PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump can’t seem to get enough of us here in southwestern Pennsylvania, proving this state is must-win for both of them.
When KDKA political editor Jon Delano interviewed Trump’s running mate, Gov. Mike Pence, on Tuesday in Westmoreland County, he asked, “A must-win state for Donald Trump?”READ MORE: Pittsburgh Weather: Morning Rain, Snow Showers On The Horizon
“Well, Pennsylvania always looms large in our national elections, but it’s particularly important this year,” acknowledged Pence.
Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook says that’s true for Hillary Clinton, too.
“Pennsylvania is pretty essential to any Democrat to get 270 electoral votes,” said Mook in a satellite interview with Jon Delano.
With 20 electoral votes, Pennsylvania is a very big state. And 40 percent of the voters live in the Philadelphia media market.
Four years ago, that area went big-time for the Democrat Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton hopes Philadelphia does the same for her next week.
That has made western Pennsylvania a real battleground for Donald Trump.
Four years ago the Republican Mitt Romney carried the entire western Pennsylvania region except for Erie County and Allegheny County.
But to win the state in 2016, Trump needs to do better than Romney, especially in the Democratic counties surrounding Pittsburgh.READ MORE: Man Shot In The Head Inside Wilkinsburg Apartment
Four years ago, Romney the Republican actually carried Butler County, Beaver County, Washington County, Fayette County, and Westmoreland County.
In fact, the Republican vote margin from these counties outnumbered the Democratic vote margin from Allegheny County.
Donald Trump needs to do that this coming week, and he needs to use that vote to beat Philadelphia.
The key is for Trump to win white working class Democrats, and Pence thinks Trump has the right message.
“Ending the war on coal, reviving our economy through tax relief, and rolling back the heavy hand of government, repealing Obamacare are all messages that are connecting here in western Pennsylvania,” said Pence.
But Mook says Democrats here won’t be fooled by Trump who makes his products overseas and buys steel from China.
“Donald Trump talks a great game, but when it’s been up to him, he’s outsourced. He’s moved jobs overseas, and he has hurt the American steel industry,” he said.MORE NEWS: Travel Restrictions Tighten As COVID-19 Omicron Variant Concerns Grow
In the few days left, watch both candidates to rev up their messages — just for you.