Looking ahead to the Pennsylvania primary on April 22, which of the statements below are true? Find the answer below the question.
10) In the general election, a Democratic presidential candidate last won a majority of the nationwide white male vote in 1976.
In 1976, Jimmy Carter captured 47 percent to Gerald Ford’s 52 percent. By today’s standards, Carter’s white male support would be considered a major victory. Since then, for Democratic presidential candidates, the percentage has only gotten worse.
With Sen. Hillary Clinton seemingly locking up female and Hispanic votes, and Sen. Barack Obama wrapping up the black vote, both Democratic candidates have been competing hard for Pennsylvania’s coveted white male vote. It’s not hard to see why. According to the 2006 population Census, 83 percent of Pennsylvania is white. Of that section of the population, 49 percent is male. That’s roughly 3.9 million eligible voters across the state, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
6) Sen. Bob Casey, who has endorsed Obama, was the first Pennsylvania Democrat elected to a full term in the Senate since Joseph S. Clark in 1962.
True. Who went to a sports bar and bowling with Obama in Altoona? Casey. Who played basketball and hung out with Obama on the campaign bus? Casey. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, they’re like “BFF”(best friends forever).
The popular first-term senator and son of a popular former governor might help Obama win some votes among white, rural voters (see No. 10) in northeastern Pennsylvania, where Casey is well-liked.
5) The 1984 law dealing with the taxation of the Amish grants them at least one unpledged super delegate picked by congregations’ Völliger Dieners (bishops).
For the record: No group gets its own super delegate; the law was made in 1965; Amish people pay all taxes except for Social Security (they object to the concept of insurance); they can be drafted (most conscientiously objected during the Vietnam war era); and they can vote (usually for the more conservative candidate).
4) During the 2004 general election campaign, Sen. John Kerry slipped in the Pennsylvania polls after he tried to order a cheesesteak with Swiss cheese at a stop in Philadelphia.
Numbers tracking Kerry’s poll numbers related to the Cheesesteak Incident of 2003 do not exist (but he eventually defeated Bush in Pennsylvania). He did commit the gaffe and was ridiculed for it for months. Everyone knows (or should know) you put Cheez Whiz, American or Provolone on your cheesesteak!
The blunder reminded many of the Texas Tamale Incident of 1976, in which Gerald Ford bit into a tamale with the corn husk still on it. (“Always shuck your tamales,” Ford would say after his eventual defeat.)
So far Clinton has steered clear of committing any gastronomic faux pas, and Obama went for pricey imported ham instead of cheesesteak.
3) The Hershey Company produces so many Kisses each day that it could give every Pennsylvanian 6.5 of the chocolate treats on primary day.
True. According to the most recent Census Bureau estimate, there are roughly 12.5 million residents of Pennsylvania, and Hershey’s makes 80 million Kisses every day.
Hershey’s, the famous chocolate company in the town named for it, produces much of its chocolate in Pennsylvania, and the state is still the national leader in chocolate production. But with cheaper labor and sugar plus lower environmental standards in Mexico, the company recently shut down five of its plants in the United States and Canada and cut roughly 11.5 percent of its North American jobs — around 900 in Pennsylvania.
For the record, jobs in Pennsylvania in many sectors have been lost due to NAFTA, not to mention the trade deficit with China. The Alliance for American Manufacturing estimates 120,000 jobs have been lost in the state since 1993.
So what do the candidates think?
Last month, the Patriot-News asked Clinton about her position on NAFTA, framing it around Hershey’s move, which was good for the company’s bottom line but bad for local jobs. Her answer: Essentially, NAFTA is good but also bad (kind of like bitter chocolate, right?), and it absolutely needs to be renegotiated.
Obama, for his part, has not been asked specifically about the Hershey Company. But his position has been that NAFTA is good but also bad (like bitter chocolate), and it absolutely needs to be renegotiated.
2) Pennsylvania ranks first in the country in the number of troops deaths in Iraq.
Pennsylvania is third in the country in number of troop deaths at 179 and 27th per capita, according to the Department of Defense. But the military is a key part of the state and it ranks first in the country in Army National Guard members and fourth in Air National Guard members.
How important is the Iraq war as a campaign issue? In recent polling, 46 percent of Pennsylvania voters said the economy was the most important issue, followed by the war in the Iraq at 23 percent and health care at 14 percent.
1) A Democratic nominee will emerge after Pennsylvania.
Not likely. Unless, of course, the candidates have that bowl-off that Clinton suggested. Or how about a cheesesteak-eating contest? Or maybe a dance-off to the Pennsylvania Polka?