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This Week in Pennsylvania

This Week in PA is the only state-wide TV show covering hot topics in Pennsylvania policy and political — Sundays across the state.

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Watch Christopher’s take each week as the conservative commentator on the only state-wide show that focuses on PA politics and policy.

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This Week in Pennsylvania: Reopening economy, stimulus money, mail-in ballots

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US Election 2020: The view from Pennsylvania

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Pittsburgh Is Now the Progressive Beacon in the Keystone State

Op-Ed by Christopher Nicholas

Pennsylvania’s primary election proved to be a good day for liberal financier George Soros and his political operation, as well as for the Democratic establishment in Philadelphia. The bigger story, however, is that Western Pennsylvania’s Allegheny County supplanted Philly as the top progressive mecca in the state.

Trump Endorsement of Parnell a Two-Edged Sword in Pennsylvania

Op-Ed by Christopher Nicholas

Sean Parnell recently snagged the endorsement of former President Donald Trump for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania. A decorated Army veteran and best-selling author, Parnell was also endorsed by Trump in his unsuccessful 2020 congressional race against Conor Lamb in PA-17 – so this latest Trump endorsement was not a total surprise.

PA Population trends favor Democrats this fall

Op-Ed by Christopher Nicholas
Catalyst Magazine:

New Census Bureau estimates of PA’s population shifts since the 2010 Census paint an encouraging picture for Democrats and a challenging one for Republicans as the parties prepare for the November general election and beyond.

Postponing PA’s primary is a mistake

Op-Ed by Christopher Nicholas
Philadelphia Inquirer:

Recent news reports say that Gov. Wolf and the Legislature have reached a deal to move the state’s primary from April 28 — five weeks from now — to June 2, due to the extent of the Covid-19 crisis.

But as a long-time GOP political consultant, I believe that is a mistake. The state could proceed with the April primary and still keep voters and poll workers safe. Here’s why…

Politicians Love to Claim Mandates They Don’t Really Have

Op-Ed by Christopher Nicholas
Harrisburg Patriot-News/Pennlive:

Politicians love mandates and often lay claim to them. But the key to actually wielding a political mandate is that other politicians must both acknowledge it and acquiesce to it.

The conundrum in the state’s continuing budget stalemate is that all parties involved – Gov. Tom Wolf along with GOP House Speaker Mike Turzai and GOP Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati — can legitimately lay claim to a mandate. Thus there’s lots of wielding but little acquiescing.

Trump is getting trounced among a crucial constituency: The haters


WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump is losing a critical constituency: voters who see two choices on the ballot — and hate them both.

Unlike in 2016, when a large group of voters who disliked both Trump and Hillary Clinton broke sharply for Trump, the opposite is happening now, according to public polling and private surveys conducted by Republicans and Democrats alike.


“It’s not 2016 anymore, OK?” said Christopher Nicholas, a longtime Republican consultant based in Pennsylvania. “There’s no way Joe Biden will be as bad a candidate as Hillary Clinton.”

PA Democrats don’t want to just beat Trump…

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

“Before he switched, I would have said both chambers are in play in 2020,” said Chris Nicholas, a veteran Republican consultant who worked for the party-switching U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter.

“Congratulations, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren,” Mr. Nicholas added, suggesting Mr. Yudichak may not have felt comfortable with the party’s drift to the left.

Katie McGinty as authentic as the plastic pink flamingos in your yard

Roll Call:

“She has all the charisma of the plastic pink flamingos people put in their yards, OK?” said Christopher Nicholas, who managed Specter’s 2010 campaign. “And no matter how many times she tells people she’s the 9th of 10 children and the daughter of a Philly cop and restaurant hostess, it just doesn’t get any better for her.”

The Low Down on PA’s New (2014) Legislative Districts

Op-Ed by Christopher Nicholas

Pittsburgh Democratic state Sen. Jim Ferlo who is now retiring, is a victim of the state’s decennial redistricting battle—a conflict that, because of numerous court challenges and trials, did not end until last May, more than a year behind schedule. That’s why the 2012 legislative elections were held under the old, 2001 boundaries.

What the 2010 PA. Census numbers revealed

The new census data out of Pennsylvania, released Wednesday, didn’t contain any significant surprises. But veteran GOP consultant Chris Nicholas parsed out these politically meaningful bullet points in a note to his mailing list:

  • only 3 counties west of State College have grown: Washington, Butler and tiny Forest.
  • the growth in the state is in the central Pa-Lehigh Valley-Philly Burbs triangle; Centre County and the far Poconos (Wayne and Pike).
  • Philly had a small gain in population while Pittsburgh had a steep decline…

PoliticsPa column:

The Shrinking Democrat Voter Registration Advantage & the dawn of ‘Citizen Redistricting’

Op-Ed by Christopher Nicholas

Now that the Census Bureau has re-apportioned America’s 435 Congressional districts among the states and Pennsylvania is set to lose a seat, the serious task of re-districting — a political process controlled by politicians — can begin.

Essentially the state’s 19 congressional districts must be redrawn into 18 districts. (The 203 state House and 50 state Senate districts must also be re-drawn.)

There’s an ‘art’ to redrawing the districts but there’s quite a bit of science involved too. And while the boundaries will be redrawn based on population figures the Census Bureau will release in April — voter registration figures in each precinct will ultimately guide the ins and outs of the process.

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