A sliver of voters is no crystal ball

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Columnist Ruth Ann Dailey must possess truly magical gifts! She interviewed a dozen of Greene County's 14,000 registered Democratic voters and 11 said they probably won't vote for President Barack Obama. From there, she leaps to the conclusion that Pennsylvania may be in play -- trending toward Mitt Romney, of course ("Overlooked Ex-Obama Voters Keep Pa. in Play," Oct. 8).

As further proof, she cites the 2012 primary election in which only one-quarter of Greene County registered Democrats voted and, of those 3,863 who voted, 2,247 voted for President Obama. As Ms. Dailey admits, there is no way of knowing why voters did not cast more votes for "their own party's unopposed incumbent."

But in races in which there's "no real contest," turnout is always lower. To wit, in the 2012 primary election, the top vote-getting Democratic contests in Greene County and statewide were for attorney general and U.S. Senate. On the other hand, two Republican incumbent members of Congress won their Greene County primaries, each with fewer than 1,000 votes -- Rep. Bill Shuster with 540 votes and Rep. Tim Murphy with 861 votes.

How interesting it would be if Ms. Dailey had also interviewed Greene County Republican voters, especially women, who disagree with the Republican Party's opposition to reproductive rights and support for additional tax cuts for the wealthy and who were offended by Mr. Romney's "47-percent" remark that insulted their family members who receive Medicaid/Medicare, unemployment benefits and/or food stamps.

Despite coal company propaganda, most Greene County voters are smart enough to understand that other energy sources -- gas, nuclear, wind, solar -- are replacing coal because they are cleaner, safer and cheaper. This is an example of the "creative destruction" that Mr. Romney so vigorously championed at Bain Capital, by which technological innovations inevitably render certain industries and companies obsolete. Think Pony Express to FedEx.

Squirrel Hill



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