Pa. GOP is on the rise
“S ure, there's a disappointment in what happened, but the cause, the cause goes on. Don't get cynical. Don't get cynical because look at yourselves and what you were willing to do, and recognize that there are millions and millions of Americans out there that want what you want, that want it to be that way, that want it to be a shining city on a hill.”
Those were the words of Ronald Reagan to his campaign staff and supporters the day after a narrow loss to President Gerald Ford for the Republican Party's nomination for president in 1976. And they are especially relevant today.
The 2012 presidential election did not turn out as I would have hoped. But close does count only in horseshoes and we accept the fact that the GOP lost. However, we have not lost our drive to fight for the principles that we believe in. And there are many reasons to be optimistic heading into future statewide elections.
Despite President Obama's statewide victory, Republicans were able to grow our support in 64 of 67 counties. Mitt Romney earned more than 2.6 million votes — which means 47 percent of the electorate voted against President Obama and the Democrats. This means that Mitt Romney outperformed voter registration in Pennsylvania and cut the president's margin of victory in half compared with his 2008 results.
Further examining the election results regionally yields additional insights.
In the Southeast, the most populated area of our commonwealth, Republicans made substantial improvements in swing counties like Chester and Bucks, both of which outperformed their 2004 and 2008 results. While Montgomery County fell just short of 2004 margins, it improved greatly on its 2008 results.
In parts of Southwestern Pennsylvania, Republicans earned dramatic improvements. Our strategy to build a coalition of Republicans and Reagan Democrats exhausted the Obama campaign, and we won in places that had been Democrat bastions for decades, such as Cambria, Blair, Westmoreland, Fayette and Greene counties.
Thus, the Republican Party is ready to reinvigorate its strategy to compete in critical elections in 2014 and 2016. Thanks to the thousands of activists who share the Republican vision of limited government, the GOP still is by far the dominant party in statewide politics. We control the governor's mansion; have strong majorities in the state House and Senate; serve in one of two U.S. Senate seats; have a 13-member congressional delegation that is among the largest in the country; and control 51 of 67 county courthouses.
It's clear that Pennsylvania is not only a swing state, it is a red state. And we will continue to look forward for new and innovative ways to expand and engage our base of support.
Rob Gleason is the chairman of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Chiefs notebook: Trip not intentional, Walker maintains
- Steelers clinch playoff berth with win over Chiefs
- Steelers notebook: Gay respects ‘anything’ referees call
- District attorney prosecutors move on to state office
- Starkey: Chryst a miserable failure at Pitt
- New Swash machine touted as option for in-home garment care
- Government survey: More teens trying out e-cigarettes than real thing
- Ex-Penguins defenseman Niskanen still miffed by coaches’ firings
- Nigeria’s Islamic terrorist Boko Haram group poses threat to Cameroon
- Reading deals with ‘ugly’ tree saga
- Pitt football fights to overcome steppingstone status