by J. Wesley Leckrone
Delaware County (PA) Democrats had a good day at the polls on Tuesday November 7. They captured seats on the county board and a number of row offices. There are a number of explanations in this article from the Delaware County Times. Here is some commentary related to how I interpret the results:
“I think one thing that’s really important to keep in mind here is that suburbs in general and Philadelphia suburbs, including Delaware County, have been trending Democratic anyway,” he said. “This is not the beginning of a trend. This is a trend in a sense that has been going on for more than a decade. Basically what Trump did was to accentuate and accelerate the Democrats against the Republicans.”
What occurred Tuesday, Leckrone said, was a long-term process coming to fruit.
“This is probably the beginning of a long term change that’s been following the voter registration,” Leckrone added. “I think a lot of it has to do with cultural and social values that people have … It’s almost as if geography determines the way people vote nowadays.”
On a cultural basis, Republicans tend to fare more conservatively with values centered on religion, marriage and guns while Democrats, a substantial number of whom live in metropolitan areas, are more cosmopolitan and less tied to these issues, but of course, he said, Republicans can be found in cities and Democrats can be found in rural areas.
Yet, Leckrone warned Republicans still have traction, adding that even in this environment, Delaware County’s election results were relatively close.
“If you take a look at the numbers – county council, it’s only 2,000 votes,” Leckrone said, adding that the Libertarian candidate received 2,040 votes. “I think you still have remnants of people voting Republican.”
Leckrone said this election showed that Democrats do come out to vote.
“I think for the Democrats, it’s a good sign that they were able to get their voters out,” he said. “It’s one thing to have a voter registration edge, it’s another thing to get them out.”
“If they can continue to turn people out and they can tap into anger against the Republicans, they could potentially have a shot at next year,” he added, although he said that will be tough because of the way the district is drawn.
However, if voters retain a large feeling of angst, that could translate at the polls.
“People are more motivated by what they oppose,” Leckrone said. “That could be a big driving factor next year.”