Obama wins Pennsylvania—but not Centre County

Story posted November 7, 2012 in Election 2012 by Danae Blasso and Nicole Martin.

President Barack Obama won re-election on Tuesday, and while he also won Pennsylvania, he failed to persuade the majority of Centre County voters to give him a second term.

In Centre County, Republican Mitt Romney edged Obama by just 20 votes. Romney defeated Obama 33,697 to 33,677, with a little more than 1,000 votes going to either the Libertarian or Green Party candidates.

In 2008, 76,388 ballots were cast in Centre County. Obama received 55 percent of county’s vote. He received 41,950 votes, while the Republican candidate, Senator John McCain received 43 percent or 32,992 of the votes.

Across Pennsylvania this year, Obama received 55 percent of the votes and captured the state’s 20 electoral votes.

Penn State student Jeff Graves, from West Chester, Pa., said voting for Obama was the logical choice and he wasn’t taken by surprise when Obama won Pennsylvania.

“I am not surprised at all that Obama won Pennsylvania,” Graves, a sophomore studying energy business finance, said. “If you’re a college student and want to get a job after graduation, then you’d be stupid not to vote for Obama.”

Penn State student Chelsie Farwell, from Clinton County, Pa., said she threw her support behind Romney, but said she realized Pennsylvania was going blue.

“I can’t say that I was shocked because Pennsylvania has voted Democrat in the past,” Farwell, a senior studying health and policy administration, said.

With Penn State University located in Centre County, education policies played a role in which candidate to vote for, students said.

Student Rachel Brown, from Slippery Rock, Pa., said she voted for Obama because he was the best fit for current students.

“I’m a big supporter of Obama because of his healthcare plan, or Obamacare, and also his push for better and affordable education for me and my future children,” Brown, a sophomore studying public relations, said.  “He cried during his last speech, which shows me that he really cares and wants to make a difference.”

Obama has told the nation that higher education has become a necessity to be competitive in the job market.

To help with the average student loan debt of $26,000, Obama has raised the maximum Pell Grant award to $5,635 for the 2013-2014-award year — a $905 increase since 2008.

Obama also implemented the American Opportunity Tax Credit to give lower-income families a tax credit for college costs.

Romney had said he wants the federal government to become less involved in financial aid and open it up to the private sector. If elected president, Romney said he would have allowed the American Opportunity Tax Credit to expire.

Students were also concerned with how the country’s financial future would be affected with Obama re-elected.

Matt D’Armi, from Medford Lakes, N.J., said he voted for Romney because of the current economic situation the country is in. The U.S. has reached 7.9 percent unemployment, which concerned him, D’Armi said.

“I voted for Romney because he’s a businessman himself and can help our country get out of the deficit,” D’Armi, a senior studying actuarial science said.