With Donald Trump desperately in need of Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes, the Daily Beast is reporting that the president's biggest pitch to voters in the Keystone State is landing with a big thud and that -- in the long run -- could seal the fate of his faltering campaign.
Along with Florida, Pennsylvania is considered a major prize by both parties and the president has been pinning his hopes of winning the state again as he did in 2016 when he slid by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with 48.2% of the votes to her 47.5%.
With that in mind, the president has focused his attacks on former Vice President Joe Biden's stance on fracking in the hope that it would spur on voters afraid of lost jobs if the oil extraction technique was banned.
However, that line of attack is not moving the needle for the president who is currently trailing in Pennsylvania by seven points according to the Morning Call.
According to the Daily Beast, "Donald Trump has taken on a hardline pro-fracking stance against Democrat Joe Biden in their final, frenetic push to capture the Keystone State’s 20 electoral votes, which flipped red as part of the president’s shock 2016 victory. At a rally in Erie on Tuesday and again at the final debate on Thursday, Trump tore into the former vice president, mocking what he described as the Democrat’s flip-flop on the practice."
However, as the Beast reports, polling of residents of the state indicates that fracking is far from their minds when it comes to voting on November 3rd.
"A joint CBS and YouGov poll from August showed 52 percent of Pennsylvanians oppose fracking with 48 percent approving. Another August poll prepared by Democratic firm Global Strategy Group for the advocacy group Climate Power 2020 showed that while 61 percent of Pennsylvanians had a favorable view of the natural gas industry, only 32 percent had a favorable view of the fracking industry, compared to 50 percent unfavorable," the report states.
As Bethany Hallam, a Democratic councilperson-at-large in Allegheny County, explained, "I can tell by the way that both candidates are talking that they understand Pennsylvania is going to decide this presidential election. And so they’re speaking what they think is important, but I believe that they are both out of touch with what people in Pennsylvania actually want to see.”
Eric Garland, 37, a Republican Allegheny County resident, said he has no problem with fracking, but admitted it's not a game-changer when it comes to the election.
“A lot of people are more environmentally active right now than they were,” Garland explained. “It’s hard, because a lot of times, they’re either under-informed or misinformed about certain things. And I’m sure it goes both ways.”
Nicole Vukovich, 40, of Allegheny County, who opposed fracking, also said it's not at the top of the list for most voters.
“I just feel like there are so many other super-important issues,” Vukovich explained with Beast reporting, "Issues like social justice, the pandemic, and voter suppression jump out as more important to her at this moment."
According to Ike Balzer, who also opposes fracking, the method for pulling more oil from the ground may be on its last legs anyway.
“I don’t know, realistically, long-term, how much longer that industry will have the power that they do,” Baltzer said before remarking.“It’s not going well for them."
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