Thursday, November 30, 2017

There Are No Safe Republican Seats In 2018-- PA-16


PA-16 is another of those bizarrely gerrymandered congressional districts courtesy of a Republican legislature that shouldn't be in the majority. Pennsylvania is a 50/50 state, perhaps with a slight Democratic lean. The state's PVI is EVEN, although the districts were drawn to yield 13 Republican seats in Congress and just 5 Democrats instead of 9 from each party. The state House has 121 Republicans and 82 Democrats and the state Senate has 34 Republicans and 16 Democrats. How pathetic is that? And it yields districts like PA-16 which winds in and out of counties to pick and choose between voters from Coatesville in Chester County, through Lancaster County (its heartland) and then serpent like through Sinking Spring and West Wyomissing to incorporate Reading, the county seat of Berks Co., watering down the impact of Democratic voters in the state's 5th biggest city and keeping the heavily blue area from making either PA-06, PA-07 or PA-15 (any of which being where Reading more naturally belongs) from a Democratic seat.

But because of that part of Berks County being included in PA-16, a wave election becomes a danger for the Republicans. The PVI is R+5 and Trump won the district 51.0% to 44.2%. In 2012 Democrat Aryanna Strader-- with virtually no money and no support-- won the Berks portion of the district 65-30% against long-time incumbent Joe Pitts. They were virtually tied in the Chester part of the district and blood red, backward Lancaster County gave Pitts his massive margin. He won that year with 58%. In 2014 he won against Democrat Tom Houghton with the same margin and then announced his retirement. The current congressman, Lloyd Smucker, won 167,698 (53.9%) to 132,969 (42.7%) against corporate Democrat Christina Hartman.

This time the DCCC senses PA-16 is winnable and Lloyd Smucker is vulnerable if the wave is big enough. There are 4 Democrats vying for the nomination: Christina Hartman again, Gary Wegman, John George and a hard-fighting progressive, Jess King. Last cycle the DCCC and Pelosi's House Majority PAC kicked in modestly for Hartman-- $470,650-- while her campaign spent $1,147,203 to Smucker's $1,453,232. This cycle, the DCCC is clearly favoring Hartman and, as of the September 30 reporting deadline she had raised $171,941 to Smucker's $405,612. Although John George and Gary Wegman raised almost nothing, Jess King managed to bring in $104,575. That kind of money-- plus the strong progressive messaging and the energy of the Bernie movement. From her issues page:
I will fight for the following:

To make sure that every American who wants a job will have one that pays enough to support a family and live a good life.
To provide excellent education to all Americans through tuition-free public college and quality public school.
To pass Medicare-for-All and ensure that every American-- no matter how rich or poor-- has access to the medical care we need.
To treat the Earth as our home and reject pipelines and extractive industries that enrich oil and gas executives while leaving our land and water permanently polluted.
To raise the minimum wage because no one who works a full-time job should have to live in poverty.
To end the corruption of our politics. We’ll tell the corporate lobbyists and billionaire donors that politicians will not be bought and sold anymore.
To take care of our neighbors struggling against the epidemic of opioid addiction and create a path to rehabilitation-- not criminalization.
To protect undocumented Americans and provide a humane path to citizenship for all who call America home
To support Puerto Rico in resolving the debt crisis and empowering its residents to decide their future.
Christina Hartman has a typical bullshit DCCC website. It proclaims that "It's time for new energy and fresh ideas." The website has neither. In fact, there is no issues page at all, something the DCCC strongly advises. (John George has a website too but it's a website of someone running for the Board of Education or PTA president. And Gary Wegman, a dentist, has a Facebook page instead of a website.)

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At 3:14 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...

Good luck Jess.

At 4:00 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

I hope Jess gets ahead in this race. Her platform summary is clearly stated and excellent! It will certainly be very appealing to the younger generation. Student debt should be mentioned, too - how about adding that to her platform?

At 9:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Horseshit! There are hundreds (DC congressional) of safe Nazi seats. Maybe this one is and maybe it isn't. But the titular postulate is just silly.


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