RCP Ranking: Likely Dem
----------PAST KEY RACES----------
2016: President | Senate | PA-6 | PA-8
2014: Governor | PA-6 | PA-8
2012: President | Senate | PA-6 | PA-8 | PA-12
2010: Governor | Senate | House
2008: President | PA-3 | PA-10 | PA-11
2006: Senate | Governor | PA-4 | PA-6 | PA-7 | PA-8 | PA-10
2004: President | Senate | PA-13
|Morning CallMorning Call||4/4 - 4/12||414 RV||5.5||48||32||Casey +16|
|Franklin & MarshallF&M||3/19 - 3/26||423 RV||6.8||43||25||Casey +18|
Eighty years ago, Pennsylvania had 36 congressional districts. All of them save for one -- the 12th -- elected Republicans. It was one of a handful of states that voted against FDR in 1932, and it toyed with voting against him again in 1940 and 1944. By 1980, it had shifted toward the Democrats to become a swing state: The western region was heavily unionized and Democratic, the Philadelphia Republican machine had disappeared, and Republican strength was found in the Philly suburbs (including northeast Philly) and the mountainous interior.
Today, the state is different once again. The Philly suburbs have moved toward the Democrats, while the area surrounding Pittsburgh has moved toward the Republicans. The state Republican Party has changed as well: It is a more conservative entity than was once the case. The state's Democratic Party is also much more liberal than the one that elected socially conservative, fiscally liberal New Deal Democrats like Bob Casey.
Casey's son, Bob Casey Jr., is one of the last of the old school, New Deal Democrats in Congress. He is a decent fit for the Keystone State, with a voting record that is geared toward the blue-collar workers who have given Democrats difficulty in places like Scranton and greater Pittsburgh in the past few decades. A number of Republicans have filed for the seat, but Rep. Lou Barletta, who represents a blue collar district in the northeastern portion of the state, probably starts out as the favorite. Barletta poses an interesting matchup for Casey, and in a better environment, would probably pose a serious threat to him.