Democrats in Biden’s home state switch to GOP: I didn’t vote for ‘Bernie Sanders lite’


A former Democrat in Pennsylvania broke his silence on why he became a Republican as tens of thousands of voters have ditched the party for the GOP in President Biden’s home state. 

Steve Kochanowski explained Friday why he decided to leave the party during “Fox & Friends,” emphasizing that the president has not followed through on what he promised. 

“This wasn’t the Joe Biden that I voted for in 2020. This Joe Biden is now a Bernie Sanders lite,” Kochanowski told host Joey Jones. 

“He came along, and he promised to be a unifier. He promised to bring the country together, and he’s done the exact opposite. And he’s let his own party dictate what he wants to do, when he should be dictating what he wants to do.”

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President Biden speaks about inflation and supply chain issues in Los Angeles.  (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Pennsylvania Democrats have been leaving the party in droves, a trend that could spell trouble for Biden’s re-election chances in 2024. 

As of Dec. 18, 35,589 Democrats re-registered as Republicans in the state so far this year; in contrast, only 15,622 Republicans switched to the Democratic Party, data from the State Department shows.

Just last month, Biden posted on X, “I don’t look at the economy through the eyes of Wall Street and Park Avenue. I look at it through the eyes of the people I grew up with in Scranton, Pennsylvania or Claymont, Delaware.”

But not all residents in Biden’s hometown agree with his handling of the economy as inflation continues to soar. 

Several Scranton, Pa., residents who spoke recently with Fox News Digital offered mostly critical, but some mixed reviews on the president’s comments.

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Local resident Kevin said he is disillusioned with most of the political class.

“I don’t think any of them see through the eyes of the people. I think all of them see it through the eyes of Washington,” he said. 

“[The economy] has gotten worse,” Kevin added, while noting he does not yet have a 2024 favorite.

“I’m a registered Democrat, but I’m not happy.”

Kochanowski echoed that sentiment. “Everybody’s hurting,” he said, explaining the frustrations of everyday Americans who are spending more and more at the grocery store each week. 

“A couple of years ago, you could go to a grocery store, you spend $100, you get a couple bags of groceries,” he noted.

“Now, you’re going into the grocery store and one bag of groceries, maybe you have not even a week’s worth of food there… and that’s for one person. … When you’re talking about a family, you may have a couple of days on that now.”

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President Joe Biden

President Joe Biden at the White House on December 13, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

He added that the Pittsburgh-area economy is “not working.” 

“We obviously have suffered some job losses here. … We’ve actually lost jobs in Pittsburgh since 2020… The economy isn’t working.”

Biden has faced fierce scrutiny in recent days for jet-setting to St. Croix to ring in the new year, all while various crises, including the migrant surge and inflation, plague the nation heading into 2024. 

His approval rating has suffered as a result. According to a Monmouth University poll, the president stands at 34% approval rating, with 61% giving Biden a thumbs down on his job performance.

Americans questioned in the survey gave the president particularly low marks for his handling of immigration (26% approval) and inflation (28% approval). 

Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser, Charles Creitz and Jamie Joseph contributed to this report.

 



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