Thursday, November 17, 2011

Expert Says Area Will be Key in 2012 Presidential Election

Blogger's Note: The following was submitted by Eileen Dautrich, president of the TriCounty Area Chamber of Commerce, and is presented here with some alteration.

POTTSTOWN -- Two days after last week's election results were known, Dr. G. Terry Madonna, Director of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs, Professor of Public Affairs, and Director of the Franklin and Marshall Keystone Poll at Franklin and Marshall College, was the guest speaker for the chamber's monthly membership breakfast.

Dr. G. Terry Madonna addresses the Chamber of Commerce
He informed the region's business leaders that Pennsylvania, and the counties of the southeast region in particular, will make a vital difference in deciding next year's presidential election.

This is not just whimsy. Madonna has the political background to know what he's talking about.

For more than 30 years,he has taught and written about his two academic specialties:  the American presidency, and American political parties and political behavior.  As a pollster in recent years, he has written extensively about voters and voting behavior.  He holds a Ph.D. in political history from the University of Delaware.

Madonna told the audience the 2012 presidential election should be viewed in a historical perspective, not a partisan one. 

He encouraged attendees not to think about this issue from a party point of view, but look at the historical situations under which presidents have been reelected and when they have not been reelected.  

Dr. Madonna said the nation's post-WWII politics have differed from the rest of American history.  

The main difference, said Madonna, is that up until WWII the government was ruled by one party or the other for long periods of time. Democrats were in power until the time of Lincoln and then Republicans ruled until WWII.   

Since then, we have had five Democratic leaders and five Republican leaders.  This instability is relatively new in our country and makes Dr. Madonna’s comments about voter behavior both interesting and relevant.
From there Madonna explained how all states are not equal in the electoral process.  He made the point that the politically predictable states such as New York, California, and Texas will not make a difference in this upcoming election.  

Madonna said that there are 10 to 12 states that will matter, the swing states, and in each of those states, Pennsylvania being one of them, only a handful of politically unpredictable counties will decide the 2012 race.  

Of the seven counties in Pennsylvania considered to have the most swing voters, four of them are right here in our area, Bucks, Montgomery, Chester, and Delaware Counties.  

Madonna took this even further by observing that in those swing counties, the voters most likely to swing back in forth politically are college educated women. Madonna’s point was that the election will come down to a small group of people.

Madonna also pointed out how different this election will be from those previous.  

Right now the national debate is centered on the economy and debts and deficits. The battle will be over whether government should do more or they should do less. 

Madonna pointed out that no president has been reelected with a job performance rating under 50% and no president has ever been reelected with unemployment over 7%.  

At the time of the breakfast, President Obama has an approval rating of 45% and unemployment is 9%. 

Before joining the faculty at Franklin and Marshall, Madonna was Professor and Chair of the Government Department and headed the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Millersville University.

Madonna founded the Keystone Poll in 1992, the oldest survey produced exclusively in Pennsylvania.
In 2008, the poll’s name was officially changed to the Franklin & Marshall College Poll.  

In this capacity, some of his media clients include the Philadelphia Daily News, WGAL-TV (Lancaster) to name a few.  He has also polled for KYW-TV, Fox 29 – TV, and the Comcast Network along with several others.

The sponsors of this even were: Boyertown Salvation Army, Pottstown Salvation Army, and Wanner Associates, Inc.

* * *

New Members were also inducted: AAMCO of Pottstown; ACN, Inc.; Financial Independence Planning, LLC; The Gallery School of Pottstown; J & J Environmental, Inc.; Miller’s Insurance Agency, Inc.; Pottstown Quality Inn; PuroClean Disaster Restoration Services; Tango Media Management; Visiting Angels; WBZH – 1370 AM      
For more information, visit or contact 610.326.2900

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