“‘Forgotten’ Pennsylvania region holds key to Trump’s fate”

In 2016, one of the early signals of Donald Trump’s impending victory were the unexpected, extremely long lines to vote in Luzerne County, PA. Politico examines where matters stand in Luzerne County on the eve of the 2020 election:

In the wake of the 2016 election, a little-known county in northeastern Pennsylvania emergedas a national symbol of Donald Trump’s unexpected victory, seeming to epitomize the political forces that explained the stunning outcome….

Trump won working-class Luzerne by 26,000 votes in 2016 — nearly 60 percent of his margin of victory in a state that he narrowly carried. As part of his strategy to win Pennsylvania again, his campaign is betting on increased turnout in the small cities and rural reaches of the northeast….

A historic coal region, Luzerne County was a longtime Democratic stronghold with a proud labor tradition. Residents are predominantly white and the vast majority do not have college degrees. The county supported President Barack Obama twice, but in recent years, has been moving sharply toward the Republican Party.

Much like Democrats have spent the last four years turning red seats in the state’s suburbs blue, Republicans have seized power in ancestrally Democratic areas in northeastern Pennsylvania over the same period. Local GOP leaders said Democrats are dreaming if they think that Luzerne County is in play this year.

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