HOUSTON, October 29, 2016 — Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are locked in a bitter struggle for the White House, and the Keystone State is turning into the key. All roads to the White House seem to pass through Pennsylvania.
Polls give Clinton a three to six point lead. Trying to understand what could happen in Pennsylvania we reached out to columnist Christine Flowers. Flowers is a good representative of the overall Pennsylvania electorate: a conservative Democrat who is deeply committed to her Catholic faith.
She is absolutely opposed to abortion. She is an immigration attorney. She is totally opposed to Clinton, but at this point is not voting for Trump either.
The Philadelphia resident offered keen insights into various issues that could specifically affect Pennsylvania in the presidential election.
Eric Golub: Wikileaks released emails by Hillary Clinton’s team making anti-Catholic comments. Will this matter?
Christine Flowers: I think the anti-Catholic comments will have an impact in the Philadelphia suburbs, and maybe ethnic sections of the city including the Italian and Irish areas. However, let’s face it, Latino Catholics are Clinton’s.
EG: Has Trump mentioned that Clinton is anti-fracking? Will that matter?
CF: As far as anti-fracking, that will be a problem in the areas in the west and coal country, but they are not really voting for her anyway.
EG: Will she rack up such an overwhelming Philadelphia win that it carries her? Or Can Trump win just enough in Philly to eke out a statewide win?
CF: Unfortunately, as go the Philly burbs, which are voter rich, so goes the state, normally. However, there are some diehard counties here like Chester that are true red. My county, Delaware, is also fairly red, though getting bluer. I think there are some people who will stay home, and that would help Trump. Fewer Philly voters is better for trump
EG: Should Trump hammer Clinton’s partial-birth abortion stand in Pennsylvania? Would that help or hurt?
CF: Latino Catholics would normally be very offended by Clinton’s position on abortion, gay marriage and her attack on Catholics. However, it looks like Trump has completely alienated a majority with his language and immigration positions. They are natural conservatives, but he messed it up. Nevertheless, Trump absolutely should hammer her. Most Pennsylvanians are moderate on abortion. Except me. The radical.
EG: How much of a factor are the Affordable Care Act increases? Are people in Pennsylvania talking about it?
CF: They are angry, but Trump needs to play it up more.