Inside Pennsylvania's Vote

(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)

JB: Boss, let me take you one more time to the well.

BE: Huh?

JB: A deep look inside Pennsylvania's vote for president.

BE: Old news. Last week. Move on.

JB: No, no. Trust me. This is interesting.


JB: For example, you know the narrative that this race was split between the haves and the have-nots?

BE: My eyelids feel heavy.

JB: Well, when you look at counties where the median household income (which is $50,398 in Pennnsylvania, according to U.S. Census data) is above the state average, guess what you find?

BE: Bunch of boring rich counties?

JB: You find that among counties with the highest household incomes Romney won 10 and Obama won 7. Romney took Chester (the highest at $84,741; and he took it very narrowly, by just one-half of one percent), Adams, Berks, Butler, Cumberland, Lancaster, Lebanon, Pike and York; Obama took Bucks, Dauphin, Delco, Lehigh, Montco, Monroe and Northampton.

BE: So the have/have-not thing doesn't really hold.

JB: And when you look at the poorest counties, guess what you find?

BE: A similar split?

JB: Not exactly. Obama took only one of the state's 10 poorest counties, Philadelphia. Romney won nine: Fayette (the poorest), Forest (the second poorest; Philly's third), Clearfield, Jefferson, Mifflin, Northumberland, Potter, Sullivan and Venango.

BE: Rural folk. Makes sense.

JB: And you know what the most interesting county result was?

BE: I imagine you're about to tell me.

JB: Centre County (just click on the map), home of Penn State, split 49-49 with Romney winning by 20 votes out of about 68,000 cast.

BE: We Are!...Conflicted!

JB: Overall, Obama carried just 12 counties and Romney carried 55; and Obama won the state by a margin of 5.2 percent, which is exactly half the 10.4 percent he won by in 2008.

BE: Can i go now?

JB: Yes. And have a fact-filled day.