Pennsylvania Democrats Veer Hard Left (Dreamstime.com)
Less than a month after key Democratic primaries in Pennsylvania, there are growing signs that the Keystone State’s Democratic Party is moving sharply to the far left.
If this trend continues, state experts told Newsmax, then the ''progressive'' wing of the party will be favored in Democratic primaries next year for the offices being vacated by termed-out Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey.
''There is no doubt that the progressives have gained strength, especially in the cities and suburbs,'' G. Terry Madonna, a senior fellow in residence at Millersville University of Pennsylvania and considered the premier pollster in the state, told Newsmax. ''In those regions of the state, they will win more primary nominations, especially with the support of college-educated voters and Gen Z millennials.''
The recent Democratic primaries that particularly illustrate Madonna’s point were for mayor of Pittsburgh and Erie County executive.
In a stunning result, two-term Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto lost the Democratic primary to state Rep. Ed Gainey by 42% to 39% in a four-way contest.
Although Peduto is considered a traditional liberal, Gainey — who would become Pittsburgh’s first Black mayor — was backed by such leftist activist groups as the Center for Popular Democracy Action and the Unite PAC.
He also had the backing of the left-leaning Allegheny County Democratic Committee.
In Erie County, where Democrat Kathy Dahlkemper is retiring as county executive, Dr. Tyler Titus won the Democratic primary two weeks ago by a razor-thin 208 votes. If elected, Titus will become the first openly transgender person to win public office in Pennsylvania.
Titus, who prefers they/their/them as personal pronouns and who has already been elected president of the city of Erie School Board, told reporters that they ''know how powerful it would be for trans youth to see me as county executive: to be able to look at me and feel hope — for themselves, and that a better world is possible.''
With Titus facing a strong fall contest with businessman and Republican nominee Brenton Davis, leftists are expected to redouble their efforts behind them. State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta of Philadelphia, considered the most far-left Democrat running for the Senate, campaigned with Titus in the primary and is almost sure to have his backing in the battle for the 2022 U.S. Senate nomination.
''I believe the Democrats are on the move to the left in Pennsylvania,'' Washington and Jefferson College professor Joseph DiSarro told us. ''It seems that the national party agenda is in control of the state party. Thus, I feel that both the Senate and governor’s races will focus on left of center issues. Additionally, there has been little if any attempt to compromise on the national stage and, therefore, it is my opinion that the Democrats plan to focus on the same issues they believe defeated Trump in Pennsylvania.''
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.