Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Is Pennsylvania the Next Iowa? Not Quite.

Bookmark and Share

After the Wyoming caucuses on Saturday and the Mississippi primary on Tuesday (and perhaps even before those contests are finished), all attention will shift to the state of Pennyslvania in the next (though not necessarily last) showdown between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

The lengthy 6+ week run up to the Pennyslvania primary is drawing comparisons to Iowa, where most presidential hopefuls, not so long ago, spent most of their time and resources in 2007 before the first-in-the-nation contest was held on January 3rd. Of course, some candidates, like Tommy Thompson, John Edwards, and Sam Brownback, spent months in the Hawkeye State, so Pennyslvania's campaign will be more of a 'condensed Iowa' - both in terms of the number of weeks as well as the number of candidate options.

But there are some unique differences between Pennsylvania and Iowa. First, Pennsylvania has a much larger population—approximately 4.2 times that of Iowa—with 274 people per square mile, compared to just 52 persons per square mile in the less urban state of Iowa. The Mitt Romney campaign made a point to make a stop in each of Iowa's nearly 100 counties. The same will not be said of the Obama and Clinton campaigns, who will likely focus a large part of their resources to the more populous eastern (Berks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Lancaster County, Lehigh County, Luzerne County, Montgomery County, Northampton County, Philadelphia County) and western (Allegheny County, Butler County, Bucks County, Erie County, Fayette County, Lawrence County, Washington County, Westmoreland County) parts of the state

Pennsylvania also has a much higher non-white population, approximately 14.3 percent, compared to just 5.4 percent in Iowa. This should advantage Obama, as the difference in non-whites is largely comprised in the black demographic (10.7 percent in PA, 2.5 percent in IA), compared to Hispanics (4.2 percent in PA, 3.8 percent in IA), or Asians (2.4 percent in PA, 1.6 percent in IA).

Clinton, however, has been doing better in the Democratic primaries among less educated Americans, and Pennsylvania has a notably lower number of high school graduates (81.9 percent) than does Iowa (86.1 percent). Pennsylvania also has a higher poverty rate (11.2 percent) than Iowa (10.5 percent).

It has also been said, despite several endorsements by labor unions for Obama, that blue-collar working folks lean towards Clinton (as evidenced by her victory in Ohio). Pennsylvania has a significantly larger union household rate (31 percent) than does Iowa (22 percent), which should work to her advantage.

All this adds up to an exciting race, to be sure, although the first poll conducted after Clinton's big victories in Ohio, Texas, and Rhode Island on Tuesday, finds the New York Senator with a double-digit lead in Pennsylvania: 52 to 37 percent (69% likely voters, polled by Rasmussen on March 6th). The Keystone State is certainly being billed as Clinton's to lose.

Previous post: Live Blog: Texas Caucuses
Next post: SD's Tim Johnson Coasting in Early U.S. Senate Poll

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Is There a Presidential Drag On Gubernatorial Elections?

Only five of the 20 presidents to serve since 1900 have seen their party win a majority of gubernatorial elections during their administrations, and only one since JFK.

Political Crumbs

Strike Three for Miller-Meeks

Iowa Republicans had a banner day on November 4th, picking up both a U.S. Senate seat and one U.S. House seat, but Mariannette Miller-Meeks' defeat in her third attempt to oust Democrat Dave Loebsack in the 2nd CD means the GOP will not have a monopoly on the state's congressional delegation in the 114th Congress. The loss by Miller-Meeks (following up her defeats in 2008 and 2010) means major party nominees who lost their first two Iowa U.S. House races are now 0 for 10 the third time around in Iowa history. Miller-Meeks joins Democrat William Leffingwell (1858, 1868, 1870), Democrat Anthony Van Wagenen (1894, 1912 (special), 1912), Democrat James Murtagh (1906, 1914, 1916), Democrat Clair Williams (1944, 1946, 1952), Democrat Steven Carter (1948, 1950, 1956), Republican Don Mahon (1966, 1968, 1970), Republican Tom Riley (1968, 1974, 1976), Democrat Eric Tabor (1986, 1988, 1990), and Democrat Bill Gluba (1982, 1988, 2004) on the Hawkeye State's Three Strikes list.


Larry Pressler Wins the Silver

Larry Pressler may have fallen short in his long-shot, underfunded, and understaffed bid to return to the nation's upper legislative chamber, but he did end up notching the best showing for a non-major party South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate in more than 90 years. Pressler won 17.1 percent of the vote which is the best showing for an independent or third party U.S. Senate candidate in the state since 1920 when non-partisan candidate Tom Ayres won 24.1 percent in a race won by Republican Peter Norbeck. Overall, Pressler's 17.1 percent is good for the second best mark for a non-major party candidate across the 35 U.S. Senate contests in South Dakota history. Independent and third party candidates have appeared on the South Dakota U.S. Senate ballot just 25 times over the last century and only three have reached double digits: Pressler in 2014 and Ayres in 1920 and 1924 (12.1 percent). Pressler's defeat means he won't become the oldest candidate elected to the chamber in South Dakota history nor notch the record for the longest gap in service in the direct election era.


more POLITICAL CRUMBS

Humphrey School Sites
CSPG
Humphrey New Media Hub

Issues />

<div id=
Abortion
Afghanistan
Budget and taxes
Campaign finances
Crime and punishment
Economy and jobs
Education
Energy
Environment
Foreign affairs
Gender
Health
Housing
Ideology
Immigration
Iraq
Media
Military
Partisanship
Race and ethnicity
Reapportionment
Redistricting
Religion
Sexuality
Sports
Terrorism
Third parties
Transportation
Voting