Pennsylvania in many ways is a state that represents a little bit of everything America has to offer. It has a rich history, including being an integral part of the American Revolution. Pennsylvania boasts some of the largest cities in America, as well as some very rural parts of the country. It is home to some of the most passionate sports fans in America, and the words “yinz” and “jawn” are commonplace depending on what part of the state you are in. But what makes Pennsylvania special, at least this year, is its importance in the elections this November.
The latest poll from Quinnipiac has Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by 5% (48% – 43% margin). A Reuters/Ipsos poll also has Clinton up by 5% over Trump, by a margin of 49% to 44%. The Real Clear Politics Aggregate has Clinton up by 6.2% (46.8% – 40.6%).
Clinton and Trump both won their respective primaries in Pennsylvania. Clinton won by a margin of 55.6% – 43.6% over Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, while Trump won his primary with 56.7% of the vote, compared to 21.6% and 19.4% for Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich respectively.
Clinton has had many people campaign for her in the state, including US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, husband and former President Bill Clinton, current President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Virginia Senator and running mate Tim Kaine, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, and many other high profile Democrats. Meanwhile, Trump has not had as many high profile people stump on his behalf. Mostly it is himself campaigning in the state, along with his running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence. Trump’s son, Donald Trump, Jr., is stumping on his father’s behalf currently by participating in an office opening for the Trump campaign in the Pittsburgh area.
Other Important Races
The Senate race between incumbent Pat Toomey (R) and Katie McGinty (D) is a highly contentious contest with high stakes. With Democrats needing five seats to retake the Senate only four if Clinton wins the election), many high profile people have stumped for McGinty. This includes Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders among others. Polls for this race cannot be any tighter. The last 2 polls according to Real Clear Politics have the candidates tied in one and a 1% lead for Toomey in the other. RCP’s poll aggregator has McGinty with the slightest possible lead: 0.2% over Toomey.
Issues in the state
Coal, fracking, and energy are all fairly large issues in the commonwealth. Pennsylvania is top 5 in the nation for producing coal, nuclear power, natural gas, and total energy produced according to the US Energy Information Administration. Fracking even played a role in the Senatorial campaign. In the Democratic primary, only Katie McGinty (the eventual winner) did not support a moratorium on fracking out of the three major candidates, instead calling for heavy regulations.
The economy is of major importance to Pennsylvania, as manufacturing is a huge part of the economy. This is especially important, as many manufacturing jobs are being shipped overseas. As of July 2016, the state unemployment rate is 5.6%. Agriculture and manufacturing are large parts of the state economy.
Pennsylvania is an interesting dichotomy of cultures. Much of the population is centered in the large urban areas of Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and their surrounding suburbs. There are also smaller cities, such as Scranton, Erie, Reading, and Allentown with sizable populations. However, the rest of the state is very rural.