PENNSYLVANIA 20 Electoral Votes 
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Pre-Election Maneuvering
As with a number of other states, Pennsylvania saw a controversy over voter ID requirements.  On March 14, 2012, Gov. Tom Corbett (R) signed House Bill 934 into law, requiring a photo ID for the November general election.  A number of groups filed suit to overturn the law on May 1, but the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania upheld the law in an Aug. 15 ruling.  However, on Oct. 2, Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson, while upholding the constitutionality of the voter ID requirement, found that the Commonwealth was not sufficiently prepared to implement the law, and he issued a preliminary injunction enjoining officials from enforcing the requirement. [details]

Also on the legal front, Republicans, concerned that the Gary Johnson and Virgil Goode campaigns could chip away at support for Romney, challenged the Libertarian Party's and the Constitution Party's ballot access.  As it is, Pennsylvania has difficult ballot access requirements for third party and independent candidates; those campaigns needed to submit 2% of the highest number of votes cast for an elected candidate in the last statewide election, or 20,601 signatures, by Aug. 1. (By contrast the Democrats and Republicans needed to submit just 2,000 signatures).  The Green (filed over 35,000 signatures on July 31), Libertarian (filed over 49,000 signatures on Aug. 1) and Constitution (filed over 35,000 signatures) parties all filed.  On Aug. 8 Republicans filed a challenge to the Libertarian and Constitution signatures, claiming many of them were not valid.  The prospect of high legal costs if their number signatures proved insufficient prompted the Constitution Party to withdraw.  Libertarians stuck with the process for nine weeks, and Gary Johnson's position on the ballot was finally settled on Oct. 10, when Commonwealth Court Senior Judge James G. Colins ruled that the campaign had indeed submitted enough signatures. [details]  (The Johnson/Gray ticket obtained less than 50,000 votes, not enough to make a difference in the outcome).

Pennsylvania Connections
Vice President Joe Biden was born in Scranton in 1942 and lived there until his family moved to Delaware in 1953.  Jill Biden also has Pennsylvania ties, having spent much of her childhood in Willow Grove (in Montgomery Co. in the northern suburbs of Phildelphia); she graduated from Upper Moreland High School in Willow Grove in 1969.  In addition two of the third party running mates hail from Pennsylvania.  Constitution Party vice presidential nominee Jim Clymer is a former national chair of the party and a senior member and manager of a six-attorney general practice law firm in Lancaster (as noted above the Constitution Party ticket did not appear on the Pennsylvania ballot).  The Green Party's Cheri Honkala co-founded the Kensington Welfare Rights Union and the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign and ran for sheriff of Philadelphia in 2011.

Newspaper Endorsements (Sample)
The Patriot-News [Harrisburg] (Oct. 28, 2012) +
Philadelphia Inquirer (Oct. 14, 2012)   325,291 (15) +
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Oct. 28, 2012)  188,545 (34) +
The Scranton Times-Tribune (Oct. 28, 2012) +
Intelligencer Journal BO-Lancaster New Era MR
Altoona Mirror (Oct. 28, 2012) +
Tribune-Review [Pittsburgh] (Oct. 20, 2012)   188,405 (35) +
Williamsport Sun-Gazette (Oct. 28, 2012) +
Intelligencer Journal BO-Lancaster New Era MR


Romney's Last Ditch Effort
Early on Republicans saw some potential in Pennsylvania (April 24 memo).  The Romney campaign put a team on the ground starting in mid-May 2012.  The Republican principals made a smattering of visits, about one or two a month.  However, the Obama-Biden campaign did not seem unduly concerned.  They built a solid campaign team and ground game including 54 field offices, but Obama himself only visited the Commonwealth twice in the Fall campaign.  The Bidens, with their Pennsylvania ties, did the majority of the campaigning for the Democratic ticket.  In the last week or so Romney and his allies made a last ditch effort, spending at least $11 million (source AP) to $15 million (source Obama campaign) on TV in Pennsylvania trying to pull out a win.  In fact, Mitt Romney's very last campaign stop before his Election Night appearance in Boston was a visit to a campaign call center in Green Tree (Pittsburgh area), where he greeted volunteers and thanked them. 

In Sept. 2011 Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R) introduced SB 1282, a proposal to allocate electors by congressional district and two at-large to the statewide winner (+).  The bill did not advance.  On Feb. 21, 2013 Pillegi introduced a new bill, SB 538, this time proposing to allocate electors proportionately according to the popular vote and two at-large to the state wide winner (SB 538) (+).