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May 23: It’s The Economy, Stupid

Donald Trump and Joe Biden debate

🌅 Hi There, Thursday. Just about there.

PA Weather
🌤️ Cranberry Twp. | Partly Sunny, 79
☔ Shippensburg | Showers, 81
🌩️ Levittown | Thunderstorms, 84

PA Sports
⚾ Phillies (36-14) | Texas 11-4 | Thu vs. Texas
⚾ Pirates (23-27) | San Francisco 5-9 | Thu vs. San Francisco

👂 What We’re Hearing. “Let me tell you, even if you don’t like football, even if you don’t follow sports, it’s huge for Pittsburgh, and this is going to fill every hotel room. Bars are going to be packed. Restaurants will be packed. Detroit has had 700,000 people. We’re going to do even better than Detroit. It’s going to be amazing.” – Gov. Josh Shapiro

🎂 Happy Birthday. Cake and candles for Rep. Aerion Abney.

🎸 Daily Bruce. “And them South Side sisters sure look pretty. The cripple on the corner cries out “Nickels for your pity.” And them downtown boys sure talk gritty. It’s so hard to be a saint in the city.”

🗞️ Pennsylvania. The Ultimate Swing State. Where can you find all the latest news on what’s happening in Keystone State politics? Sign up for the PoliticsPA Playbook. We’ll deliver all the latest headlines in an easy-to-read format every weekday at 8 AM. And it’s free. Add your name to the list and subscribe now.


Top Story

1. A Unique Election Driven by a Traditional Issue

Dollar bills

“There are a lot of unique and untested variables in this upcoming presidential election. It is the first race in more than 100 years between an incumbent and former incumbent president (both of whom would be the oldest ever to be inaugurated). It is the first to feature a major party nominee under multiple indictments. And, the first presidential contest since the Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade.

At this point, however, the defining issue for this contest is a more traditional one: the economy. “Right now, this election is about President Biden’s economic record and America’s economic future,” said GS Strategies President Greg Strimple. “When it comes to who voters trust to move the economy forward, Trump is in the driver’s seat.”

That is one of the big takeaways from the Swing State Project — a collaboration between the Cook Political Report, GS Strategy Group, a Democratic polling firm, and BSG, a Republican polling firm. The project surveyed 3,969 voters in seven battleground states from May 6th to May 13th, 2024.” (Cook Political Report)


A Majority of Americans Believe U.S. Is In Recession and Unemployment Is At 50-Year High. They’re Wrong. “We have often made the case that polls are just a snapshot in time. But what happens when that snapshot is fuzzy and out-of-focus?” (PoliticsPA)

PA’s Auditor General Was Going To Be Highest-Ranking Official Affiliating With Andrew Yang’s Forward Party. Then He Backed Out. “Republican Auditor General Tim DeFoor, who is seeking a second term in November’s election, was going to announce his affiliation — but not a formal party change — with the Forward Party at an event in Harrisburg on Wednesday, changing his mind earlier this week.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)



2. Congressional Vulnerability Ratings

“For the eighth election cycle dating back to 2010, PoliticsPA is publishing congressional vulnerability rankings for Pennsylvania’s delegation. This is our second handicapping of the 2024 Pennsylvania congressional races, and the first in about 10 months.

For the second straight edition, our highest category, “Highly Vulnerable,” doesn’t have any races in it. But the second-highest category, “Vulnerable,” has four – in order, Democratic Reps. Matt Cartwright, Susan Wild and Chris Deluzio and Republican Rep. Scott Perry.” (PoliticsPA)


A Political Realignment In PA: Despite Recent Dem Wins, The GOP Is Gaining Momentum, Analysts Say. “Top political analysts in Pennsylvania say the state is in the midst of a major demographic and electoral shift, which is likely to prove beneficial for the GOP. According to the latest figures coming out of the commonwealth, Republicans gained more than 10,000 new registrants in the last two months.” (Fox News)

PA House Passes Bill To Give Tax Credits To Employers Who Help Workers Afford Child Care. “Child care may soon become less expensive for some of Pennsylvania’s working families. The Pennsylvania House of Representatives, in a broadly bipartisan 155-47 vote, passed a bill that would provide tax credits for employers that contribute to their employees’ child-care expenses.” (Penn Capital-Star)

