Biden bets on home-town edge, but not everyone buys his Joe Schmoe act
Blue-collar Scranton’s been swinging behind him lately, but die-hard Trump turncoats should still be a worry
Most Americans know Scranton, a beleaguered industrial centre in the heartland of Pennsylvania, as the setting for the US version of The Office. But as the Democratic National Convention dominates TV broadcasts this week, they will be hearing a lot more about the town.
Scranton is where Joe Biden was born, in a modest grey-blue clapboard house, and it is central to his political story. He credits it with forming his character. It is also exactly the kind of battleground he has to win in the presidential election in November.
For decades the gritty town bled Democrat blue. But in 2016, working-class voters in Scranton, which is overwhelmingly white, swung by a huge 22 points to Donald Trump. Such swings were repeated across the “rust belt” states, delivering shock, razor-thin victories for Trump in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, and sending him to the White House...