Where the Wave Begins

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Posted: Oct 12, 2021 12:01 AM

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MIDLAND, Pennsylvania — For as much cash and strategy as partisans put into creating a wave for their own parties, they always seem to miss where the ripple starts and why.

Part of the reason they miss it is that they are in Washington and not in places such as this one.

Midland is a borough in Beaver County — an urban area that hugs the Ohio River. It boomed for 50 years during the peak of the Industrial Revolution, but it has lost population ever since the collapse of industry beginning in the 1970s. The racial breakdown, black to white, mirrors that of the entire state. Most of the people here want the same things people have always wanted here — opportunity for themselves and a good education for their children.

Every couple of years, people here vote for whoever vows convincingly to bring those aspirations to them. Every couple of years, they are disappointed yet again and look for hope elsewhere.

Since 2006,

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