Welcome to my diary series titled Majority Savers! I will run a new article every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The goal of this series is to highlight races that may make or break our current slender majorities in Congress. That means I will start more with incumbent Senators and House members until some primary elections are settled. If I have time, I will expand it to governors as well in critical swing states.
If you want to find my previous entries in this series, I recommend following me or searching for #MajoritySavers as a tag!
I have six ground rules behind the philosophy of this series. I’d ask you all to respect them as best you can, because these are taking me quite a long time to write. Here are my ground rules.
This incumbent replaced a so-called “moderate” Republican during the 2018 blue wave election. She had another tough campaign in 2020, barely holding on while Biden barely won the district. Rep. Susan Wild is one of our most vulnerable incumbents in 2022, which is why Majority Savers is heading to the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania to highlight her race in the 7th district!
Rep. Susan Wild doesn’t have much of a biography, which makes this section difficult to write. I will do my best to highlight her background, as she deserves the same treatment other candidates get!
- She was born on an Air Force base in Germany, and moved around repeatedly in childhood to various military installations as her dad was in the Air Force. That’s why when she finally settled in the Lehigh Valley, she could call it home.
- She went to American University for her undergraduate studies, and then graduated with a law degree from George Washington University. This happened all while volunteering for President Jimmy Carter’s 1876 presidential campaign.
- In 2015, she became the solicitor of Allentown, which was a first for the Lehigh Valley. She was in private practice with various law firms up until that point. It was this springboard that launched her career in 2018 to become a member of Congress.
Rep. Susan Wild has a DW Nominate score of -0.314, which indicates a liberal with some pragmatic tendencies. She is just slightly right of center when considering only the Democratic caucus. She is more liberal than 64% of the entire House membership, and when only considering the Democratic caucus, she is more conservative than 69% of her Democratic colleagues.
Health Care and Abortion: Wild is a proponent of a public option and of expanding the open enrollment period for the ACA. She is at the front lines of both the opioid crisis, and is looking into ways to solve this problem for the citizens of her district. She is pro-choice, which is critically important when the Supreme Court is gutting our rights all around.
Unions and Labor: As a representative of the Rust Belt, Wild wants to make it easier for workers to organize, and she was proud to co-sponsor the PRO Act. She also is big on securing funding for training programs to retrain workers for 21st century manufacturing jobs. Finally, she is suspicious of so called “free trade” deals, as many Rust Belt representatives are.
Education: Wild thinks that the student debt crisis is one of the largest problems going forward, and is looking at ways to alleviate the debt without cancelling it altogether. She is a proponent of more public school funding and expanding access to preschool programs and Head Start programs also.
Recent Elections —
2020 President: Joe Biden (D) 49.7%, TFG (R-inc) 49.1%
2020 House: Susan Wild (D-inc) 51.9%, Lisa Scheller (R) 48.1%
2022 Race Rating: Tossup
2022 PVI: R+2
The Lehigh Valley has been a swingy area of Pennsylvania for a while now, as it usually supports Democratic candidates for president and “moderate members” of the GQP such as former Rep. Charlie Dent. Pennsylvania’s districts have shifted around so much and have been redrawn so many times that it is difficult to get historical trends on the counties, but it is a safe bet that Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama carried this district during their presidential runs. What is less clear is if GW Bush or his challengers carried this area.
In the era of TFG, this version of the district was narrowly carried by him (49-47) during his 2016 presidential run when he shockingly shattered the blue wall and carried Pennsylvania among other states. Being held under 50% meant that the building blue wave could reach even this district, and Rep. Susan Wild took advantage of a friendlier map drawn by the courts to come to Congress.
Wild had to endure presidential turnout in a marginal district during the 2020 campaign. She was barely able to fend off Lisa Scheller while Biden barely carried the district, both if which were well below expectations. This is why the district is one of the most endangered seats for us to defend, and some prognosticators (not me!) think this district will flip in 2022 back to GQP control.
Political Tour of the District
This district traded some of its blue turf with the fellow 8th district to make them equal in population. Thus, the 7th district, which was already marginal, was further weakened by 2020 redistricting. This court drawn map still gives us a chance at winning this district, which cannot be said about any map the GQP state legislature would have come up with.
Here’s where this race will be won in the 7th district.
- Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton: These three cities are the core of the Democratic vote in the district, and are the core cities of the Lehigh Valley. It is critical that Rep. Susan Wild turn over every stone and find every available vote from these anchors of the district to offset areas which have become hostile to us.
- Lehigh Valley suburbs: The suburbs and townships surrounding the three core cities above are very important for Wild. They voted for TFG in 2016 and Biden in 2020. Which way they decide to lean for the 2022 midterms will determine whether or not Wild will remain in Congress.
Here’s where we need to keep the margins down, or we lose.
- Rural Lehigh Valley: The northern portion of both Lehigh and Northampton counties has turned against us, going from a swing area in the Obama era to hostile turf that supported TFG twice in both of his runs. Wild will have to limit her losses as much as she can here.
- Carbon County: This county is coal country, as the name of the county suggests. It used to be a Democratic stronghold back when mining unions held sway, but just like coal producing areas elsewhere, it has shifted into very hostile turf for Democratic candidates. Wild is best off ignoring this county and concentrating efforts on the three big cities in the district.
Activism — Help How You Can!
Thankfully, Rep. Susan Wild is aware of the peril that she is in and is fundraising very strongly so far. She brought in an excellent amount in Quarter 1, gaining a cold hard $898k to place in her campaign coffers. Her GQP opponent, Lisa Scheller, could not raise half that amount, and she had a contested primary to deal with. Dark money will likely fill in the gaps for Scheller as Republicans push for Congress.
Wild also has a strong campaign war chest, having stockpiled $2.35 MILLION in cash on hand. Scheller, on the other hand, has $1.25 MILLION on hand herself, likely boosted by running in the district before and sitting on that previous cash. This race will likely get nasty and expensive, which is why Susan Wild is worth a small donation if you can afford it.
DONATE TO REP. SUSAN WILD HERE
If you are in the Lehigh Valley, it is important to volunteer for her campaign if you have the time. Not only will you be helping her remain in Congress, but you will be assisting Josh Shapiro keep the governor chair in our hands, as well as John Fetterman flip the Senate seat! You can volunteer here at https://wildforcongress.com/get-involved. It will be worth it to volunteer as it is all hands on deck!
As for her social media efforts, Rep. Susan Wild needs a bit of a boost from you and me. She has an acceptable 9,130 followers on her Twitter account, meaning she could use more people to get out her message. She does a lot more retweeting than original messaging, which worries me.
The only other social media I could find was a Facebook page, which can be found at wildforcongress. She needs to expand to more platforms ASAP.
Thank you for spending the time to read about our incumbent for Pennsylvania’s 7th district, Rep. Susan Wild! She definitely has the means and the record to protect this district, even though it will be a hard slog. This is the 30th (out of around 100!) articles I have written, and without loyal readers, I would have stopped long ago!
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