Michael Smerconish has lots of opinions.
As posted here last week, Montgomery County, a suburban county just northwest of Philadelphia, now has more registered Democrats than Republicans for the first time since the 1970s.
He has an opinion about that.
Smerconish took issue with the argument that the suburbs going bluer has to do with Democratic Philadelphians moving and “taking their registrations with them.”
That was a partial explanation for some shifting patterns from the end of World War II until the 1970s, but not now.”
Instead, it has to with national politics, Smerconish wrote.
It’s not that the party isn’t conservative enough to win the suburbs; it is that the party is too conservative and has lost touch with a suburban constituency.
Fault for that lies in the party’s national image. Impressions of political parties are established nationally. People don’t usually join a political organization based on their sense of the county commissioners, the competence of the row officers, or the performance of the borough council. They choose the party whose platform, they believe, most closely resembles their general views. And those platforms flow from the federal level. They are personified by national players.
Of course, this is another vote in a debate that will have to find its place in my paper, which is growing, but needs to be finished in the next two to three weeks: how large a role do national politics play in local elections?
Photo from America’s Voice in Israel.