Editorial: Casey’s call for DNC debate makes electoral sense
U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Scranton, is right. The Democratic Party should hold one of what promises to be a plethora of primary debates in Pennsylvania.
The Keystone State will undoubtedly be a keystone in the 2020 presidential election. It usually is.
Americans have gone to the polls to pick a president 58 times. In Pennsylvania, the citizens voted for the winner 48 times. In fact, there was an 80-year stretch where the man who moved into the White House always won Pennsylvania.
Today, there is a fervent need to paint a color on that vote. Is Pennsylvania a red state or a blue state?
No, as is fitting for the state that houses Independence Hall and was American liberty’s nursery, Pennsylvania is more headstrong than that and likes to make up its own mind.
Pennsylvania voted for Trump and Obama. It pinballs from Democrat to Republican, even being one of the few states that ever gave its electoral votes to another party, choosing Teddy Roosevelt’s Progressive Party over Democrat Woodrow Wilson in 1912.
Pennsylvania is the ultimate swing state, blowing with the winds of the election and ending up on the winning side 83% of the time.
So why wouldn’t the ever-expanding pool of contenders for the Democratic nomination want a shot at the Pennsylvanian electorate?
Debates are already planned for both Miami and Detroit. Florida’s 29 electoral votes and Michigan’s 16 both went to Trump in 2016 along with Pennsylvania’s 20. The other large swing pools the president picked up were in Ohio and Wisconsin.
With 12 debates planned, there is also a good chance that Milwaukee or Madison and one of the big “C” cities in Ohio could be on the table. So could Indiana as South Bend’s Mayor Pete Buttigieg is contending in balance of Vice President Mike Pence, the former governor.
So Casey is absolutely right in his letter to the Democratic National Committee pushing for a Pennsylvania debate.
And yet it probably didn’t need to be said at all. The DNC certainly understands electoral maps and electoral math, 2016 mistakes notwithstanding. It is hard to believe they don’t also want an early and well-placed campaign commercial for whomever gets promoted from candidate to nominee.