A blogger here [HT Keystone Politics] representing “young” and “progressive” ideas in Southeast PA seems to think the Philadelphia suburbs are potentially nascent democratic strongholds. In a general, penumbra emanating sense– similar to the legal logic employed to justify Roe vs. Wade– I suppose I agree.
It is true that the Philadelphia suburbs are drifting leftward. Traditional democrats continue to run screaming from the urban nest their own leaders have defiled. These suburbs are also attracting a fairly wealthy world-citizen crowd– both immigrant and native– who are pretty well steeped the post-modern ennui typical of the well-educated. I submit these groups are pretty receptive to a moderate Democrat message.
That said, a simple perusal of the voter registration statistics for Chester, Montgomery, Bucks, and Delaware counties will indicate the GOP still has a tremendous advantage. Our young, progressive blogger has, I think, mistaken the current general mood for a demographic trend.
What will confirm this? When Rudy Giuliani wins these counties with a significant margin over Ms. Clinton. Previous polling has suggested Obama is pretty popular in the Philly burbs, but it currently looks like he’s all sizzle and no steak, so I am betting he doesn’t get the nod. The open question, of course, is if Hizzoner’s margin of victory in those counties can overcome what is likely to be Ms. Clinton’s overwhelming urban advantage when buttressed by endorsements like this.