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LGR Breakfast Series – The Impact of November’s Elections in 2013 and Beyond

By LVEDC Staff on December 12, 2012

Politics is the best contact sport around. And Wednesday morning LVEDC brought two political experts to host the post-game wrap up show.

Polling expert Christopher Borick, director of the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion, and political insider and television commentator Richard Goodstein, Washington D.C. government affairs consultant for Air Products, looked back and ahead at Pennsylvania politics during a Legislative and Governmental Relations Committee Breakfast held at the Best Western Plus Lehigh Valley Hotel in Bethlehem.

“These programs are put on by our Legislative and Governmental Relations Committee for our investors,” said LVEDC president and CEO Don Cunningham. “These are events not open to the public and provide a wealth of useful and important information.” The Title Sponsor of the LGR Breakfast Series is Air Products.

Democrats pitched an Election Day 2012 shutout sweeping statewide races, although Republicans could take some comfort in picking up one congressional delegation seat (the 12th Congressional District) while essentially holding the line in the state House and Senate. Borick asserted his deft political knowledge explaining why that occurred and that that answer begins in the City of Brotherly Love.

“The Philadelphia turnout was solid,” said Borick to about 55 LVEDC investors and partners in attendance. “It made the election math extremely difficult for the GOP.”

But its folly to think the Pennsylvania story was entirely the Philadelphia story, Borick added. The counties of Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Bucks, otherwise known the Philly ‘burbs, went slightly Democratic further complicating the math.

“It’s almost impossible for Republicans to win statewide races if that happens,” Borick said.

But keep in mind sharpshooting Republicans don’t rebuild they reload. Armed with buckshot their prospects for hitting the mark in the 2014 midterms are better than average.

Counterattack plans start with Governor Tom Corbett, who can watch passively as a host of frisky donkeys pummel each other with primary haymakers, leaving a punch drunk survivor for scrimmage fodder in November.

“The electorate during a midterm election is much different than during a presidential year election in Pennsylvania,” Goodstein noted. “Democrats sometimes do a vanishing act in those midterms.”

And there’s more good news for the governor and his admirers, according to Borick and Goodstein.

“For starters Governor Corbett will be well financed and he definitely has history on his side,” Borick noted. And that’s an understatement. An incumbent governor has always won reelection since the 1970s.

That said Democrats have no reason to be blue other than on a political map. Governor Corbett’s approval numbers rest at 37 percent and the public isn’t exactly enthralled with his handling of major issues, according to Borick’s most recent polling figures.

“The governor has a balancing act between making his base (the right wing) happy and finding policy options that appeal to the majority,” Borick said.

Perhaps the most poignant analysis of the morning was not on politics but on life as a political television pundit. Goodstein, who as a part-time commentator for Fox News, is often relegated to the coveted Thanksgiving morning and 3 a.m. time slot. He explained his mop-up status this way.

“I’m kind of like the 12th man on a 12-man pitching staff,” he joked. “I pitch when the team is five runs down and need to chew up some innings.”

 

R. Goodstein and Dr. C. Borick

Dr. Chris Borick

Rich Goodstein

LGR Attendees

R. Goodstein and Dr. C. Borick

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