Politics in Pennsylvania: Divided Cities, Suburbs, and Rural Areas

Pennsylvania Politics – Politics in the City and Rural Areas

Pennsylvania’s cities, especially Philadelphia, tend to vote Democratic, while rural areas lean Republican. The state’s current governor is a Democrat, Josh Shapiro, and its senators are Democrats Bob Casey and John Fetterman.

This course examines how American political institutions work to make public policy. It also covers the constraints that these institutions face and the strategies they use to overcome them.

Political parties

The once powerful political parties in Pennsylvania are playing little role in the gubernatorial and congressional races. The party endorsement of a candidate can no longer make or break a political run, observers and operatives say.

The state’s highly politicized redistricting process skews election results by packing like-minded voters into districts to optimize the chances of winning seats for one political party’s candidates. The result is that large segments of the population are not represented in the state’s legislative or Congressional delegations.

The Keystone Party wants to reshape political maps to be fairer and more proportional to the voting power of voters. The party also supports implementing ranked choice voting and term limits for state legislators. Those proposals would help restore competitive elections in the state.

Politics in the state

While cynicism abounds amid record-level polarization, Pennsylvania Democrats should remember what the 2022 midterms taught them: candidate quality matters. The GOP’s nomination of Mehmet Oz and Doug Mastriano – when matched against a surprisingly strong Josh Shapiro and John Fetterman in Democratic primaries – proved electorally disastrous.

With that in mind, lawmakers should focus on cutting a deal rather than engaging in more partisan bickering, says Kadida Kenner of the New Pennsylvania Project. She points to the election deal that Wolf and Republican leaders struck this summer, which removed private outside funding in return for more state funding for counties, and a requirement that counties start counting mail ballots early. These changes could reassure voters.

Politics in the city

Politics in the city explores the social, cultural, and political implications of urban political power. It also provides a normative analysis of the role of cities in contemporary society. It integrates classic and current political science literature with the latest research on urban politics and policy.

The book’s broad scope makes it a perfect text for the study of urban politics and governance. It covers the major topics of the field, including political machines; the emergence of new political parties; the evolution of local government; and the growing influence of local politics.

Politics in the city demonstrates the need to think about localities and place politics as plural, open, and contested rather than a fixed set of institutions and activities. In this sense, there is no formative place politics of militant particularisms, but rather a cosmopolitan politics that includes xenophobic and reactionary localities as well as progressive and hybrid ones.

Politics in the suburbs

The development of suburbs has transformed the political landscape. Suburban voters are now influencing both national and local elections. Many are turning away from traditional Republicans in favor of Democrats. They are also shifting their views on issues like immigration and race.

GONYEA: Sarah Longwell, a Republican strategist, says Republicans are trading college-educated suburban voters for white working-class voters in rural and exurban areas without a college degree. That’s a big trade for them, she says.

However, University of Michigan Professor Matt Lassiter cautions that the easy political labels don’t always fit suburban voters. He notes that affluent suburban voters are often resistant to taxes and cynical about government. They want to protect their property values and resent means-tested programs that help poorer people.

Politics in the rural areas

Politics in rural areas can be complicated. Rural communities face unique challenges, including a lack of access to civic engagement opportunities and government resources. These issues can lead to a lack of trust in community organizations and public institutions. They may also discourage people from voting and participating in politics. This is known as the civic desert.

Political institutions give extra leverage to less-populated places through the structure of the Electoral College for presidential elections and congressional district boundaries for legislative votes. But these institutions can also amplify partisan divisions. For example, a large share of rural Republicans believe that the legalization of same-sex marriage will damage the country. Yet, when controlling for partisanship, views on this issue are similar among urban and rural Democrats.

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