The Patriot News’ Robert Vickers takes a look at President Obama’s 2012 odds in Pennsylvania, along with the possibility of a fractured Democratic party. It includes interviews of some major D figures in the state, a look at Casey’s role in Obama’s re-elect, and a portrait of Organizing for America.
Further, some say the Pennsylvania Democratic Party infrastructure, which first supported Clinton heavily in 2008, and Obama’s political operation — Organizing For America — have never fully integrated.
Most Democrats and their allies statewide flatly discount suggestions of a disconnect within their forces.
As the senior Democrat in the state, Casey is expected to carry the water for Obama even as he seeks re-election next year.
“With the president’s policies and the support he’s getting from Sen. Casey, his position will improve,” Burn said.
Party leaders across the state applaud Burn’s modernization efforts. But some worry those efforts won’t be enough to entice agitated pockets of Pennsylvania Democrats to the polls in 2012.
No one expects dissident Democrats will defect to the GOP, as many did nationally with Ronald Reagan in 1980. But party insiders and observers admit dissatisfied conservative party members could stay home, making it harder for Obama to win the state again.
“OFA was supposed to play a part in our election, but it never took off,” said [former Rep. Joe] Sestak, noting that the organization had largely gone dormant after 2008. “After the election was over, they never kept the individuals engaged.”