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Key Elements of Fitz’s Victory

I’m seeing a lot of articles pointing to our Congressional race as the rare GOP hold in a district that went for Hillary.

By contrast, look at the few districts where House Democrats fell short of expectations. Despite Democratic domination in the Philadelphia suburbs, Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick was one of the few Clinton-district Republicans to prevail. He was running against Scott Wallace, a wealthy self-funder with tenuous ties to the district who held out-of-the-mainstream views on law enforcement and foreign policy.

The other suburban districts all fell to the Dems. This is mostly due to the Dem-controlled PA Supreme Court gerrymandering those districts to favor Democrats. But it’s worth taking a look at Fitz, and understanding the key elements of his win.

  • The PA Supreme Court decided to preserve the tradition that Bucks County must be contained within a single Congressional district. To make the numbers work, we’ve always had a small part of another county added to us. Once it was part of Philadelphia. Then they remove part of Philly and added a few Montco exurbs to make it a little safer for Republicans. The PA Supreme Court, to make the district lean more Democratic, moved the part of Montco that completes our district in closer to the city to make it more Dem leaning. But Bucks County is now the most red of the ring counties, so they didn’t have the free hand to completely rewrite the political map that they had with other congressional districts. It went from slight GOP lean to slight Dem lean.
  • His opponent was a loon, and he wasn’t. The Bucks County Dems have usually made the mistake of running loons against the incumbent. All they had to do this time was not be crazy, and they couldn’t even manage that. Fitzpatrick might be a squishy RINO, but he’s not crazy.
  • Fitz embraced more traditional Democratic positions than may Republicans in the area. He won the endorsement of the AFL-CIO. I probably don’t want to know what he had to promise to get that, but it was a smart move on his part to woo the unions.

Understand that in the ring counties (and I include Chester County in this even though it’s not technically a ring county), the upper to upper middle class hoity toity were the loyal base of the Republican Party. That loyalty has flipped, and the GOP isn’t getting them back. But too many of the GOP candidates and leadership around here don’t get that: they stick to the old messaging and act as if the coalition hasn’t changed. They want to blame Trump for their losses, but aren’t looking at the coalition that brought Trump to power and how different it looks than the one they think is still viable.

For the foreseeable future, the GOP has lost the hoity toity, and they need to find voters to replace them with. There’s no path forward for the GOP here that doesn’t involve seducing the working class vote, which you aren’t going to do by embracing hoity toity issues like gun control. I only have two NRA endorsed candidates left in the area, and both did better than the candidates that did not carry endorsements. My state rep won with a comfortable margin. Tomlinson, my State Senator is holding on to a razor thin margin, and he’s probably going to a recount. It’s a squeaker, but he’s in the lead as of now. He had a strong challenger.

I’ll be honest, as long as Nancy Pelosi is taking the gavel, I couldn’t have cared less of Fitz lost his seat to a nutty Dem. We might have a chance at unseating a nutty Dem in a better year for Republicans, but I don’t see things getting better for Republicans around here with the current crop of dopes and dinosaurs that are running the party.

9 Responses to “Key Elements of Fitz’s Victory”

  1. Joe says:

    I would highly suggest that the PA GOP start making vast inroads back into the Lehigh Valley, get back into it in the Pocconos, and start getting a more agressive ground-game going in Erie and Dauphin Counties, and, Suburban Allegheney County.

    Southeast PA is now what Southwest PA was up until the mid-1990’s; a Democrat Stronghold. Working and Middle Class voters in the other regions of PA that I mentioned are where the PA GOP needs to go.

    You guys in PA also have those 3 Democrat State Supreme Court Justices that won in 2015 up for reelection in November of 2019. Throw ’em the F*** out next November. Make the PA Dems pay for Gerrymandering, because in reality, looking at the Federal Congressional Map drawn out by the current PA Supreme Court, it may not seem gerrymandered on the surface, but it is by far gerrymandered to favor the Democrats, especially the Lehigh Valley and Poccono Districts wihich were designed to protect reelected Democrat Matt Cartwright and newly elected psycho leftist hack, Susan Wild.

    • Joe_in_Pitt says:

      Not much us Allegheny suburbanites can do with this new map. The southern half of the county where I live is now lumped in with Pittsburgh proper, which means I’ll be represented by a hardcore lefty in perpetuity.

      Lamb won his new district, it may be mostly suburban but he’s selling himself as “Your granddaddy’s Democrat” and is pulling it off pretty well.

      • Joe says:

        Now that Pelosi is in charge, he’ll fall in line with her. The next GOP Challenger he has will need to hang him with his soon to be voting record. They’ll get more than enough, actual, moderate Dems to cross-over.

  2. rd says:

    My opinion,

    Trump is trying to realign the Republican Party much like you envision. He is trying to capture the middle and working class voters of all ethnicities. The Democrats are aiding him with their loony positions, that are attracting the overcredentialed, the richest 0.001%, and the never satisfied grievance groups.

  3. Inebriated Arsonist says:

    My district in Lehigh County went from solidly Republican under Charlie Dent to solidly Democratic. The court mandate killed my district, and now we’re stuck with a gun control nut.

  4. Patrick Henry, the 2nd says:

    The state GOP has been terrible for decades. They’ve been riding coattails for that long.

    Think of just the candidates for governor they’ve put out: Wagner, Corbett, FISHER. All terrible.

    Its time they start getting serious.

  5. wof-hornet says:

    PA GOP needs to take a good, hard look at itself and at Trump. And to find out why PA went to Trump, yet they lose at the local level.

    I mean they probably won’t, but one can dream.

    • Joe says:

      It’s because Trump told the “Free-Trade” wing of the GOP to piss off. Tariffs and some degree of economic protectionism gave Trump PA’s 20 Electoral Votes.

  6. Bram says:

    Good luck. The NJ Republican Party just got gerrymandered out of existence.

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