Voter turnout was high throughout the region and long lines greeted some voters as they showed up to cast their ballots Tuesday for the general election. Montgomery Country reported a voter turnout of nearly 75 percent and neighboring counties are projecting similar numbers.
After a long and sometimes bitter campaign, President Barack Obama was elected to a second term with a solid majority of at least 303 electoral votes despite the nation’s high unemployment and sluggish growth. He becomes the first Democrat to win re-election since World War II with unemployment as high as it is now (7.9 percent) and avoided the fate of former presidents George H. W. Bush and Jimmy Carter, who both lost their bids for re-election during a bad economy.
While Obama stormed past former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in the battle for electoral votes (303–206), the popular vote was closer. According to CBS News, as of late Wednesday morning the tally was 58.9 million for Obama and 56.5 million for Romney.
Obama was able to keep the support of his demographic coalition of young voters, minorities and women. According to ABC news, the president hung on to massive support from African-American voters where exit polls showed 93 percent backed the president. The New York Times reports that the president won the Hispanic vote by 44 percentage points – 8 more percentage points than in 2008.
In Pennsylvania, 2.8 million voters cast their ballot for President Obama with 2.6 million voting for Romney.
Each candidate raised more than $1 billion for their campaigns and, according to USA Today, it is estimated that more than $5 billion was spent by political action groups and other donors.
In the Pennsylvania race for US senator, Democratic incumbent Bob Casey Jr. topped Republican challenger Tom Smith with 2.9 million votes against Smith’s 2.4 million.
In the contest for the 8th district congressional seat, incumbent Republican Mike Fitzpatrick held back the challenge from Democrat Kathy Bookvar to win reelection by a 199,283—152,515 count. The 8th district encompasses all of Bucks County and, as of 2013, parts of Montgomery County, including most of the Upper Perkiomen Valley.
In the 6th district race, incumbent Republican Jim Gerlach won a sixth term in office by holding off Democratic challenger Manan Trevedi (183,647—138,688). The 6th district includes parts of Berks, Montgomery, Chester and Lebanon counties.
Incumbent Republican Charlie Dent was reelected to the 15th district congressional seat with a win over Democrat Richard Daugherty (165,629–126,661). The district includes parts of Berks, Dauphin, Lebanon, Northampton and Lehigh counties, including Upper and Lower Milford townships.
Pennsylvania Democrats swept the three state row offices with Kathleen Kane topping Republican candidate David Freed for attorney general (3,005,022—2,227,836), becoming the first Democrat to be voted in since it became an elected position in 1980 and first woman selected to the post by voters.
In the race for auditor general, Eugene DePasquale narrowly beat Republican John Maher (2,623,29–2,454,802). Democratic State Treasurer Rob McCord was reelected to a second term by topping Republican challenger Diana Vaughan (2,762,278–2,454,802).
Democratic incumbent Judy Schwank won over Republican Karen Mogel in the race for state senator from the 11th Distict (61,565–33,764). The district includes the boroughs of Bally, Bechtelsville, Boyertown and Hereford and Washington townships.
In area races for the seats in the Pa. state House, Republican Marcy Toepel retained her seat in the 147th district with a win over Democrat Betty White (19,552–12,288). The 147th district includes most of the Upper Perkiomen Valley, Douglass Township and part of New Hanover Township.
Republican incumbent Justin Simmons held on to win a close race over Democrat Kevin Deely in the contest for the 131st district (14,226–13,664). The district includes parts of Northampton and Lehigh counties, including Lower and Upper Milford townships and the borough of Coopersburg.
Democrat Mark Painter hung on for a close victory over incumbent Republican Thomas Quigley in the 146th district (14,801–14,585). Quigley held the office for the past eight years. The district includes Limerick, Royersford, Pottstown, Lower Pottsgrove, Upper Pottsgrove and part of New Hanover Township.
Democrat incumbent Matt Bradford had little trouble keeping his seat in the 70th district, besting Republican Jim Phillips (20,442–11,086). The district includes Lower Salford, Worcester and parts of Skippack and East Norriton townships as well as Norristown borough.
In the race for the seat in the 131st district, Republican incumbent Paul Clymer was easily re-elected in a race against Democrat Mary Whitesell (19,639–10,711). Clymer has held the seat since 1981.
All ballot totals are as of late Wednesday morning and unofficial until certified.