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State Republicans ‘Confident’ Pennsylvania Will Go For Trump, Says PA Party Chair

Evan Vucci
State Republican Party chair Lawrence Tabas says President Trump “appeals to Democrats, independents, and Republicans” in the upcoming election. ";s:


On today's program: State Republicans strategize to hold on to Pennsylvania in the general election; StoryCorps’ One Small Step project aims to bring people with differing views together; and a One Small Step conversation between two Pittsburghers. 

State Republicans hope Pennsylvania will go for Trump again in 2020
(00:00 — 7:52)

In 2016, then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump turned Pennsylvania red for the first time in 28 years. He won the state by 44,000 votes—a 0.7 percent margin over Hillary Clinton.

While recent polls show President Trump trails Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden by near double digits in Pennsylvania, Republicans remain confident he will capture Pennsylvania again, saysstate Republican Party chairLawrence Tabas.

“We have seen the Democratic voter registration advantage in this state shrink by over 192,000 voters,” he says. “The president appeals to Democrats, independents, and Republicans, and that strategy and our grassroots effort we are confident will get him a much larger majority in Pennsylvania this time than he had in 2016.”

According to one recent poll, COVID-19 is the number one issue for Democratic voters in Pennsylvania, but the economy is the number one issue among all voters. Tabas says COVID-19 is “both a health crisis and an economic crisis.”

“The economy is our number one issue because that’s where we have to get this nation back on track,” he says. “That will help everybody recover from COVID 19 by providing additional resources.”

One Small Step project hopes to help people ‘connect with the humanity’ of those with differing beliefs
(7:53 — 18:01)

The divisive political rhetoric has intensified in the country from conversations about the pandemic to the economic shutdown to racial and social injustice.


A new StoryCorps project in Pittsburgh calledOne Small Step is bringing people across the country with differing views together for a conversation.

“The idea is that they will disagree, and that’s the reason that they need to sit down,” saysJacqueline Van Meter, the Radio Relations Manager with One Small Step.

Van Meter says the project’s mission is to help people remember that those with whom they disagree are human beings. 

“People who sign up for this want to talk to someone different from them and they want to see if there’s a way that they can connect with the humanity of someone, even if they staunchly disagree with them.”

In the first installment of One Small Step, 31-year-old Jon Durfee of Mars, Butler County says his Christian faith influences his political leanings. And for 28-year-old Emily Miller from Shaler, it’s her personal experience that’s shaped her world view.

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in weekdays at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here or wherever you get your podcasts. 


Kevin Gavin is the host of WESA's news interview program "The Confluence." He is a native Pittsburgher and served as news director for 90.5 WDUQ for 34 years. Since the sale of the radio station by Duquesne University to Pittsburgh EPM, Inc. (now Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting Corp.), he served as Executive Producer of Special News Projects prior to being named as host of "The Confluence" five years ago.
Marylee is the editor/producer of The Confluence, the daily public affairs show on WESA. She got her start in journalism at The Daily Reveille and KLSU while attending Louisiana State University. She took her passion for audio journalism to UC Berkeley's graduate program and worked in public radio at WPR in Madison, WI, and WOSU in Columbus, Ohio.
Julia Zenkevich is a general assignment reporter for 90.5 WESA. She first joined the station as a production assistant on The Confluence, and more recently served as a fill-in producer for The Confluence and Morning Edition. She’s a life-long Pittsburgher, and attended the University of Pittsburgh. She can be reached at
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