For the last 24 years, Pennsylvania has been a Democratic stronghold against Republican opposition to the presidential election. Democrats have defeated Republicans in every presidential election since 1992. That changed last year when Donald Trump, now Commander-in-Chief, won the Keystone state against Hillary Clinton.
Trump won PA by a slim 44, 941 votes. 2,970, 733 voters sided with Trump as opposed to 2,926, 441 who stood with Clinton, according to Pennsylvanian election results.
The Green Party candidate, Jill Stein only received 0.82 percent of the vote in PA in last year’s election. That less than one percent only accounted for 49,941 total votes, although, could’ve secured Dems a win in Pennsylvania, and given them a better shot nationally, had even 5,000 of Stein supporters voted Democrat. Those numbers suggest that Clinton lost the Keystone State based on the issues of her campaign, not because the majority of Pennsylvanians wanted a Republican in Office.
Stein’s campaign gathered a lot of momentum after Sen. Bernie Sanders lost the Democratic primary to Hillary Clinton, as a result of what some argue were shenanigans within the DNC.
Emily Dittbrenner, 22, from Millersville, considers herself an independent. She’s anti-abortion, although sides with many of the issues Sanders brought to national attention, such as making colleges and universities tuition-free.
If [debt-free college] comes about that would be great” Dittbrenner said. “[Because] right now our education system is lacking…College students are paying so much these days, [and] we’re in debt for the rest of our lives.”
Joseph Wayne, 19, from Franklin and Marshall (F&M), cares about the environment. Displeased with Trump’s disdain for environmental regulations, he believes protecting the environment should be a concern for anyone running for public office.
Wyatt Fabian, 21, a registered Republican from F&M thinks the Republican party needs to move to the left on social issues. A Government Major, he supports gay marriage and is pro-choice. “To be more effective,” Fabian said. “For their own sake, [Republicans] should socially move left.”
Still, those left-leaning college kids around Lancaster city probably won’t affect the outcome of next years local election for Congress, says Charles Greenawalt II, the Associate Professor of Gov. and Political Affairs at Millersville University. “No Democrat is going to hold that seat,” Greenawalt said. “Lancaster’s voted Republican consistently since the civil war.”
Last year, Hillary Clinton lost Lancaster county to Trump by 20 percent. While the city is quite liberal, the surrounding areas are not. So while the whole county probably won’t switch parties, Greenawalt believes there are still areas of bipartisanship between Democrats and Republicans.
As Policy Director for the state Senate, Greenawalt worked with both parties on improving education, cleaning up the environment, and increasing transparency between citizens and public servants.