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.
House Speaker Sam Smith, musing over “staggering” turnout in some city precincts and reacting to wrong information that “90 percent of the precincts in Philadelphia County turned out over 90 percent of voters,” called the ability to get such numbers “questionable.”
Smith’s math does not add up. Voter turnout in Philadelphia was around 60 percent, according to state election figures.
State Sen. Vincent Hughes (D. Phila.) responded swiftly. He said Philadelphians came out to vote because they were tired of the “hard-right” Republican agenda.
“If they believe there was a corruption of the process, then go to court and challenge it. Show the people of Pennsylvania,” Hughes said. “Beyond that, shut up.”