Dangerous to Be A Democrat in Rural PA

“The hatred for Democrats is just unbelievable.”

When asked for a political affiliation, one business owner said, “I would rather not say, just because it’s a small town.”

When did it become dangerous to be a Democrat in rural Pennsylvania?

Democrats have lost votes in virtually every election since 2008. Now they are feeling ostracized with few options available to reverse a cultural trend.

To no one’s surprise, Dems outnumber Republicans in Philadelphia, Allegheny and the southeast “collar” counties in the latest Department of State voter registration figures. Also no surprise is that most of the remainder of the Keystone State leans … no, almost falls over to the GOP side.

Seven rural counties – Fulton, Potter, Bedford, Juniata, Perry, Tioga and Snyder – have three times more GOP registered voters than Democrats. Republicans double up Dems in 18 other counties – of those, only Franklin and Blair counties have more than 75,000 voters. The GOP has a 300,000 registration edge in these 25 counties. 

Democrats have a 950,000 advantage in Allegheny and Philadelphia counties alone. Fayette County (79,000) is the smallest county and is one of 17 in the state with a Democratic registration lead.

Small-town Pennsylvania has almost always been rooted in conservative politics. Democrats are used to being outnumbered by the local GOP majority. But more and more, Dems are feeling isolated and unwelcome in their own communities. 

According to the Associated Press, the Democratic party brand has become toxic in the small towns of the northwest corner of the state. Some have removed bumper stickers from their cars, yard signs from the lawns and refuse to publicly acknowledge their affiliation.

“The hatred for Democrats is just unbelievable,” said Tim Holohan, an accountant based in rural McKean County. “I feel like we’re on the run.”

“You have to be careful around here,” said Barbara Speer, 68, a retired sixth grade teacher.

“It’s hard to sink lower than we are right now,” said Rep. Jim Cooper (Tenn.-D) who recently announced he would not seek reelection this fall. “You’re almost automatically a pariah in rural areas if you have a D after your name.”

The shifting climate has many Democrats scratching their heads about the party strategy to cater to voters in more populated urban and suburban centers.

One candidate that challenges the norm is John Fetterman. Pennsylvania’s lieutenant general is running for the U.S. Senate seat and, as a former small-town mayor, insists Democrats can no longer afford to ignore rural voters.

“These are the kind of places that matter just as much as any other place,” he said to a group inside a bingo hall in McKean County, according to the AP.

Fetterman’s outreach is appreciated, but voters realize that it will take more than him to impact change.

“It would take a lot more than just him,” said college student Eugenia Barboza. “It would take years and years.”

12 Responses

  1. Let’s just respectfully agree to disagree. We live in a country where it’s OK to have public opinions.

  2. This has everything to do with Alinsky tactics adopted by the Left like: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. There is no defense. It is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, who then react to your advantage.”

    So when the Democrats started calling everyone who disagreed with them racist, and haters and denigrating them, well, now they are just reaping what they sowed.

    Nothing infuriates Democrats quite like when the tactics that the Democrats use are used against Democrats.

    1. Calling Trumpers racist and haters is just stating fact. What the GOP cannot handle is Dems telling the truth about GOP. Do any Trumpers even know who and what “Alinsky” is? I doubt it.

      The only infuriated people are the whackos screaming Stolen Election and threatening violence on election officials.

        1. You just proved his point. PA Republicans are some of the most hate-filled, bigoted and violent Republicans in the country. Fortunately, as a whole state, PA is comfortably Democratic, so losers like you will never prosper.

  3. These rural counties vote on culture. They view Democrats as a threat to their way of life. Its hard for Democrats to gain support from people with that mindset.

    Conversely, I would like to see articles like this on how Republicans in urban and suburban areas are viewed as toxic. It seems that most articles like the instant one are focused only on rural areas. Truth is, we have sorted out based on identity (religion, race, education, etc.). We live in two different spheres with different media sources. This does not bode well for the future of mutually understood democracy.

    1. Your “tyranny” is simply good governance and common sense. Slogans like yours are sick.

  4. Beware of anecdotal polls. Corman surveyed his office and the polls there say he’s winning in a landslide. Fact is Dems have pocket support in Pitts, Philly, Scranton area, etc. Other parts are red

  • Will Doug Mastriano Run For U.S. Senate?

    • No. Not Enough Support From Mainstream GOP. (91%)
    • Yes. Let Doug Be Doug. (9%)

    Total Voters: 892

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