Presidential elections can be decided in the US state of Pennsylvania. On the spot it becomes clear how loyal the voters in the country are to Donald Trump.
While the US was banned from the Inferno in California and the severe hurricane in the wave looked, politics peered into another battlefield.
They all came in the same state these days: Donald Trump, who also attended a civilian clinic, as did Joe Biden. Son Donald Jr. and Biden Vice Kamala Harris, who wanted to flatter their respective regular voters, and the columnist from Germany, who was also in Pennsylvania.
In 2016, Pennsylvania was one of the states that gave Trump the surprise victory. Six million citizens voted, Trump ultimately led a bit with 44,292 votes. The policy data gurus at Fivethirtyeight submit these numbers to us now: If Biden wins Pennsylvania, he has a 96 percent chance of running for president. (For Trump, that’s 84 percent.) Because the US electoral system is what it is, Pennsylvania could become the most important of the major states.
According to surveys, Biden is more than four percentage points for this, which is not much. Trump didn’t stand a chance in the big cities in 2016 and even fared poorly in the suburbs, but he won nearly all of the country’s constituencies and many so clearly he was in charge. These are the three combat zones.
And this year? On the edge of the country road in Youngstown, this house glows in the autumn sun.
“Trump House” in Youngstown: There is no such thing for Joe Biden. (Source: Fabian Reinbold)
Election campaign like him only in America gives. The building is not so much an expression of spontaneous enthusiasm as a professional calculation to attract cameras. A Republican had already set it up in 2016 and she was rewarded for her efforts with an invitation to the White House. Now she hands out free plates T-shirts or MAGA caps which usually cost $ 25. When I ask her who pays for all this, she gets tight-lipped.
But something else is more important for our purposes: the influx of people does not dry up, less than three minutes pass without a new car stopping. They come to dust their Trump fan articles. For Joe Biden, there is nowhere a comparable fan base, let alone such a house.
This merchandise is important because the battle for Pennsylvania revolves around street visibility. In cities and suburbs, the Biden / Harris signs are also in the front yards, but further away, almost without exception, the Trump / Pence signs. Usually not one, but two or three on site. Especially like the flag with the inscription Trump 2020 – No more bullshit. 95 percent of the signs, flags, posters that line the road are for Trump.
Trump came to Philadelphia, the largest city, on Tuesday to hold a town hall meeting. That was interesting because otherwise he avoids such events and only appeals to die-hard fans. But the format just won’t work with him. Trump and Pennsylvania voters from the cities are talking past each other. Trump doesn’t answer the questions, he just takes them as a keyword and outwardly by the second sentence, he finds himself in his parallel universe, where he is the most successful president and always, but really always, the others to blame (China / Democrats / Biden / media).
Joe Biden is more interested in this format because he responds to the questioners. He will prove it Thursday in his hometown of Scranton in northern Pennsylvania. Advantage of Biden.
Trump has to score elsewhere. Where they have absorbed his language, made his world theirs.
It can be reached by driving all the way west, past Pittsburgh and then through the Ohio River valley. In Beaver County, typical of rural Pennsylvania, the residents are white; few have studied. Some of the largest steel mills in the world stood here until the 1980s. Most have long since closed, and there are even smaller steel mills and other industries. But the great prosperity has faded.
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In a small town called Industry, we stop at a small red cabin in a huge dirt parking lot. Trucks driving to Ohio crash past Route 68, some times and stop on the gravel with roaring engines. You come because of Jeannette.
At Jeannette’s Kitchen there are eggs and a barbecue from five in the morning: brisket, ribs, burger with half a pound of meat. “Large portions so that the truckers can get through the day,” says Jeannette White and laughs.
Industry is weakening around Industry. Beaver County has long been a Democratic home with strong unions, but has been a Republican for well over a decade. Trump got 60 percent of the vote here.
Jeannette has a Trump poster hanging in the window and is wearing a camouflaged Trump cap. She, of course, voted for him in 2016. “I voted for the very first time in my life, I don’t really believe in politics,” she says. Jeannette White, 56, is typical of Trump’s surprising success at the time: he drove people to the polls who would otherwise not vote.
Jeannette is a native (“half Cherokee, half Pueblo”) and did not have an easy life. She has lost her left leg, cannot hear well and runs her shop on her own, often from three in the morning. She hired sixteen people, but they were of no use: drugs, money theft, one of them had phone sex on the stove, she says. People are getting too many unemployment benefits, White says. Only one thing gives her hope: the president.
“Without Trump,” says Jeannette White, “our country is dead.”
Takeaway Jeannette White: She’s sure Trump will be reelected. (Source: Fabian Reinbold)
Diagonally opposite is a coal-fired power station that closed in 2019. Can Trump bring back coal and steel as he promised? “Oh sure,” she says. “It was just the virus getting in the way.” She’s also on a coal deposit on her property: “If Trump wins, I’ll finally get there.”
White is annoyed that Trump is always blamed because there is nothing he can do about the virus. While Trump’s advisers and experts in Washington are now also publicly contradicting his rosy announcements about a corona vaccine, Jeannette White says at a four-hour drive in Industry, Pennsylvania, “ Without him, we wouldn’t have had a vaccine at the end of the year. The Democrats couldn’t have done it. . “
But in the end, she is not concerned with such trivialities, but with the big picture: ‘He believes in America. He is for the people. Everything else doesn’t matter. ‘
Outside, David Biehls has just finished his Texan burger, half a pound of meat, lots of bacon, fried onion rings. The 50-year-old still remembers the fat years. “I wish we could live like we did then. Then we were all like a family, today we’re somehow so …”, now he looks at his mother Judy quizzically, “split?”
Biehls has a job in the post office and friends who worked in the factories. Is he seeing a revival? Not yet, says Biehls, but the industry will “definitely” be back soon. “Trump is busy with so many things and it doesn’t happen overnight. If he gets reelected, it’s going to get better.”
In the world of Biehls and White, Trump is on the cusp of achieving anything, despite all the adversaries. He just needs to be reelected. When it comes to the enemies, they have adopted Trump’s statements. The Democrats are traitors, Biden is senile. You stand firmly on Donald Trump’s side.
They confirm what you can already see while driving the country roads: Donald Trump can count on the land. Joe Biden must ensure that he mobilizes his masses in the cities and wins conservatives in the suburbs that don’t live in the Trump world. Otherwise, it won’t be Pennsylvania, and it might not be the entire election.