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Democrats, Latinos flexed muscle for Obama in Pa.

Associated Press Published: November 7, 2012

Before the election, Republican strategists had said Romney, to win Pennsylvania, would need to keep his vote deficit in the Democratic bastion of Philadelphia to fewer than 400,000, lose Allegheny County by no worse than 10 percentage points and fight to a draw in Philadelphia's heavily populated suburban counties, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery.

Instead, Obama won Philadelphia by about 465,000 votes, beat Romney 57 percent to 42 percent in Allegheny County and took Philadelphia's suburbs by about 120,000 votes, according to near-complete, preliminary returns. All told, about 66 percent of the state's nearly 8.5 million voters cast a vote in the presidential race, a little below 2008's 68 percent turnout. In Philadelphia, the state's largest city, about 61 percent of nearly 1.1 million registered voters cast ballots.

A strong Latino vote for Obama helped, too.

While Latino voters were a small slice of the voters on Tuesday — about 6 percent, according to the exit polls — Obama's strong support from Latinos was important because they are a growing part of the Pennsylvania electorate.

Miguel Concepcion of the Philadelphia chapter of the National Congress of Puerto Rican Rights said Latinos voted in "unprecedented numbers" in Pennsylvania on Tuesday. Younger Latinos, he said, are becoming increasingly engaged in voting and Obama connected with them better than Romney.

"I tell you, from morning until the end, the traditional polling sites of Latinos were packed with Latinos," said Concepcion, who toured polling places in six traditional Latino wards in north and lower north Philadelphia. "They were waiting in lines."


Associated Press reporter Joe Mandak in Pittsburgh contributed to this report.