The Fix: Pennsylvania

The GOP's big electoral vote gambit, explained

The GOP's big electoral vote gambit, explained

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus voiced support over the weekend for an effort to reform how some states award their electoral votes.

And the effect of the movement should not be underestimated.

Below, we take you through the particulars of the effort, what it would mean, and why it will or won't happen.

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The 7 most important counties in Election 2012

The 7 most important counties in Election 2012

Election junkies are about to get bombarded with data, starting at 6 p.m. Eastern Time, when the first polls close in Kentucky and Indiana.

But how to follow it all?

Below, The Fix highlights seven bellwether counties in critical swing states that will give us a good idea who is about to become the next president.

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Rep. Mark Critz offers extended shoe-in-rear-end metaphor

Rep. Mark Critz offers extended shoe-in-rear-end metaphor

Rep. Mark Critz (D-Pa.), one of the most vulnerable members of Congress in today's election, is a little fired up.

Check that: A lot fired up.

Critz offered this doozy of a metaphor at a rally Monday with union members, according to the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat:

"We're going to put my size 10 1/2 shoe up Keith Rothfus' rear end. So, when he goes back to Grover Norquist, and (NRCC Chairman Pete) Sessions, and (House Speaker John) Boehner, and (House Majority Leader Eric) Cantor and Mitt Romney, he can say, Can you read this? What size shoe is this?' because it's going to come out of his mouth I'm going to shove it so far up there.

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Romney adds Election Day campaign stops in Ohio, Pennsylvania

Obama dodges a Sandy pitfall in Philadelphia

Obama dodges a Sandy pitfall in Philadelphia

Hurricane Sandy has wrought havoc on New Jersey and New York, leaving destruction, flooding, power outages and weeks of clean-up behind.

As for the 2012 election, though, it appears to have largely spared the states (relatively speaking, of course) that will determine the presidency — most notably, Pennsylvania.

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Swing state polls show Obama up five in Ohio, four in Pennsylvania

Swing state polls show Obama up five in Ohio, four in Pennsylvania

President Obama continues to hold slight leads in the crucial battleground states of Ohio and Pennsylvania, while the equally critical races in Florida and Virginia are too close to call, according to a new crop of swing state polls.

CBS News/New York Times:

Florida: Obama 48, Romney 47

Ohio: Obama 50, Romney 45

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Democratic groups build a firewall in Pennsylvania

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EARLIER ON THE FIX: 

Why neither Obama nor Romney will ‘pull out’ of any swing state

Brutal 9/11 ad takes center stage in Wisconsin Senate race

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Everything you need to know about the Pennsylvania voter ID fight

Everything you need to know about the Pennsylvania voter ID fight

Voter ID is an increasingly contentious issue in the 2012 election, and nowhere is that more the case than in Pennsylvania.

A lower court on Tuesday halted implementation of the law for November’s election, raising concerns that it might disenfranchise legal voters. If the law is not enforced, whatever chance Mitt Romney had of carrying the state would likely be jeopardized. It could also hurt downballot Republicans.

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The almost-competitiveness of Arizona and Pennsylvania

The almost-competitiveness of Arizona and Pennsylvania

We’re getting to that point in the presidential campaign when we start second-guessing ourselves about which swing states are, well, swing states.

Just this week, Democrats have started whispering (again) that they might try to expand the map by pursuing red-leaning Arizona, and Mitt Romney said Friday that he expects to win in a blue-leaning state, Pennsylvania.

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Poll shows Florida joining Obama’s swing state surge

While all the swing state have begun moving toward President Obama in the polls, the biggest swing state remained very close. Even that might be changing now.

A new poll from CBS News, the New York Times and Quinnipiac University shows Obama extending his leads in the key states of Ohio and Florida, while also being up big in Pennsylvania. The Florida poll, in particular, is notable because that state hasn’t trended toward Obama as much as others have.

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New poll shows Obama with significant lead in swing states of Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania

President Obama has cracked 50 percent and is leading presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney in a trio of key swing states, according to new polling.

The CBS News/New York Times/Quinnipiac University polls show Obama ahead of Romney in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, all by at least six points. Obama is up in Florida 51 percent to 45 percent; in Ohio 50 percent to 44 percent; and in Pennsylvania by double digits — 53 percent to 42 percent .

