Mark Stricherz had an interesting column in the Washington Post on Sunday explaining how blue-collar, Catholic voters in the Rust Belt have abandon the Democratic Party. The GOP has allied itself with a culturally conservative Catholic Church, which has stepped in and assumed the leadership role in communities that were once dominated by big unions.
“With the exception of 1972 and 1984, West Virginia also voted for the Democratic presidential nominee from 1932 to 1996, and it hasn’t elected a GOP senator for generations,” Stricherz writes. “Missouri, Kentucky, Arkansas and Ohio all went for Jimmy Carter in 1976 and for Bill Clinton twice. All but Ohio have been dominated by Democrats at the congressional and gubernatorial levels for decades. But all five went for George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004.”
Stricherz seems to suggest that the Democratic Party has no choice but to woo these voters if it hopes to win in November. The most crucial state is probably Pennsylvania, the home state the late Robert P. Casey and a keystone in the Democrats’ strategy to reaching 270.