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October 05, 2016

St. Joe's prof: 'Sexy and important' Pennsylvania is belle of the 2016 election

Battleground state increasingly seen as tipping point in November

For months and months, political observers have consecrated Pennsylvania as a potentially decisive battleground state in the fast-approaching 2016 presidential election.

Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and all of their surrogates have been paying attention. Over the past few months since the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, a relentless string of campaign appearances has seen both candidates make stops in critical bastions up for grabs in Pennsylvania. 

They've been flanked by everybody from President Obama and Vice President Biden to Michelle Obama and Bill Clinton. Tim Kaine dropped by Philadelphia on Wednesday.

“We’re so sexy and important,” said Maria Kefalas, a sociology professor at St. Joseph’s University, in an interview with The Washington Post. “I think voting in Pennsylvania has become the coolest thing to do if you’re a millennial.”

She's not kidding. Governor Tom Wolf's online voter registration push has been a monumental success, pulling an incredible 172,256 new residents in September alone.

As the Post notes, Travel Tracker determined that Clinton and Trump have visited Pennsylvania more often than any state in the country.

Trump, for his part, hasn't always been pleased with what he's seen. He's bashed the Kenny and Nutter administrations, taken shots at Downingtown and likened Harrisburg to a run-down warzone. He recently opened up a campaign office in South Philadelphia, considered home to some of the city's few Trump-leaning districts, while the Democrats have a total of 55 campaign offices spread across the state.

According the RealClearPolitics Tracking Poll, Clinton currently holds a 47.3-41.9-point lead in Pennsylvania.