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Obama’s immigration decision turns off voters in three swing states

President Obama’s decision to exempt young illegal immigrants from deportation may not be the electoral boon it’s cracked up to be.

And in fact, it appears to be turning off more voters than it mobilizes in three key states, according to new polling from Quinnipiac University.

The Quinnipiac polls in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania show that, while most voters still like the policy and Obama continues to lead Mitt Romney in all three states, the opposition to the move appears to be significantly more motivated by it — particularly in the two Midwestern states.

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Rick Santorum huddles with conservative leaders, ponders future in race

Rick Santorum huddles with conservative leaders, ponders future in race

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum met with conservative leaders Thursday in Northern Virginia to discuss his path forward in the Republican presidential race, according to sources familiar with the gathering.

The conversation focused on the struggling candidacy of former House speaker Newt Gingrich and whether a final push could be made to unite conservatives and stop the likely nomination of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. The idea of Santorum leaving the race was not raised.

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Poll shows Romney has cut Santorum’s lead in Pennsylvania

Mitt Romney has closed to within striking distance of Rick Santorum in Santorum’s home state of Pennsylvania, according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University.

The poll shows Santorum leading Romney 41 percent to 35 percent in the Keystone State, which is shaping up as the main battleground of the April 24 primaries— the next set of contests after today’s primaries in Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

The poll is the second to show Romney closing in on Santorum in Pennsylvania. Last week, a poll from Franklin and Marshall College showed the two candidates in a statistical tie.

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Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Todd Platts to retire

Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Todd Platts to retire

Rep. Todd Platts (R-Pa.) will announce today that he will not seek reelection this year, according to a local Republican who received a call from the congressman.

Former Cumberland County GOP Chairman Dick Stewart told The Fix that Platts called him early this afternoon to give him the news.

“He said he’s been thinking about retiring for some time,” Stewart said. “He felt his children were of an age where he wanted to spend some more time with them.”

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Name that District contest: Pennsylvania’s 7th district

Freshman Rep. Pat Meehan (R-Pa.) should be quite a bit safer in his reelection bid, thanks to some very creative line-drawing by Pennsylvania Republicans.
(Courtesy of Daniel McGlone)

Meehan’s Delaware County-based 7th district, which is currently a relatively aesthetically pleasing blob just west of Philadelphia, turns into a Rorschach Test of a district under a redistricting proposal released last week that shores up Meehan and other Philadelphia-area Republicans.

The district zigs and zigs around the area now — only several hundred feet wide at certain points — bringing areas of five counties into a relatively small suburban district that now includes both areas close to Philadelphia and rural Lancaster County.

But what does it look like to you? We want to know!

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Pennsylvania GOP releases strong redistricting map

Pennsylvania Republicans on Tuesday released a surprisingly strong proposed congressional map, on which the GOP could expand on its current advantage in the state’s delegation.

With the GOP controlling 12 of 19 districts in a nominally blue state, and the state losing a seat thanks to population shifts, it was assumed that the GOP would focus its power over redistricting on shoring up its current 12 members and likely not be able to add new opportunities. That likelihood was reinforced by the party’s overreach when it drew the map in 2001 and stretched itself too thin.

But along with shoring up several vulnerable members — most to a significant degree — the GOP was able to create a very winnable district in western Pennsylvania, where the winner of a primary between Democratic Reps. Jason Altmire and Mark Critz will face another battle in the general election.

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Could Pennsylvania Republicans end the electoral college as we know it?

Republican leaders in Pennsylvania are pushing forward with a plan that would change that way the state awards its electoral votes for president and could have a significant impact on the 2012 presidential race.

The plan, which is backed by Gov. Tom Corbett (R), would scrap the state’s current winner-take-all method for awarding the state’s 20 electoral votes and dole them out depending on the result in each of the 18 congressional districts.

If passed, Pennsylvania would become the third state, along with Maine and Nebraska, to adopt that method, but unlike those two, its change could have a big impact given the size and swing(ish) nature of the state.

Democrats are already expressing fears that changing the winner-take-all system could cost them big in 2012 – most particularly if other states follow Pennsylvania’s lead.

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