Obama wins Pa., extends Democratic streak
February 19. 2013 3:58PM
He extended the state's streak of supporting Democrats to six elections and protected a key Democratic Party stepping stone to the White House.
Obama's victory in Pennsylvania was his second straight after beating Republican John McCain in 2008 by 10 percentage points.
Pennsylvania is a top Electoral College prize, tied with Illinois for the fifth-most votes, and is traditionally treated as a battleground state. But the candidates nevertheless ignored it for much of the campaign after Romney was unable to wipe out Obama's persistent polling leads.
Then, in the last week of the campaign, Romney and Republican allies blitzed the state with ads and Romney himself visited for a Sunday night rally that drew thousands to Bucks County before dropping in on Pittsburgh on Election Day.
The Obama campaign was heavily outspent in the last week, but responded with TV ads of its own and dispatched former President Bill Clinton to barnstorm the state the day before the election.
Harry Truman in 1948 was the last Democratic presidential candidate to lose Pennsylvania but win the election. Republican George W. Bush lost Pennsylvania twice, in 2000 and 2004, but won the Electoral College both times.
The Democratic Party went into the election with a built-in registration advantage of 4-3 over Republicans, partly because of the state's industrial history that gave rise to big cities and labor unions that traditionally favor Democrats.
The last Republican presidential candidate to win Pennsylvania was George H.W. Bush in 1988.