The central theme of Salena Zito’s article is that rural Democrats are switching parties because they’re voting for their lives. The chief setting for Ms. Zito’s article is Lee Supply’s training room, which is described as “a third-generation family-owned business” that’s been “operating since 1954.”

Geographically, it’s described as being nestled “in a glen between the rolling hills of the Alleghenies and the Monongahela River.” Its economic niche is that “it sells pipe and pumping systems used in everything from traditional applications, such as water distribution and sewage treatment, to highly specialized applications such as horizontal directional drilling, slip lining, leachate and methane collection, gas extraction and water transport.”

The political impact of Lee Supply’s training room might be election-changing. As Ms. Zito notes, “Every single person who walked into Lee Supply’s training room, from the CEO down to the janitor, was a registered Democrat. And every single person pledged not only to vote for Trump and Toomey but to ask family, neighbors and friends to do the same.”

It’s important to note that this information is anecdotal. It isn’t scientific. This information isn’t anecdotal, though:

Paul Sracic, a Youngstown State University political scientist, believes there are two categories of voters rallying to support Trump. “First, there are people who don’t normally vote,” he said. “Nearly half the voting-age population was either not registered to vote, or was registered and decided not to vote in 2012. And if even 10 percent of that group was to show up and vote this year, it could easily change the outcome in the important swing states.”

Sracic—who frankly admits he obsesses over opinion polls—wonders whether these voters are even represented in the endless presidential surveys: “If people aren’t registered voters, they won’t be picked up by most polls. If they are registered voters but don’t normally vote, they may be eliminated by ‘likely voter’ screens pollsters use.” Romney lost Pennsylvania in 2012 by about 300,000 votes out of about 5.5 million cast; in Ohio, he lost by less than 200,000. “So bringing new people in can make a difference,” Sracic said.

Potentially more significant, however, are those voters who “flip”— Sracic’s second category. “Remember,” he said, “taking a Democratic voter and having them vote Republican is both a +1 and a -1. In other words, if Romney lost Pennsylvania by 300,000 voters, all you have to do [this time] is flip slightly more than 150,000 votes.” Between Ohio and Pennsylvania, if approximately 225,000 voters (out of the 11 million who are expected on Election Day) switch parties, they could tip the entire election.

It’s unknown how many people are “voting for their lives” in swing states. If western Pennsylvania is an example, though, it’s quite possible that the polling in Ohio and Pennsylvania won’t pick up a Trump mini-wave. This sums things up perfectly:

“Nine years ago I was forced into retirement at Corning, and I needed a job with health care,” said Paul Satranko, a lifelong Mon Valley resident. A Vietnam War veteran, he played Little League baseball 60 years ago with Lee Supply’s CEO, he has been the company’s janitor and all-around character ever since. “There is no room for apathy in this election,” he said. “I think that is what people not from around here don’t understand—we are voting for our lives.” He plans to vote for Trump.

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One Response to “Voting for their lives?”

  • Bob J. says:

    It’s easy for Democrats to vote Trump since his known policy positions, such as they are, dovetail so nicely with liberal orthodoxy. Touchback amnesty, Obamacare mandate, minimum wage, wealth redistribution through child care policy, yesterday’s words on “global warming”, nonsensical foreign policy views and above all a visceral hatred of conservatives — why vote Clinton when you can vote for another Democrat who also wears a pants suit?

    Oh, there’s that Alt-Reich thing, but really, Democrat Don knows that Nazis are people too.

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