Trump and Biden will face off in Erie County, Pennsylvania

Former Vice Presidential and Presidential Candidate Joe Biden criticizes the U.S. Plumbers Local 27 Erie Training Center on October 10, 2020, in Erie, PA.

Demetrius Freeman | W. Washington Post | Getty Images

The nominees for the Democratic presidency have not set foot in Pennsylvania’s Arie in a dozen years.

When J. Biden spoke at a union building there on Saturday, his overwhelming presence showed how an election turned the Rust Belt City into a Democrat’s preference for subsequent thinking.

President Barack Obama and his running mate Biden defeated their GOP opponents in Erie County in 2008 and 2012. Then in 2016, Republican President Donald Trump swept the region by nearly 2,000 votes because he was concerned about job losses and promised to improve U.S. trade deals. .

Pennsylvania, where Biden was born, will cast 20 electoral votes as one of the country’s top prizes. Rie County will help test whether Biden’s economic message could be broken in Keystone State’s former Democratic g-hold and among others in the Midwest, who tried Republican political newcomers four years ago.

Joseph Morris, president of the political science department at Mercyhurst University, said: “I’m really looking forward to Erie County, not just for Paris, but for counties like it, especially in the Rust Belt area, across the United States. “Erie.” It’s so unique to the counties in the Midwest that there was once an industrial base that has seen decades of industrial base evaporate in three decades. “

According to political observers in the area, Erie County will offer a better test in Pennsylvania on how competitors can effectively prepare their messages for working class people. With an 87% white population and a low percentage of college graduates compared to the rest of the country, the region is home to some of the white working class. Trump succeeded in 2016. The low turnout among people of color – whose exit was overwhelmingly supported by Clinton in Pennsylvania – also reflects the struggle that Democrats won over non-white voters in the Midwest in 2016.

In Erie on Saturday, Biden portrayed an out-of-touch “Park Avenue” president who broke his promises to the working class and presided over “unequal recovery from the post-epidemic economic crisis.” He questioned what the “bat half” got when investors and corporate titans saw their networth balloon.

Trump held a rally Tuesday in Johnstown’s Steel and Iron Center, which sits east of Pittsburgh, and delivered a familiar message to Erie County voters. He argued that the free-trade policies backed by Biden had “disinherited entire towns in your region,” arguing that “if the Democrats win on November 3.” China wins.

Biden chose to focus on the economy of a region that has recovered more slowly from coronavirus-related shutdowns than the entire country. Erie County had an unemployment rate of 11.1% in Rie Gust – higher than Pennsylvania and the national scores were 10.3% and 8.4%, respectively.

Democrats used their recovery plan to promote American-made products, upgrade U.S. infrastructure, invest in clean energy, provide a minimum wage of one hour, and strengthen workplace safety requirements.

Meanwhile, in Pedislavnia’s speech, with horrific stories about what would happen to the country under Biden’s watch, Trump highlighted his efforts to reduce regulations, update the North American Free Trade Agreement, and reduce taxes for many Americans as part of the 2017 GOP Act. He highlighted the health of the U.S. economy before the virus hit – a point local Republicans, aim to strain as they try to seize the land they acquired in 2016.

“People are looking for results, and they’ve got results until the covid effect,” said Erie County Republican Party Chairman Varel Salmon.

The county had a lower unemployment rate of%% in February, although it stood higher than the statewide rate of 4%. In the Mercyhurst poll of Erie County voters held in February, 58% of respondents agreed on how Trump was handling the economy at the time.

But a majority or majority of voters rejected 10 of the 14 issues included in the poll on how Trump is managing.

“They may be really satisfied with what they’re doing with the economy, but with all the rest, they’re very concerned,” Morris said.

Why Ari is in the game

Prior to 2016, Democrats did not lose Erie County in the presidential election this century. Obama won it in 2008 by about 20 percentage points. His margin narrowed in 2012, but still averaged 16 percentage points.

After that, Trump won Erie County by about 1.5 percentage points in a dramatic shift. His nearly 2,000-vote edge, which followed Obama’s nearly 19,000-vote victory, came during the 2016 election, in which he won Pennsylvania by an overall margin of just 44,000 votes.

