An NBC News analysis indicates that although it’s rare, it wouldn’t take many small town, Pennsylvania Trump defectors to turn the state blue.
Both Pennsylvania’s Northampton County and its small town of Forks Township are in a heavily-courted area of the state, which went Republican in 2016 for the first time since 1992, when Bill Clinton was elected president.
Election experts say that even a small number of 2016 Trump (pictured) voters who decide to vote Biden this election may be able to switch the state from red to blue
In 2016, both the county and town – said to be evenly divided and deeply polarized – went for Trump over Hillary Clinton by the relatively slim margin of 50 to 46 per cent.
Trump won the state by 48.2 per cent to Hillary Clinton‘s 47.5 per cent.
As a result, even just a handful of voters switching sides for the 2020 election could have a significant impact on whether the county – and the state – wind up giving its electoral college votes to Trump or Biden.
Whichever way Pennsylvania goes, election experts say it’s likely the state will determine which candidate wins the presidency.
Voters like Victor Dennis, 91, of Forks Township, then stand to make a major difference in the election outcome.
Recent polls put Biden (pictured) ahead of Trump in Pennsylvania by 49 per cent to 44 per cent
Trump speaks during a rally at Williamsport Regional Airport in Montoursville where he bragged about an executive order he signed to protect fracking – a huge industry in Pennsylvania
Dennis told NBC News Friday that ‘First time in my life, I voted for a Democrat.’
He said, ‘I like a lot of the things Trump did, but I couldn’t stand his bloviating’ and noted that ultimately Trump’s ‘big mouth turned me off.’
NBC News reported that Biden only needs about 23,000 Pennsylvania voters, out of more than six million residents across the state, to turn the state blue.
Looking at from a very local angle, that is the equivalent of needing seven or eight voters out of about 2,000 voters that went to the polls from Forks Township’s ‘Western 2’ precinct.
Despite this, Teryn Hill, 37, of Forks Township, says that she believes Trump will win.
The Biden supporter said ‘That’s the pulse of what I feel in the area where I live.’
Elsewhere in Northampton County, Trump supporters are keeping the faith.
Sharon Lahr, 67, of Martin’s Creek, Pennsylvania, told the news network that she’s voting for Trump because ‘I don’t believe in abortion’ and ‘That’s the big thing.’
Trump – and now his daughter Ivanka Trump – is an avowed pro-lifer.
Lahr also noted that she believes 74-year-old Trump is a strong leader and is concerned that Biden, at 77, is ‘too old’ for the job, meaning Democratic vice presidential candidate ‘Kamala Harris will step in’ if Biden wins.
President Donald Trump bragged about an order he signed that would protect fracking, a huge industry in Pennsylvania
President Donald Trump speaks at a ‘Make America Great Again’ rally in Newton, Pennsylvania, on Saturday
President Donald Trump speaks to supporters in Reading, Pennsylvania Saturday, his second of four rallies he’s holding in the Keystone State
At his Reading rally, Trump said the only ‘good thing’ to come out of his COVID-19 scare was that people no longer believe he doesn’t live with first lady Melania Trump, who got the coronavirus too
President Donald Trump addresses supporters in Butler Pennsylvania, his third of four rallies in Pennsylvania – a key swing state – on Saturday
President Trump speaks in Butler, Pennsylvania alongside pumpkins marking the Halloween holiday
Jeff Geake, of Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, is another Trump supporter – the kind that Trump is relying on to help him win the state.
Geake told NBC News that he voted for Trump in 2016 and is voting for him again this year because ‘I like the way he talks to the media.’
Geake also said that ‘the media has too much control of our lives.’
Trump and his affiliates have made it a habit of calling news organizations and news reports that disagree with him ‘fake news’ and branding media the ‘enemy of the people.’
A Hill/Harris poll surveying 901 likely voters in Pennsylvania between October 26 to 29 showed that showed Biden head of Trump 51 per cent to 46 per cent.
Pollster Mark Penn told The Hill that ‘In Pennsylvania, Trump has strong rural support but is being pinned down by Biden in the suburbs, where the Democrat leads by a wide margin.’
Meanwhile a poll released Saturday by Allentown Morning Call/Morning Consult, showed Biden ahead of Trump 49 per cent to 44 per cent in Pennsylvania.
Chris Borick, director of the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion, which ran the poll, said that while Biden has ‘a good number,’ it’s ‘not a comfortable number,’ according to NBC News.
The five per cent lead ‘allows one to see paths by which the president could repeat his victory here in 2016.’
Trump spent Saturday campaigning hard in Pennsylvania, doing four rallies in a row throughout the state.
During the events, he touted his own record on the economy and claimed Democratic nominee Joe Biden would champion policies that would raise taxes and cost jobs.
‘We gotta win this state,’ Trump told supporters at his final rally of the day in Montoursville, Pennsylvania.
‘They keep saying it’s close but I don’t think it’s close,’ he said.
‘Politics is a crazy world but when you have the best employment numbers in history, when you have the best unemployment numbers and when you have the best economy probably that we’ve ever had, I don’t know how the hell do you lose this election?’ he noted.
He also bragged about an executive order he signed to protect fracking – a huge industry in Pennsylvania.
‘Today I signed an order,’ he said, ‘to strongly protect your state’s energy and fracking industry.’
The order requires a government study on the effects of ‘prohibiting, or sharply restricting, the use of hydraulic fracturing and other technologies,’ and the national security impact of doing so.
Trump has slammed Biden and running mate Kamala Harris repeatedly on the issue of fracking, which he claims his Democratic rival wants to end. Biden has not said that.
‘A vote for Biden and Harris is a vote to ban fracking ban mining and completely destroy Pennsylvania,’ the president said.
During the rallies, Trump also addressed the economy’s dive during the coronavirus pandemic and his efforts to push for a quick reopening and claims that Biden intends to increase taxes.
During earlier rallies in the day, Trump took several hits at Biden, accusing the Democrat of wanting to cancel the holidays and suggesting that Biden had gotten plastic surgery on his eyes.
At the rally in Reading, Pennsylvania, Trump told his audience: ‘You are so lucky that I’m your president. You are so lucky that we took this journey together, this wonderful – this beautiful journey together. Pennsylvania you are so lucky. Pennsylvania you are so lucky, you better get out and vote on Tuesday.’
Trump held the four rallies in an attempt to repeat his 2016 victory when he became the first Republican presidential candidate in more than 20 years to win Pennsylvania.
But he carried the state – where Biden was born – by less than a point and Democrats want it back in their corner.
Both candidates are putting their focus on Pennsylvania and its 20 electoral votes in the final days before November 3.