Local political science professor discusses shifting politics in states like Georgia

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Grove City College Political Science Professor Michael Coulter said he has noticed a shift in recent years -- even in Pennsylvania

Rev. Raphael Warnock at a campaign event with President-elect Joe Biden in Atlanta, Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(WYTV) – One local political expert said he is not surprised to see what had been a traditionally “red” state like Georgia changing colors.

Voters there elected their first Black Democrat to the U.S. Senate.

Grove City College Political Science Professor Michael Coulter said he has noticed a shift in recent years — even in Pennsylvania where strongholds for one party have switched, effecting outcomes nationwide.

“That’s really the difference in the presidential election in Pennsylvania, is that in southwestern Pennsylvania, the suburban counties around Philadelphia used to be more Republican, and now they’re becoming more Democrat, so that’s like the bigger, longer-term change,” Coulter said.

Coulter said even in Mercer and Lawrence counties, which had long been Democrat strongholds, are now leaning more Republican.

Even though leaders of both parties have been predicting Democrat majorities in both the House and the Senate could mean sweeping changes, Coulter thinks Democrats may still have a difficult time pushing through their agenda.

“I think it would be hard to imagine a 50-50 Senate. The Democrats have a three- to four-seat majority in the House, having sweeping legislation. That only happens when you have large majorities,” he said.

Coulter said the strong political divide between Republicans and Democrats has been building for years and expects that will continue with both sides being polarized against each other.

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