The colorful former governor of the Keystone State, Ed Rendell, who also served in 2000 as the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, sat down with Mike Allen of Politico on a panel in Philadelphia this morning, and the topic of how Pennsylvania would go in the fall obviously came up.
Pennsylvania has long been the Republican Party’s great white whale, in that in each presidential cycle since George H.W. Bush in 1988, the GOP has entertained hopes that the state, with their 20-25 Electoral Votes, would be the swing state that would lock up the election. This year, the predictions up until this past weekend looked like more of the same – lots of talk, lots of promise, and then ultimately, heartbreak when Philly Democrats over-perform at the ballot box and swamp the votes of the rest of the state.
But after the Republican convention last week, some new polling came out and the Real Clear Politics average is now down to a 3.2 percent lead for Hillary Clinton, within the margin of error and making the state, at least for now, a true battleground state.
No serious pundit, meaning a lefty journalist, is truly worried about losing Pennsylvania. It’s part of the blue wall. But then comes someone who knows the state intimately, Rendell, who served as mayor of Philly before his stints as DNC chair and governor. Here’s what he had to say:
“I warn Democrats Donald Trump is giving a message that is resonating with white blue collar workers who worked in factory who worked on construction crews. We would be naive if we didn’t understand that exists So this state is in play.”
Now I need to see a lot more before I entertain the idea that Pennsylvania turning red in November is real. Perhaps I need to reread Ed’s book, which you can buy here. But it’s pretty telling that at a Democratic Convention event, Ed Rendell is warning his fellow Democrats that his state is in play because Trump’s message is resonating, that’s not something to totally ignore. Maybe Ahab might finally catch a break, because without it, Hillary Clinton can’t get to 270, because Ohio most certainly would follow suit, as would much of the rest of the rust belt.
Maybe, just maybe, there’s a method to the madness after all.