In many ways, they are correct. The city is affordable, the housing is charming. It is both a college town (there are three: Mercyhurst, Gannon and Penn State Behrend) and a tourist town (miles and miles of beaches along the lake). It boasts some of the top medical facilities in the country, and it is also a company town (Erie Insurance is one of the top employers).
But it is also a struggling city, where schools are hurting financially, the opioid epidemic is rampant and the manufacturing base is collapsing — all factors that led Erie County residents to vote for a Republican president in 2016, the first since Ronald Reagan.
The city of Erie, however, is a different story — Hillary Clinton won all 69 of its voting districts over Donald Trump.