Jim Wurtz, president of the Erie County Democratic Party, which did not lead the party in 2016, said the city of Erie saw low turnout among people with color and immigrant shares during that election. He added that the party has seen a “momentary flaw” in nominee Hillary Clinton’s democratic commitment, especially in the county, where about 47% of primary voters voted for Sen. Bernie Sanders supported him in 2016.

When many county voters saw an “outsider” in Trump, “they gave him a shot,” Wertz said.

Clinton’s wariness in Erie County contributed to Trump’s success, said Anjali Sahay, program director of political science at Gannon University in Erie. The “industrial downturn” and Trump’s commitments vowed to re-push the manufacturing sector, adding to the difficulties for Democrats.

Sahay said, “I think people were just ready for change.”

The manufacturing drain has continued despite the overall economic recovery before the coronavirus hit Aero. At one point, General Electric, the driver of the Erie economy, moved hundreds of jobs to Texas in recent years. Webtech eventually merged into GE Transportation, and still operates a manufacturing facility in Erie.

G.O.P. The shift is not scheduled for mid-2018. Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey and Gov. Tom Wolfe won the county by at least 18 percentage points during a strong year for the party in Pennsylvania.

During Trump’s presidency, “the No. 1 issue that really resonates with everyone is the impact this administration has on democratic institutions and the democratic process,” said Wertz, chairman of the County Democratic Party. He added that in the November 3 elections, the party has focused on health care, jobs, education and infrastructure.

But Republicans have seen recent trends that make them optimistic about Trump’s repeat in Erie County. Democrats gained 98,319 to 73,238 voter registration benefits in the county earlier this week, according to state records, but the gap has been narrowed by Republicans.

The number of registered Republicans in the county has risen to more than 5,700 since November 2016, while the number of Democrats on the rolls has only increased to 722. It reflects a wide climb in Republican registration in Pennsylvania.

County G.O.P. “We see this as a positive indicator of the county’s dynamism,” said Na Salmon.

Where Erie County will be decided

Morris said the people of Erie County typically divide the area politically through Interstate 90, which runs almost parallel to the shores of Erie Lake, cutting through the cuts from Oreo to New York. Erie’s Democratic-leaning city and some of its most populous suburbs sit north of the highway, while rural areas and small towns and equivalent Republican voters are concentrated in the south.

Trump is likely to get as many votes as Biden, in the northern part of the county, to repeat his 2016 success, while running a margin below the I-90, Morris said.

The strategy of the local parties reflects how their calculus has changed in Erie County. Wertz said the County Democratic Party has set up field offices outside the city of Erie for the first time this year.

He established a hand in Milk Creek Township, the city’s most populous suburb, which local observers consider a swing area on the battlefield. Democrats have also focused on Union City, a borough near the state’s border with Northeast, New York, and a borough in the southern part of the county.

Trump outperformed Republican Meet Romney’s 2012 campaign in all of those areas.

Biden’s message at his rie re stop presented a view of the message he would use to win the states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. He argued that Trump’s difficulty in the event of a virus outbreak unnecessarily sustains Americans and causes economic hardship.

He threatened Republicans by repealing the Affordable Care Act. Pennsylvania, which expanded Medicaid aid under the ACA, had one of the lowest insurance rates in the country at about 6% in 2018.

Erie does not rely on the splitting practice of the natural gas industry and breakdown like in southwestern Pennsylvania. He did, however, insist in Erie that it was “not a ban on fracking, periods.”

Trump and his allies have tried to use opposition from leading Democrats to win support in areas around Pittsburgh that helped make Pennsylvania the second-largest natural gas-producing state last year. Concerns about water and air pollution from chemicals used in the process have pushed many Democrats to stop the practice.

Focusing on those issues shows Biden and Trump’s efforts to appeal to working class people who ousted Trump’s success in Erie County.

“Working men, working women, working families and so on are definitely a big deal. There are people who said, ‘We want results,’ and that’s what they keep saying,” Salmon said.

But in an election year shaped in every way by the devastation caused by the epidemic, the winner may be the candidate who offers the most compelling case that they can make something characteristic of normal life.

For Biden, that means shaping the virus that is involved and shaping it, and the conspicuous economy. For Trump, that means going back to what the country and the economy felt like in February.

“That’s what people want, a return to normalcy, even if it’s the end of the epidemic, the end of unemployment….

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