Romney narrowly defeats Obama in Centre County
By Emma Delorm and Resheeda Smith
Centre County went against the grain Tuesday, as voters here gave a slight edge to Republican challenger Mitt Romney in his bid to unseat President Barack Obama, who went on to a victory and a second term.
Unofficially, Romney edged Obama in Centre County by just 20 votes out of nearly 70,000 cast.
At Champ’s, where the GOP was holding its election night party, Romney’s narrow win in Centre County was overcome with a reluctant air of concession, as Obama’s inevitable victory began to come into focus.
Anthony McCormick, 22, was among the Romney supporters. He did not vote last election because he did not feel his vote was mattered. McCormick’s feelings changed two years ago when he unexpectedly had a son and said he began to see the importance of the future of the country’s policies.
“I paid little attention to politics before my son was born,” McCormick said. “I don’t think Obama’s plans will allow me to support my son. It’s not about just me anymore, it’s about the future of my family.”
State College Democrats gathered at Rotelli’s.
As the night wore on, it became clear that Obama was leading in essential states.
The atmosphere at Rotelli’s was buzzing with excitement as every win for a Democratic senator or representative was met with thunderous applause.
“I’m jumping up and down,” said Chris Anderson, a campaign volunteer. “I feel like we did the hard work we needed to do and it paid off. I’m super psyched.”
When asked what he felt was in store for the next four years, Anderson said he foresaw a positive outcome of Obama’s re-election.
“We can continue to move forward and improve.” he said. “A lot of dedicated young people worked really hard on this campaign.”
Marti Duffy, another State College Obama volunteer agreed. When Senator Elizabeth Warren appeared on the screen as the victor in her U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts, Duffy clapped and jumped up and down excitedly.
“Not quite Obama, but just as good,” she said as the votes were still being counted.
“I think it proves that hard work and the truth will win. A lot of people, especially awesome young people who worked in Pennsylvania made it happen.” she said. “I think this is a message to Congress that it’s time to do work for this [president]. If they had worked with him we wouldn’t be in this mess.”
During the campaign, Romney and Obama did not agree on much – and many of those differences came out during their debates.
“I'm going to stop the subsidy to PBS," Romney said during the first debate, generating a lot of commentary on Twitter and by late-night comedians. “I love Big Bird. Actually, like you, too. But I'm not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for.”
Obama criticized Romney on his policies regarding military spending, after Romney said more money should be spent on naval ships.
“You mention that we have fewer ships than we had in 1916. Well, governor we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because that nature of our military has changed,” Obama said.
Obama, a former U.S. senator from Illinois who began his political career as a state senator, defeated Hillary Rodham Clinton, now his secretary of state, in a tough battle for the Democratic nomination in 2008.
Obama then beat Republican candidate John McCain to become the 44th president and the first African-American president in U.S. history.
Romney, who spent most of his career in private business, served a single term as governor of Massachusetts and also ran the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. He unsuccessfully sought the GOP nomination in 2008.