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Obama gets lowest share of the Penn-Trafford presidential vote since 1996

| Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012, 11:32 a.m.

Although incumbent Democrat Barack Obama won the state's 20 electoral votes and a second term in the White House, local voters continued their trend of favoring Republican presidential candidates.

The Penn-Trafford communities opted for challenger Mitt Romney over Obama by a rate of slightly more than 2-to-1.

Among local voters, 67 percent — 9,292 people — favored Romney. That's the highest percentage of the local vote for a presidential candidate in the past five presidential elections.

Obama's share of the local vote — his 4,427 votes equal 32 percent — was the lowest percentage that any presidential candidate received in the Penn-Trafford area during the last five presidential elections. He also posted the second-worst showing in the area over that span, with a 34.6-percent share of the 2008 vote.

This year, Libertarian Gary Johnson received 101 local votes and Green Party candidate Jill Stein received 30 local votes. Their combined total accounted for just shy of 1 percent of the overall vote in Manor, Trafford and Penn Township.

Romney won all three communities. Obama's highest rate of support — 40.5 percent — came from Trafford and his lowest rate of support came from Penn Township, with only 30.6 percent of township residents supporting the incumbent. In Manor, he garnered 33.6 percent of the vote.

Romney's share of the community vote was 58.1 percent in Trafford, 68.4 percent in Manor and 68.5 percent in Penn Township.

A total of 13,801 people — 300 fewer than in 2008 — from the area cast ballots in the presidential race. With 18,081 eligible voters, that translates to an overall turnout rate of 76 percent, according to data from the Westmoreland and Allegheny county election departments.

Here's a look at the breakdown of local votes in the past five presidential elections:

1996: Bill Clinton, 38 percent; Bob Dole, 50 percent *

2000: Al Gore, 40.2 percent; George W. Bush, 57.6 percent *

2004: John Kerry, 36.3 percent; George W. Bush, 63.2 percent

2008: Barack Obama, 34.6 percent; John McCain, 64.4 percent

2012: Barack Obama, 32 percent; Mitt Romney, 67.3 percent

* The 1996 and 2000 percentages do not include votes from the Allegheny County sliver of Trafford, but their omission is not statistically significant. In the past three elections, Trafford residents in Allegheny County cast 35, 35 and 33 votes.

Brian Estadt is a news editor with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400 or bestadt@tribweb.com.

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