Changing Tide Of Legalized Marijuana Too Fast For Some. “Though some politicians treat recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania as an inevitability, others remain skeptical. They warn that the social costs of drug use don’t disappear – and a legalized industry brings problems of its own.” (The Center Square)

State Lawmakers Advance Sunday Hunting Bill, Express Concern With Game Commission. “Party-line voting advanced a three-bill package out of a Pennsylvania House committee Wednesday which includes a proposal that, if enacted, would lift restrictions on Sunday hunting.” (CNHI News)


Around The Commonwealth

3. Steelers, City of Pittsburgh Picked To Host 2026 NFL Draft

Acrisure Stadium - Populous

“Pittsburgh has had its share of staging events that draw large crowds and hosting significant occasions that command global attention.

The city has rolled out the welcome mat for Major League Baseball All-Star Games, U.S. Open golf tournaments, Olympic marathon trials and the G20 summit. Heck, it even staged back-to-back Taylor Swift concerts.

But Pittsburgh has never hosted a three-day event that will attract what is expected to be massive crowds and generate more than $120 million for the city’s economy like what will occur in April 2026.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)


Luzerne County Judges Issue Opinions Backing Up Decisions in Cabell/Walsh race. “In a filing sweep Wednesday, Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas judges outlined their rationale for denying election ballot tallying requests from both Republican 117th House District state representative contenders.” (Times Leader)

PA Election Directors Like New Mail Ballot Materials, Even As Some Voters Filled Them Out Improperly. “Scores of April primary election mail ballots were rejected in some areas of Pennsylvania because voters failed to put the last two digits of the year on newly redesigned ballot materials – but that didn’t stop officials from giving the redesign a thumbs-up.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

PA Republicans Are Pushing Mail-In Voting For 2024, But Trump-Fueled Skepticism Remains In The Party. “Mail-in voting has given Democrats a huge head start in every PA election since its inception, thanks in part to lies pushed by former President Donald Trump.” (Public Source)

Centre County Primary Certification Delay Holds Lesson For November. “Centre County is the last county in the state to certify results, due to an election challenge. The process may be a lesson for how well the Commonwealth will handle similar requests this fall, when elected officials are waiting to take office and a new federal law requires certification.” (WITF)



4. What’s On Your Mind

  • 70 Years After ‘Brown v. Board Of Education,’ Fair School Funding Is The Only Way To Counter Ongoing Segregation. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
  • Saving President Biden’s Infrastructure Agenda From Itself. (Lindsay Lewis)
  • Hey, John Fetterman: Stand Up For Your Fellow Democrats. (Jenice Armstrong)
  • High Courts Should Be Exceptions To Political Woes, Not Part Of Them. (John Baer)
  • How Pennsylvania Can Fix The Rural-Urban Divide In Alzheimer’s Care. (Mat­thew Espen­shade)
  • PA Democrats Must Prioritize The Environment In Budget Negotiations. (Rep. Greg Vitali)
  • It Isn’t a Crime If MAGA Does It. (Francis Wilkinson)
  • Fly, Girls, Fly: Let’s Make Girls’ Flag Football A Thing In Pennsylvania. (Troy Vincent Sr.)


1 Thing

5. Voters Fear Violence

A bar chart showing the percentage of Americans who say they do not trust the 2024 election will be free from violence. While Republican and Democrats are similar at 48 and 47 percent respectively, Independents lead them at 55 percent.

“New swing-state polling has revealed a rare — and alarming — consensus:

Roughly equal shares of Republicans, Democrats and independents believe violence could plague the 2024 election, according to a Bloomberg/Morning Consult poll out today.

Why it matters: Former President Trump and his allies have already signaled they will not accept the results of the election if they believe it’s “unfair,” reviving the type of rhetoric that helped incite the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

🔬 Zoom in: Temperatures are already running extremely high six months ahead of November’s bitter rematch.”


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2 Responses

  1. Yes it is the Economy….. the Economy that crashed from 4 years of Trump’s mismanagement, weak leadership and incompetence. He was more worried about tweeting and playing golf. His record in politics is no different than his businesses and life in general. Everything he touches fails or turns to SH!T.

  2. MAGA will not accept as “fair” any election they do not win. They are too stupid to believe that everybody else is not like them.

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  • Does the NYC Verdict Make You More or Less Likely to Vote For Trump in 2024?

    • Less Likely (36%)
    • More Likely (34%)
    • Makes No Difference (30%)

    Total Voters: 112

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