Scranton, Pa.: home of The Office and Vice-Presidential Nominee Joe Biden. Wasilla, AK: home of hockey mom-turned-politician Sarah Palin and … and breathtaking views of Russia.
Tomorrow’s election has long been the hot topic in the media. Voters know everything about the candidates: their experiences, their positions on the issues, and even their families and their hometowns.
Scranton has a population of 72,861, 93.5 percent of which is white, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
“One thing I don’t like as much about Scranton is that it’s not as diverse in terms of ethnicity and even in terms of age,” Amy Chan ’10, a Scranton native, said. “There’s really a huge age gap because the majority of the people in my area are either middle aged or elderly. There are really not many youth who stick around.”
With Scranton’s small percentage of the minority and youth vote, the Obama-Biden campaign is seeking support from the white-collar middle class.
“It’s mostly true that we are all hard-working, white-collar, middle class people,” Chan said. “The people of Scranton see Joe Biden as one of them: a hard-working, normal guy who made it [this close to] the white house. I think they see him as someone who is for the middle class.”
“We stay loyal to those from our area, so I do think that Joe Biden being born and raised in Scranton will definitely have some impact on people,” Chan said.
“[Biden] came to Scranton for a rally over fall break, that I attended,” Doug Gibbons ’10, also from Scranton, said. “The crowd was really enthusiastic about him, they really got fired up when he spoke.”
“[Biden has] still maintained pretty good ties in Scranton. He still comes back to the Green Ridge section of town where he grew up. So I think all of Scranton is really excited. Certainly it was a great reception for him when he came a couple weeks ago,” Gibbons said.
This electoral race has shown that many voters care about the vice presidential candidates as much as they do about the presidential candidates.
“I think in general, be it Joe Biden or Sarah Palin, the choice of VP says a lot about the [presidential] candidates,” Chan said. “I know personally, my godparents, who weren’t going to vote for Obama, who were going to vote for McCain, changed their minds once McCain announced his VP pick.”
“Now whenever I tell people I’m from Scranton and they ask about The Office, I say also, ‘And the childhood home of your next vice president, Joe Biden!’” Gibbons said.