A solemn pall fell over the Hillary Clinton victory party held at the Javits Convention Center in New York City on election night. Their candidate, the inevitable one, had fallen to political upstart and novice Donald Trump. Many filed out, crying and sobbing, starting after ten in the evening once election returns were beginning to suggest that Trump might win after all.
First among the battleground states was Florida. Then Ohio. North Carolina was the next one to fall to Trump. Wisconsin was almost a death blow, but then Michigan, a blue stalwart, was showing signs of shifting toward Trump. Pennsylvania, coal country and the home of Philadelphia, was the final blow at around 1:36 in the morning, when the Associated Press called the state for Trump.
The liberal media were shocked by this, but if they had done their homework, it would not have been such a shocking election result.
So how did this happen?
Salena Zito is a conservative national columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune who had interviewed Western Pennsylvanians, lifelong Democrats, about whom they would vote for. Overwhelmingly, they said they supported Donald Trump, but not because he was a charismatic candidate. It was that the Left had declared a “war on coal,” affecting their cities and towns. Bill Clinton criticized coal miners in West Virginia at a rally in Pennsylvania, and Hillary Clinton had told activists that she would run coal companies out of business. She later apologized for those remarks, but it appears those remarks were not forgotten by Pennsylvanians.
The most powerful quote was from 49-year-old Western Pennsylvania Democrat, Angela LeJohn, who worked at a local energy company the past nine years. LeJohn works and lives in the city of Charleroi, Pennsylvania, and told Zito the following:
“The short of it is that I am looking at this election through self-preservation. I love my job, I love that I only live three miles from work, I love that who I work for contributes to a stable life, and I love that my community is holding on because of the trickle effect Lee Supply Company’s impact has on the region.”
Zito made the point, and a correct one, that if Western Pennsylvanians banded together, they could outvote the Clinton strongholds of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
Adding to the Keystone State chaos, there was a transit strike by unions in Philadelphia, which may have depressed voter turnout. Although an agreement was reached over the weekend, the strike may have had an unintended effect of depressing voter turnout.
On election night, early returns indicated Pennsylvania could go for Trump after all. At one point, outside of Philadelphia, Clinton had only won the cities of Pittsburgh and Erie, and she drew even with Trump in Vice President Joe Biden’s hometown of Scranton. By comparison, Clinton received approximately 10,000 fewer votes than Obama did in 2012 .
In the end, Obama’s “war on coal” may have thrown the Keystone State to Trump and cost Clinton a final shot at the White House. The liberal media whiffed on calling the election correctly and ignored the lifelong Western Pennsylvania Democrats who felt they voted for Trump to save their towns, their families and their jobs.