Tchaikovsky Sounds Funny: Book Review: "Pennsylvania Elections"

Is this where I put in key words such as sex, lesbians, vampires, Christopher Lloyd and others things to which this blog do not pertain, but by putting them here, I may get hits from all the Christoper Lloyd lesbian vampire fans (and you know who you are)? This is the primarily humorous and occasionally rambling writings of Leon Tchaikovsky, humor writer. Enjoy.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Book Review: "Pennsylvania Elections"

This is an excellent book by John J. Kennedy detailing and explaining the nature of Pennsylvania politics. It tells of the importance of strong Republican Party control of much of politics in our state’s history from the Civil War until the 1950s. Even as late as 1948, Pennsylvania was considered by some political scientists as about the state the third most likely to consistently elect Republicans. Republicans scandals in the 1950s coupled with the arrival of successful reform Democratic movements in some areas began the emergence of what today some might label Pennsylvania as a “purple” state, one where both blue Democrats and red Republicans can achieve statewide victories. Democrat George Leader’s election as Governor in 1954 is credited with introducing the statewide shift that broke the previously strong Republican electoral machine.

The book has studies Pennsylvania elections and provides interesting analysis for the period 1950 through 2004. During these 28 election cycles, Democrats have collected more votes than Republicans in 22 of these elections yet Republicans have won 64% of what the author describes as the “top tier” elections of Presidential electors, U.S. Senator, and Governor.

The author explores geographic shifts in voter patterns, especially noting how demographic shifts of urban voters to Republican dominated suburbs changes regional voter patterns as well as issue priorities within regions. The author also notes that Republican urban voters were leaving urban areas at higher rates than Democratic urban voters. This is shifting the state’s political balance, as noted that the four Philadelphia suburban counties in total surpassed Philadelphia in the number of its registered voters in 1982. In southwest Pennsylvania, a similar pattern is seen as Democrats fell from 71% of registered voters in 1986 to 65% in 2004.

This is a well researched book with excellent academic analysis. It is highly recommended to those wishing to learn more about contemporary Pennsylvania politics.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Listed on BlogShares