly particularly when Pennsylvania is going to be fought over to a degree not seen since… about 1988 or so.
The current candidate for PA-13 is former pilot and military veteran Joe Rooney, and he’s looking to upset this particular applecart. We talked for a bit about the race:
Joe’s site is here.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
Well, that’s going to leave a mark:
Jo Ann Nardelli, a state committeewoman and founding president of the Blair County Federation of Democratic Women, has switched her political affiliation to the GOP, citing her Catholic faith and President Obama’s embrace of gay marriage as reasons.
Pennsylvania’s going to be an interesting place this November: incumbent Senator Bob Casey is in the unenviable position of having to explain to half of his constituents why he’s not really like President Obama, while explaining to the other half why Bob Casey actually is. If you’re wondering how Senator Casey plans to square that circle; the plan is to ensure that he does not.
Along those lines RedState talked last week with Tom Smith, who won the Republican nomination for Senate. Tom is a businessman with a history in the coal industry – you know, the industry that Democrats hate – and we talked about both that, and the race generally:
Tom’s site is here.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
(Via Hot Air Headlines) There is no indication that Senator Hatch sought this endorsement, or will do anything with it except fire it back at former Pennsylvania Senator Specter’s head at high speed. Hatch’s smarter than that. Which is why he’s still in the race, and, say, Dick Lugar is not.
That’s it, except that this is entertaining:
“The cannibals function to cost the Republicans the senate seat in Colorado and Delaware and Nevada, almost in Alaska, and now Orrin Hatch is in jeopardy in Utah,” [Specter] continued.
Actually, we lost the potential pickup in Colorado because the governor’s race imploded up there, and the Senate seat was part of the fallout. Delaware I’ll grant – Nevada was a longer shot than is generally admitted – but it’s entertaining to note that Specter declines to admit that the aforementioned ‘cannibals’ also made sure that we upgraded Utah, kept Florida & Kentucky, and picked up Massachusetts, Wisconsin… and, hey, Pennsylvania! Specter tends to be kind of vague about how that last one happened, I’m gathering…
Won’t work, but he’ll try.
You have to wonder whether the Online Left finds equivocators like Rep. Jason Altmire (D, PA-04) as insulting as we do (not that progressives have the courage to call their own hypocrites out, of course). Let me set the background: in 2010 Altmire did his level best to look like a mighty pro-life champion, largely because he was running for re-election in a R+6 district (which he ended up winning with only 51% of the vote). Back then it was all about how Altmire absolutely hated taxpayer funding of abortion, and how he’d never support such a thing, and the rest of the spiel that then-Speaker Pelosi graciously allowed him to repeat in order to keep his seat.
But that was 2010. Since then the seats have been redrawn, and now Altmire is facing Murtha crony/replacement Mark Critz in a race for the redrawn PA-12 district that has been called ‘spirited‘ (read: ‘vicious’). So, now that the pandering has to be to Democratic primary voters, how is Altmire pandering? (more…)