This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Sunday, September 20, 2020:
The results from The Epoch Times’ Rust Belt Poll released on Sunday provide one more reason why the president is likely to repeat his 2016 miracle in Pennsylvania, where he won by 44,000 votes out of 6.2 million cast: A plurality of the 3,500-plus registered and likely voters polled last week in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin, and especially Pennsylvania support fracking.
On the surface it shouldn’t be a surprise: an estimated 600,000 jobs in those states would disappear if Trump’s Democrat Party rival Joe Biden were to win in November.
What’s turning the tide isn’t Trump’s increasing support from Republicans, blacks ,or Hispanics; it’s the shrinking of support from former hard-core, lifelong Democrats reacting to Biden’s plans to eliminate fracking from all federal lands and push the Green New Deal to eliminate the use of all fossil fuels by 2050.
Shawn Steffee is just one example. An official with Boilermakers Local 154, a Pittsburgh union with 1,500 members, Steffee has been featured in political ads in his area claiming that he’s “sick and tired of being taken for granted” by the Democrat Party, and as a result is supporting Trump in November. Steffee told TribLIVE.com, a local news site: “I’m very disappointed in my party. Yes, I’m supporting Donald Trump. If you [the Democrat Party] don’t support [us], we don’t support you.”
It’s Biden’s proposed ban that has roused his ire. Steffee’s union members service coal power plants, steel mills and, more importantly, the enormous $6.5 billion petrochemical cracking plant west of Pittsburgh. When completed, it will eventually produce more than 1.6 million tons of polyethylene a year from natural gas supplied by frackers working in the Marcellus shale field that lies under the state.
David Taylor is another example. A lifelong Democrat and president of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association, he voted for Trump in 2016, thinking that he had no chance of winning the state: “I had no glimmer Trump would win, and honestly didn’t think I’d see another Republican winner in my lifetime.”
Feeling that he had nothing to lose in voting for Trump, Taylor said he was glad he did:
The Trump administration has been explicitly and enthusiastically pro-production when it comes to domestic energy.
And not just drilling, but the pipelines we need to connect the energy from where it’s harvested to downstream customers.
This is our chance to resurrect the brown fields of the factories and steel mills that went under in the 1970s and early 1980s.
Helping the Trump campaign is a report published last December by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Energy Institute. It concluded that the Biden ban would cost nearly six million jobs in the energy industry in seven states, with about 600,000 of those losses to be sustained by Pennsylvania alone.
Pennsylvania is a key, if not the key, state that Trump needs to secure another term. As The New American reported on Thursday, the Trump campaign has formulated seven “paths” to the White House for the president and each one of them goes through Pennsylvania.
The move towards Trump is showing up in another poll: Rasmussen reported on September 3 that the contestants for the White House “are running dead even in Pennsylvania” among likely voters. In addition, Rasmussen reported that currently Trump is carrying 86 percent of the Republican vote “and leads among voters not affiliated with either major party by 11 points.”
Many of those former Democrats no doubt are fearful that Biden, if elected, will put them out of work. On the other hand, many see Trump as the polar opposite, moving to expand the energy industry in his continuing quest to “make American great again.”