In Search of Answers

I have wanted to write about the results of the last election and the various Republican victories for some time – about what happened and why? It is also beyond time we talked seriously about how to fix what is unquestionably broken about the Democratic Party in Westmoreland County. I have my theories, but I need help answering a lot of questions.

First, the results of the November 2011 election should surprise no one. If you look back at yearly election results over the past decade the writing was on the wall. Countywide Democratic candidates’ victory margins were getting smaller and smaller. No Democratic presidential candidate has carried our county since Bill Clinton in 1996. We were losing open seats in the state legislature. Then, longtime incumbents began losing. Heck, even Lynn Swann convincingly won the county in his failed bid for governor.

In order to fix anything, one first needs to understand why it is broken. So I am asking you to help me understand why such a dramatic shift in county politics. This is not a test, and there are no wrong answers. Moreover, I have no interest in debating opinions or theories. I am honestly just trying to figure this out. Please e-mail me your thoughts and opinions at tkopas@comcast.net. I am particularly interested in hearing from Democrats who no longer vote Democratic, but the more responses the merrier.

To make this easier, here is a list of 8 questions. Send me your answers to all or some.

  1.  Why aren’t Westmoreland residents supporting Democratic candidates?
  2.  Are Democrats getting “out-worked” locally or is the party’s message wrong?
  3. What do you think the party’s message is?
  4. Locally, is the Democratic Party running poor candidates?
  5. How much of an influence does the local newspaper have in shaping local political opinions?
  6. Does the local Democratic Party lack leadership?
  7. How much do divisive national issues play in votes for local office?
  8. Why is there such disdain for President Obama? (and please spare me the “he’s a socialist who hates America” stuff). And what is the impact of these feeling locally?

Looking forward to your responses at tkopas@comcast.net.

Coming soon…how do we fix it?