English: Pennsylvania county map (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama’s victory in Pennsylvania marks the sixth straight presidential election in which state voters have picked the Democrat.
Which raises the question: Has Pennsylvania finally lost its swing-state status?
The battleground status of the historically competitive state was the subject of political scrutiny for much of 2012. Even when the Republicans made a brisk, last-minute attempt to wrest it away when some polls showed the race tightening, Obama still won without breaking much of a sweat.
If Pennsylvania was shaded blue on a dry erase board after previous elections, this year it might be colored in with a permanent marker. Pundits and politicians interviewed this week offered differing takes.
Not so long ago, Pennsylvania stood unquestionably as a swing state, one presidential candidates of both major parties thought they could win.
Democratic candidates knew they had to win the state to get elected. Republican candidates knew that if they won it, they would likely be president.
Maybe Republican nominee Mitt Romney still really believes he can win Pennsylvania, but with the decision by the presidential campaigns and their affiliated super PACs to stop advertising on television in Pennsylvania after Labor Day, the state is President Barack Obama’s to lose.
As a result, the Keystone State is second-tier in importance behind states such as Florida, Ohio, Colorado, Virginia and even Wisconsin, which hasn’t voted for a Republican for president in even longer (1984) than Pennsylvania (1988).