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Philadelphia Gears Up for Controversial Midterm Elections – And What’s Next – National

The Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church is located in a green area in northwest Philadelphia. A 30-minute drive from downtown takes you through narrow, winding roads through autumn-coloured Fairmont Park, along the Schuylkill River and the quiet neighborhoods of Germantown.

The Enon Tabernacle is a massive building, said to be the largest African-American church in the state, with comfortable red-cushioned pews for thousands. Huge screens and speakers amplify the service, with a full band adding music to the prayers.

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It’s a place of calm and tranquility, and one feels very detached from the difficult political battles going on across America. had.

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Sitting in his office between morning services, Waller points to a black-and-white photo of him as a child sitting with Martin Luther King Jr. This photo was taken of him in 1967, just before King’s assassination.

Reflecting on America’s political agenda in 2022, Waller says his generation, who first grew up in the civil rights era, may have forgotten some of the lessons leaders like King tried to teach them. He expressed concern that no

“If I want to be like you,” Waller said to a white reporter. If I want people to see me the way you do, I have to be better than you.

“That’s how I was raised. And I think we raised it to say to our kids. Now it’s all clear and we got it right,” Waller said.

“And I think that’s part of the animus and the anger that our kids have because things like this hit them and they’re confused.”

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Whatever the outcome of Tuesday’s election, Waller said he and his community need to be prepared. They have to worry about the organization turning their backs on them, threatening hard-won victories on the issue, he said. And, unlikely, will there be a “blue wave”?

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Waller said of the growing potential for political violence in America, “We will have to deal with the anarchist problem.

“We have to be organized and ready to protect our neighborhoods and protect our children.”

But King’s photo reminded Waller of something else.

“We remember being worse. Worse,” Waller said.

“And we won then.”

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Pennsylvania is one of the hottest states this election cycle because the stakes are so high.

Not coincidentally, it’s also one of 10 states identified by the bipartisan Brennan Center for Justice as being particularly at risk of voter intimidation and “voting process disruption.”

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A thorny battle for the Senate seat vacated by Republican Pat Toomey has the potential to determine the fragile balance of power within that Senate.

The fierce competition pitted the state’s lieutenant governor, Democrat John Fetterman, against television personality Dr. Mehmet Oz. A television station in Philadelphia has been carpet bombed with ads for just both campaigns, most of which contain attacks that sound surprisingly negative to Canadians.

This file photo combination shows Democratic Senate candidate Pennsylvania Lieutenant John Fetterman (left) and Republican Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz in a 2022 photo.


Fetterman is leading by just 0.4% heading into Tuesday’s vote, according to poll analysis site FiveThirtyEight, and Oz has closed the gap significantly over the past three months.

The high stakes drew Biden and former presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump to Keystone State on Saturday, leaving everyone stumped for candidates in and around Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

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“Being grumpy and popular is not an option,” President Obama told an audience of hundreds in Pittsburgh.

“If we want to stop the destruction of our country and save the American Dream, we must vote for the Republican Party in a big red wave on Tuesday,” Trump said.

Rhetoric from both Democrats and Republicans frames these midterm elections as a matter of “success or failure” for the world’s ruling superpowers. Democrats say a Republican victory could collapse Social Security, further limit access to contraceptives and safe abortions, and open the way for tax cuts for the wealthy.

Republicans have expressed concern over the crime and economic struggles caused by inflation that dominate much of the world.

But Trump, falsely but repeatedly claiming to have won Pennsylvania in the 2020 presidential election, is said to have a particular animosity towards Pennsylvania.

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Rolling Stone last month cited multiple unnamed sources as saying that in the absence of a decisive winner in Tuesday night’s Pennsylvania Senate election, the former president and his supporters would go to “scorched earth” to contest the outcome. “The legal tactics of

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The magazine’s sources also suggest that Trump sees the 2022 midterm elections as a dress rehearsal for the kinds of tactics his supporters can deploy in the 2024 presidential election.

The Philadelphia Republican Party did not return Global’s request for an interview.

elicit voting efforts to combat voter fatigue

A group of about 50 workers gathered at Elmwood Park in West Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon for a lunch of hogies and snack-sized Doritos.

Members and volunteers of Unite Here, a union representing hotel workers, game workers and school cafeteria staff, the group was part of the 400 door knockers operating that day, Fetterman said. and hoped to spur votes for Democratic candidate Josh Shapiro. for the governor.

After a brief reprieve of sandwiches and speeches held around public art tribute to Philadelphia’s “American workers,” they resumed efforts to reopen the vote. Organizers said he already had 70,000 Democratic voters. He was three days away from the midterm elections and their goal was to get another 10,000.

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One organizer said they were not only rounding up their favorite candidates, but also trying to combat voter fatigue after nearly a decade of political turmoil across the country. Differences in how people live in places like West Philly.

Much of what Chantille Woodbury, one of the union’s leading investigators, hears on her doorstep, especially in the inner city, is about gun violence.

“Also, many parents don’t have anything for their kids to do,” says Woodberry.

“To me, it’s with gun violence because they’re bored. And now they’re out on the streets and there’s no after-school program, so they’re crazy.” They don’t have recreation centers or anything they can really excel at.”

Some organizers said the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the Roe v. Wade ruling, eliminate the constitutional right to abortion and pave the way for greater restrictions, was a significant issue. But Woodbury said it could be a difficult conversation at some doors, especially in communities with strong religious beliefs.

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“The way I approach people is, listen, abortion[the right to have]can be taken away. Whether you believe it’s right or not,” Woodbury said. .

Leaving West Philadelphia and returning to Midtown, among the rows of houses, the faded storefronts and fallen leaves, I saw a series of simple, clear statements about how some Americans view the current political climate. I had a memory.

There were some signs that said “Stop Racism”. “Vote on Nov. 8”

The signs are all over Philadelphia, and who is behind them is somewhat of a mystery. challenged to a rhetorical battle.

Billy Penn, a local non-profit newsroom, traces it back to a student group. “Paid by the Philadelphia Vote,” read the disclaimer at the bottom of the American political ad, but the newsroom was unable to find any such Political Action Committee record in its records.

Whoever is behind the sign, it’s dotted on the highway from the airport, in the Old City and Center City neighborhoods of Philadelphia, and in the predominantly black neighborhoods of West Philadelphia.

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The signs don’t directly mention who the “racists” are. But given the political climate in America in 2022, that probably won’t be necessary. Even if people don’t agree with the message, the meaning is understandable.

Signs also point to the political collapse the country is, and will continue to face, regardless of Tuesday’s outcome.

With files from AP.

Philadelphia Gears Up for Controversial Midterm Elections – And What’s Next – National

Source link Philadelphia Gears Up for Controversial Midterm Elections – And What’s Next – National

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