Known as the “Electric City,” Scranton, Pennsylvania, was a major contributor to Donald Trump’s win in Pennsylvania in 2016. Scranton is part of Lackawanna County, traditionally a heavily blue area. In 2012, President Obama carried Lackawanna County with nearly 63 percent of the vote and by a margin of 26,753 votes over Mitt Romney. In 2016 Hillary Clinton won the county but with a small margin of 3,599 votes over Donald Trump. The swing of 23,154 votes to the Republican column accounted for a big chunk of Trump’s 44,000-plus vote margin of victory in Pennsylvania.
Students enrolled in NYU’s Master of Arts program in Business and Economic Reporting reported on Scranton’s political and economic pulse just before the elections of 2016. Two years later, a new class of graduate students returned to spend 48 hours in Scranton and report on the political climate as it relates to all aspects of life in Scranton during the midterm season. Through interviews with elected officials, business owners, activists, and visitors, our reporters take a deep dive into the ins and outs of Scranton’s politics, how voters are feeling midway into the Trump Presidency, and what this means for their midterm votes.