Philly Burbs Liked Romney Better

Maybe my gut instinct wasn’t as bad as I thought. Take a look at this handy map from the Philadelphia Inquirer:


I grew up in that little sliver of Delco that flipped from Romney to Trump. I now live in the blue part of Bucks County. It’s not unsurprising to me that where I grew up flipped Trump. There’s a lot of working class union guys in that area, but they vote more independently of their unions if the candidate is right. Bucks County union guys, on the other hand, seem more inclined to vote with their union leaders, which you can see in Lower Bucks remaining blue. The solid blue places in Delco near the city are formerly white working class and were, as of a few decades ago, reliably Republican. As more people have moved out of the city, it’s gotten more solidly Democratic. That’s the part you see up against the city.

Montgomery County are almost all upper-middle class to stinking rich folks, not turning red until it gets farther out form the city. I’m not surprised there hasn’t been much change there. But the blue definitely pushed farther out.

In Bucks, Lower Makefield and Doylestown Township both flipped from Romney to Hillary. The parts of the Main Line that are upper-middle class to filthy rich all flipped from Romney to Hillary (that’s the dark blue part which you see going through Chester County, with the blue part actually following the rail line which built the Main Line). Chester County as a whole went blue this election, which they did for Obama once, but not a second time.

Across all the ring counties, the places that switched have one thing in common: lots of highly educated, upper middle class white people. The filthy rich neighborhoods have been blue since the first Clinton left office, and the suburban GOP political machines fell apart.

Pennsylvania didn’t go red because the burbs liked Trump. It went red because turnout in Philly wasn’t as high as the Dems needed to outvote the rest of the state, and the people in the T, who have been absent for a while now, actually turned out to vote this time. If trends in the ring counties continue, Pennsylvania will continue to solidify as a blue state, with the GOP getting less and less competitive in the suburbs. You T people better keep turning out if you want to keep your gun rights.

7 thoughts on “Philly Burbs Liked Romney Better”

  1. I should note that the GOP reps that represent most of the ring counties kept their seats, but that’s because of creative, and in the case of PA-06, very creative gerrymandering. Bucks County is still all within PA-08, but it had to suck in that red part at the top of Montgomery County to make it safe for Republicans. Pat Meehan is sitting on a LOT of flipped counties in his district, but he’s doing a good job of not being a fire breather. He might hold on until a talented Dem comes along to knock him off. He’ll be a perpetual target of theirs.

  2. The other worrying thing is while PA when Trump, they barely elected an anti-gun Senator, and elected in an anti-gun AG with other Dem candidates for state wide offices.

    That’s not a good sign.

    1. Frankly, I think it’s a combination of more complicated factors.

      First, I don’t recall seeing anything from any of the three statewide races where republicans lost (auditor general, attorney general, and treasurer) — I live in Chester County, and I saw no significant radio, television, or print advertisements for any of those three races. I might have seen/heard a TV advert or two for the dem attorney general candidate, but that was pretty much it.

      Ignoring the Philly region, or otherwise failing to campaign throughout the state in general, is NOT something a republican can do if he/she wants to win a statewide office in PA.

      Second, at least with Rafferty I’ve heard voters allege that they opposed him based on his actions with regard to various tax hikes that went through under Corbett, especially the gas tax hike — As a point, it’s the “rednecks” who tend to be most heavily effected by increases in fuel taxes, while the smug leftists in their watermelon-wagons don’t really feel the sting, and this likely also plays a role in Rafferty’s loss.

      That being said, there were ~64,400 MORE votes in the attorney general race than there were in the presidential race; If we assume that the undervoting in the presidential race was all among people who voted for Shapiro, it would have been enough to throw the election to Clinton by a bit over 50 votes.

      1. All good points. I’m in Chester as well, and now that you mention it, I didn’t see a single ad for any of the state wide candidate.

  3. I’ve been telling friends and family for the better part of the year that Trump’s finely-tuned messaging for the Rust Belt was going to pay off. While Hillary was running around enamored at the possibility of winning states like FL, NV, and AZ with the Hispanic vote, Trump was energizing white, working-class voters here and in OH, MI, WI, and to a lesser extent MN.

    Trump may have performed worse than Romney in the Philly burbs, but he won by bigger margins than Romney nearly everywhere else in the commonwealth, especially coal country, where he flipped some pretty big counties by massive margins (see Luzerne, Lackawanna, and Schuylkill).

    Out here in the west, Trump performed a couple points worse than Romney in Allegheny, but nobody expected him to be competitive in the county that houses Pittsburgh. What matters though is that it was only a 2 point drop from 2012 (14 to 16), and although I haven’t seen a graphic yet, I wouldn’t be surprised if most of the suburbs got redder over the last four years.

    Nationally, what I also found interesting is that Trump actually performed quite well with college-educated whites, including college-educated white women, didn’t perform worse than Romney with Hispanics, and practically doubled the black vote from 2012. The Democratic party has clearly become the party of the very rich and the very poor, while Trump honed in on a populist, working-class platform.

    1. I haven’t seen one yet, but I’m looking to get a breakdown of the Black vote by gender. I was arguing to Bitter that if Trump did better among blacks than Romney did, it was because Hillary was running a girl power campaign, signaling to men that she wasn’t their candidate. It turned a lot of men off, and hispanic and black men can get just as turned off by that shit as white men.

      1. Trump also won Erie County. Also, the GOP Candidates that ran for the remainder of PA State wide offices ran HORRIBLE campaigns. Josh Shapiro is a s***head anyway, so he’ll likely get voted out in 2020.

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