Philadelphia

The Republican Party, Pennsylvania and Arlen Specter

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Senator Arlen Specter switched parties. A five term Senator switching parties is certainly news, but it also represents a far greater statement about the challenges facing the Republican Party in Pennsylvania going forward.

Pennsylvania has been a dependable “Blue State” in presidential races since 1988. Currently, Democrats have a 1.2 million voter registration advantage. Less than a decade ago the margin was less than 500,000. What changed over the past decade?  read more »

Pennsylvania - Political Positioning or Realistic Chance?

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The keystone of the McCain campaign’s victory scenario during the final weeks was a surprise victory in Pennsylvania despite that fact that polls (Real Clear Politics had the gap at 7 points on Election Day) clearly showed Obama comfortably ahead. Why?

Pennsylvania has a Democratic Governor from Philadelphia who was elected twice with sizable margins. Democrats have gotten a big boost over the past two years in voter registration. The political shift from Republican to Democratic in the Philadelphia suburbs is nearly complete – at least when it comes to statewide and federal offices.  read more »

Pennsylvania: Where the Collar Counties Are the Big Dogs

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Pennsylvania, as with most states, can be analyzed politically by looking at a few key counties and how they break in a political campaign.

Historically, the four collar counties of Philadelphia broke heavily Republican and neutralized the advantage Democrats had coming out of Philadelphia. Over the past decade this trend has reversed itself --- and with it the political balance in the state.  read more »

Boomers Go Back to College? - A Letter from Pennsylvania

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The “boomers” is a generation born between 1946 and 1964. They gave us the youth culture, hippies, Woodstock, peace movement, women’s liberation, computers, flexible work environments, consumer electronics and consumption on the grand scale to mention only a few.

Boomers have enjoyed a wonderful economy in the main that has enabled them to build wealth and live middle class lifestyles. They stay fit. They eat healthy foods. They look young compared to people of previous generations at their age.  read more »

Keeping Kids Downtown - A Philadelphia Approach

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As children return to classes in Philadelphia this week, more than half of the kindergarteners attending three downtown public elementary schools will come from their immediate middle-income neighborhoods. Three private schools that also serve this area, drawing over 70 percent of their enrollment from downtown families, are bursting at the seams. Having doubled and tripled pre-school programs over the last half decade, each is now physically expanding to accommodate the 11,200 children, born to downtown parents between 2000 and 2005.  read more »

Rural Pennsylvania – Refocusing Economic Development Strategies

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James Carville, the gifted political strategist and pundit, once reportedly referred to Pennsylvania as, “Pittsburgh and Philadelphia with Alabama in between.” And to be sure, many urban sophisticates share this belief.

But this perception comes from a different time when Pennsylvania’s cities boasted huge, overwhelmingly Democratic populations while the suburban and rural areas, albeit sparsely populated, were culturally aligned bastions of red state Republicanism.  read more »

Suburbs Thriving, Cities Stagnating in Keystone State

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The headline in the Philadelphia Inquirer said it all, “Philadelphia’s population shrinking, though region’s is growing.” This in the midst of what is purported to be a condominium boom in its thriving center city.

But facts are facts: Philadelphia’s population has dropped 4.5 percent. This ranks it first among the top-25 U.S. cities in population loss from 2000-2007. This data causes you to pause and rethink the real impact of major public investments in the city spurred on by a governor who is the city’s former two-term mayor.  read more »