Philadelphia fails to secure Clinton victory in Pennsylvania

Having their picture taken at the annual Election Day luncheon at Relish restaurant in West Oak Lane are (seated) Elizabeth Graves; Jenifer Cureton; and (standing) Josh Shapiro, Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania attorney general, and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney.

Hillary Clinton hoped to use Philadelphia as the bedrock for her presidential win in Pennsylvania.

That bedrock failed Tuesday. Clinton lost to Donald Trump by a percentage point with 99 percent of the state's votes tallied.

Clinton, who accepted the Democratic nomination in July during her party's convention in Philadelphia, closed out her campaign Monday evening with more than 30,000 supporters at a rally on Independence Mall.

Ed Rendell, the former mayor of Philadelphia and governor of Pennsylvania and a longtime political ally in Clinton's White House aspirations, said he did not expect her to exceed President Obama's 2012 margin of victory in the city. Obama defeated Mitt Romney and two smaller-party candidates in 2012 with a 486,000-vote margin.

Rendell said his goal was for Clinton to win 400,000 more votes than Trump in the city while doubling Obama's 2012 margin of about 120,000 votes over Romney in the near suburban counties - Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery.

Clinton was on track to exceed Rendell's goals in Philadelphia, according to unofficial returns that showed her with a 455,065 lead on Trump in the city with 98.5 percent of the vote tallied.

Trump outperformed Romney's 2012 take in the city by nearly 9,000 votes.

In Philadelphia's suburbs, Clinton appeared to be falling short of Rendell's hopes, according to unofficial results that showed no fire wall for a victory, despite strong leads in all but Bucks County.

While Southeastern Pennsylvania has been an engine of electoral success for statewide elections for decades, Trump's focus on immigration and the controversial language he used to spread that message cast a spotlight on Berks and Lehigh Counties, where the state's largest population of Latino and Hispanic voters lives.

David L. Cohen, a senior executive president at Comcast Corp. and a driving force behind election victories in the state for Rendell and Obama, said he expected stronger voter turnout Tuesday by Latinos and Hispanics but tempered his expectations.

"Hispanics have voted so poorly historically in Pennsylvania that it's not going to take much to have a Hispanic surge," he said. "In the end, I don't think that is what's going to drive a Hillary Clinton victory in Pennsylvania."

Trump easily bested Clinton in Berks County, with 97.5 percent of the vote tallied there.

Results from Lehigh County were dribbling in too slowly to show which way the presidential race would go there.

Anger was on the agenda for Tuesday's election, driven in large part by Trump's tempestuous campaign rhetoric.

Mayor Kenney, at an Election Day luncheon, predicted the anger would benefit Clinton.

"There's a lot of angry women out there, and rightfully angry, and a lot of Latino folks that are rightfully angry, a lot of African American folks who are rightfully angry today, and they're standing out there [at polling places] for long periods of time with great patience waiting to do what they've been waiting to do for the last 18 months: send a message to that guy," Kenney said of Trump.

Adanjesus Marin, Pennsylvania director of Make the Road, a Latino advocacy group, said more than 100 canvassers made three waves of visits to homes in Berks and Lehigh Counties, knocking on 55,000 doors to meet with 17,320 voters.

"There is just no question that the community is really going all out," he said while trying to arrange for more Spanish-language translators at Allentown polling places. "There's no question that Donald Trump is contributing to the enthusiasm in our community."

Marin said that the Hispanic and Latino vote is not "monolithic" but that it was common to knock on the doors of 70 homes in a day and meet with just one or two Latinos who were supporting Trump.

"I've never seen anything like this," he said.

In Fairhill, a North Philadelphia neighborhood that is 80 percent Latino and largely Puerto Rican, the bigger than normal voter turnout was a backlash against Trump, according to Debbie Toro, a Seventh Ward Democratic committeewoman whose parents were born in Puerto Rico.

While Trump focused his fire on deporting Mexicans, Toro said he misjudged how much empathy and intermarriage there is among Spanish speakers.

"Puerto Rican-Dominican, Dominican-Mexican, you have mixed families everywhere," Toro said. "Nobody wants to lose a mother or a sister-in-law or a cousin [to deportation]. Going after Mexicans was interpreted as going after all of us. The Hispanic community at large took offense."

brennac@phillynews.com

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@ByChrisBrennan

Staff writers Julia Terruso and Michael Matza contributed to this article.