Pennsylvania 10th District
The northeast corner of Pennsylvania is a land of crevassed valleys and rugged mountains, criss-crossed by giant viaducts built for the railroads linking the East Coast with the Great Lakes and the mines to the big cities that heated their houses with the region’s anthracite coal. Except for a row of anthracite coal cities from Scranton to Wilkes-Barre, this part of Pennsylvania still has a wild look to it. The superstructure of railroads and Interstate 80 pass through an area that seems otherwise little touched by recent prosperity. The region has numerous long-established small towns, with solidly built courthouses and banks and elderly citizens. It’s a part of the Northeast that seems worlds away from the region’s huge central cities and growing suburbs. The biggest towns here are Lewisburg, home of Bucknell University and a major federal penitentiary, and Williamsport, home of the Little League World Series. Only at the eastern edge is there significant growth. Pike County on the Delaware River is the state’s fastest-growing county. It increased in population by 29% since 2000, mostly as a result of people fleeing high taxes in New Jersey and New York. The local Pocono Mountains are a destination for weekenders and, for a few days each November, for bear hunters. In the winter months, hunters in increasing numbers turn to tracking coyote in the fresh snow.
2008 Presidential Vote
|Cook Partisan Voting Index|
The 10th Congressional District of Pennsylvania includes all of northeast Pennsylvania except for Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and fast-growing Monroe County, which are in the 11th District. The area’s most consequential congressman was probably David Wilmot, who in the 1840s introduced the Wilmot Proviso barring slavery from the New Mexico and California Territories acquired in the Mexican War; this raised the issue of slavery in the territories which led proximately to the Civil War. Wilmot was a founder of the Republican Party. Most people in this part of Pennsylvania have been Republicans ever since. John McCain won the district with 54% in 2008, a sizable dip from George W. Bush’s 60% win in 2004.