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pennsylvania voters swing state election 2012 Voters leave voting booths after casting ballots during the Republican primary election at Bethel Springs Elementary School, April 24, 2012, in Bethel Township, Pennsylvania. (Photo: Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images)

Election 2012: Pennsylvania Up For Grabs?

Keystone State becomes key battleground state

By Katelyn Barr | null null , null

Two months ago, Pennsylvania polls showed President Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney by a comfortable twelve to 15-point margin. Now, Obama is only ahead by two to nine points. Could this mean Pennsylvania is back up for grabs?

Pennsylvania, one of the nine swing states in the 2012 presidential election, has not voted Republican since 1988, five elections ago. During the 2008 campaign for President, pro-Obama signs covered nearly every lawn in the suburbs encompassing the city of Philadelphia. But recent observers note that there are not nearly as many Obama posters up as there were four years ago.

Many experts believe that the keys to victory in the state are the Philadelphia suburbs, such as Montgomery County, Delaware County, Chester County, and Bucks County, but Republicans seemed to give up on the fight for Pennsylvania some time ago. This was evident through the lack of commercials and advertisements in the state. But Romney recently held a rally in Wayne, Pennsylvania, to assure his supporters that his team would not be overlooking the Keystone State. During the rally, he stated that the "Obama campaign thinks that Pennsylvania is in their pocket, they don't need to worry about it. They're wrong! We're going to win Pennsylvania, [and] we're going to take the White House."

Recently, a group of Democratic Pennsylvanians gathered to protest a law being considered for Election Day. The law would force citizens to show a form of identification in order to vote in the 2012 election. Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson recently struck it down because he said that there would not be enough time to ensure that every voter got an ID before Election Day. Because a great portion of elderly and minority voters who don't have ID are Democrats, Simpson's decision was a mild victory for Obama supporters.

Romney seems to have picked up a lot of momentum since the first debate, and he can only hope for more. Pennsylvania is tied with Illinois for the fifth largest number of electoral votes in the country.

Most recent polls show Obama ahead of Romney, but some are extremely close. When the Kids Press Corps asked Republican Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey about the presidential polls, he responded that "the only poll that matters is the one on November 6."

Read more about the swing states that could determine the winner of the 2012 presidential election in the 2012 Swing States Special Report.

ELECTION 2012

Scholastic News Kid Reporters are on the campaign trail! Keep up with latest election news on the Election 2012 website.

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