Saturday, October 20, 2012

2012 in Pennsylvania

This week's The Economist profiles Pennsylvania and how its landscape is shaping for the 2012 election. This report comes after I picked up evidence to suggest that the presidential election is pretty much wrapped up in the Keystone State and it seems increasingly unlikely that Pennsylvania will be a toss up state on November 6. Perhaps that means we will be spared a deluge of political advertisements. That magazine's take that Republicans are guilty of some early distractions is pretty much spot on. The governor and the party he leads overplayed its hand after victory in 2010, and in the backlash against them the Obama campaign was able to make very powerful inroads.

Pennsylvania is also politically crippled by the tortured way we draw political districts, and I would like to see the state used as an example motivating reform that would depoliticize the drawing of Congressional district boundaries. I live in a district the Republicans conceded to the Democrats. I don't care for the politics of the individual who currently represents me in Congress, but I couldn't tell you the name of her Republican challenger. Meanwhile, six miles to the east is one of the most competitive, compelling districts in the whole country.

When I look at election day on November 6 and think of casting my ballot, I am somewhat saddened at how my vote probably won't mean much. I'll cast ballots in a presidential election for a state destined to be blue. for a U.S. Senate race that never really seemed to start, and for a Representative for a Congressional district preordained to be Democratic. My vote doesn't seem to mean much. Those particular votes were rendered meaningless before the calendar even turned over to 2012. 

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