Miriam Hill et al., Philly, November 8, 2012
Some Philadelphia neighborhoods outdid themselves in Tuesday’s presidential election.
In a city where President Obama received more than 85 percent of the votes, in some places he received almost every one. In 13 Philadelphia wards, Obama received 99 percent of the vote or more.
Those wards, many with large African American populations, also swung heavily for Obama over John McCain in 2008. But the difficult economy seemed destined to dampen that enthusiasm four years later.
Not to worry. Ward leaders and voters said they were just as motivated this time.
“In this election, you had to point out to the people what was at stake. And in many cases, they felt that the Romney doctrine was not going to favor the working man,” said Edgar “Sonny” Campbell.
Campbell is leader of West Philadelphia’s Fourth Ward, where Obama received 9,955 votes. Romney? Just 55. That’s five fewer than McCain in 2008.
“You are looking at black neighborhoods where you have 1,000 voters in a division and maybe seven Republicans,” he said. “We are shocked if Romney got any votes.”
Even so, Randall Miller, a history professor at St. Joseph’s University, said politicians almost never get 99 percent of the votes anywhere except, perhaps, the towns where they were born.
Philadelphia’s numbers were tilted so far in favor of Obama that one incredulous Republican revived the specter of voter fraud.
Nor was Philadelphia the only place in the region with such high numbers for Obama. Five Delaware County towns topped 90 percent, led by Yeadon at 96.3. Following were Chester City (94.8), Darby Borough (93.5), Chester Township (92.3), and Colwyn (90.3).