US primary elections show deepening political polarization

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US primary elections show deepening political polarization

By
Patrick Martin

17 May 2018

Primary elections held in four states Tuesday gave a glimpse of the continuing political polarization in the United States. Working people are moving to the left, expressed in a distorted way in the votes cast in the Democratic primaries for candidates claiming to be progressive and even “socialist.” But the Democratic Party’s main candidates in campaigns for federal office were drawn from the military-intelligence apparatus.

Media attention was focused on the results of the primary in Pennsylvania, by far the most populous state where votes were cast Tuesday. Pennsylvania has 18 congressional districts, compared to a total of 10 districts in the other three states combined, Oregon, Nebraska and Idaho.

In the statewide primary in Pennsylvania, incumbent US Senator Robert Casey and incumbent Governor Tom Wolf, both Democrats, were renominated without opposition. The Republican primary winners were Representative Lou Barletta, a Trump-style anti-immigrant demagogue, who will face Casey, and State Senator Scott Wagner, who will face Wolf.

The most hotly contested statewide race was the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor. Braddock Mayor John Fetterman, who had the backing of Bernie Sanders, defeated the incumbent, Michael J. Stack, who was under investigation for abuse of authority and financial irregularities. Governor Wolf adopted a position of neutrality, tacitly supporting Fetterman.

In the 2016 election, in addition to Trump’s narrow victory in Pennsylvania, giving him the state’s 20 electoral votes, Republicans won 13 of the 18 congressional seats in the state. But as the result of court-ordered redistricting, which struck down gerrymandered district…

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