In November, which way will Pennsylvania swing?
From the beginning, the media has treated the Wuhan virus less as an opportunity to inform the American public about the virus and about reasonable responses to its spread, and more as a chance to destroy President Trump’s reelection bid. It’s no surprise, therefore, to read an article at NBC News explaining why disenchanted Pennsylvanians, whose state ranks fifth in Wuhan virus cases and deaths, might not vote for Trump. It’s a lengthy article and, certainly, one that warns Trump not to get cocky. However, it leaves out a few pertinent details.
As with most mainstream media articles, the analysis opens with a personal narrative and, from that, extrapolates a broad range of conclusions. In this case, it opens with the tale of Corey Ingram, a guy who might have voted for Trump, but certainly isn’t going to vote for him now:
"How he's doing with this doesn't give me any confidence," Ingram, 42, an inspector at a military equipment manufacturer, told NBC News. "The rejection of science, the constant disagreeing with his experts."
“After this,” he added, “anyone but Trump.”
Only after that quotation does Adam Edelman, who wrote the article, say that Ingram, “a political independent,” was a two-time Obama voter. Edelman forgets to tell us for whom Ingram voted in 2016. I don’t know why, but that leaves me suspicious that Corey voted not for Trump but for Hillary or maybe for Evan McMullin.
With Ingram as a grim warning to Trump about Pennsylvania, Edelman makes his case:
How Trump has responded to the outbreak — from a public health and an economic standpoint, as well as a crisis management challenge — will pave a path to victory (or defeat) that largely goes through battleground states. And nowhere are his challenges clearer than in the swing state of Pennsylvania.
The economic toll has been even more striking. Since March 14, about 1.3 million Pennsylvanians (or nearly 1 in 5 workers in the state) have lost their jobs — the second-highest number during that period in the country, behind only California.
In interviews, voters, former lawmakers, political strategists and union leaders all said the political fallout for Trump in Pennsylvania is already significant — and is likely to remain stark unless the public health and economic situations improve dramatically before Nov. 3. But that doesn't mean former Vice President Joe Biden is sure to capitalize, they said, due to his struggle to stay visible and break through during the so-called “virtual campaign” that he and Trump have been forced to engage in during the pandemic.
The article continues in that vein for some time. Edelman does concede that Biden has a problem, which is that “his virtual campaign appears to be struggling to reach voter.” It’s certainly true that being locked in a basement, while issuing period incoherent utterances, really isn’t a big selling point for a politician.
Of course, Edelman doesn't mention Biden’s challenges with coherence and reality. Instead, the new selling point is that Biden’s silence is virtuous:
Nick Field, the former managing editor of PoliticsPA.com, a website devoted to state politics, recalled that Biden, during the Democratic primary, benefitted largely from his reputation, managing to rally in South Carolina and in Super Tuesday states without a robust campaign or fundraising apparatus.
“How many states did he win where he didn’t even campaign, where he just relied heavily on his reputation,” Field said. “Simply being known as a moderate, stable presence during a chaotic time like this could do a lot for him.”
Edelman is also silent about the increasingly credible charge that Biden – long known for publicly groping little girls and grown women – sexually assaulted a Senate staffer. And Edelman ignores Hunter Biden entirely, so he doesn't have to mention the deals the Bidens, father and son, made with China, the country that unleashed the Wuhan virus on the world.
Lastly, Edelman ignores something significant for Pennsylvanians, which is the fact that, as of March, Pennsylvania produced more than 20% of the U.S.’s natural gas and is one of the top coal mining states. Biden promises to do his utmost to stop that.
Biden had a hard time hanging onto his thoughts about climate change when speaking with Al Gore (who is worth over $300 million thanks to his Chicken Little shtick about climate change). Nevertheless, during a fundraiser, Biden was able to make clear his determination to destroy America’s coal and fossil fuel industries. On his website, he ties this plan to racial justice. At the fundraiser, he threw in the Wuhan virus too:
Biden at fundraiser tonight, continuing a theme: “COVID is shining a bright light on the structural racism that plagues our laws, our institutions and our culture. And it's a wake up call, a wake up call to action to climate change overall and to climate justice.“— Edward-Isaac Dovere (@IsaacDovere) April 22, 2020
Again, Trump’s team should not get cocky about Pennsylvania. The Wuhan virus has thrown all political calculations out of whack. Nevertheless, Biden's dementia and his sordid history, when combined with his war against Pennsylvania jobs, won't make it an easy state for him to win either.