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Romney wins Berks by fewer than 1,000 votes

By Pam Cunningham, Reporter
Published On: Nov 06 2012 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 07 2012 05:28:03 PM CST

Pennsylvania turned blue, but Berks County turned red.

READING, Pa. -

Pennsylvania turned blue, but Berks County turned red.  Mitt Romney defeated President Obama in Berks by fewer than 1,000 votes.

Berks County Republicans and Democrats said they are both proud of the work their teams did for this election.  And not surprising, they view Tuesday night's local results differently.

When President Barack Obama was declared the winner, Berks Democrats were excited.

"Last night, it was just a great victory for the Democratic Party. Here in Berks County we're very pleased," said Tom Herman, chairman of the Berks County Democratic Committee.

"Obviously, from my perspective as a Republican, it was a pretty disappointing night," said Larry Medaglia, former chairman of the Berks County Republican Party.

Republicans weren't celebrating, but they're proud of what they did in Berks County.

"I think our ground game was solid. It really was. There's no question we got our vote out," said Medaglia.

Mitt Romney lost Pennsylvania but won Berks.

"We managed to take nearly a thousand more votes than the president did in a state that went resoundingly in favor of President Obama," said Medaglia.

In 2004 and in 2008, Berks went the same way the country did, for Bush and Obama, respectively. 

Medaglia said Berks County Republicans improved the way they got out the vote since 2008 when Sen. John McCain lost, despite the uphill challenge.

"Berks County is a socially and culturally conservative county. even though we are out registered," said Medaglia. "There are more registered Democrats in Berks than there are Republicans."

Herman said he sees it another way.

"The president did lose Berks County," said Herman. "I'm disappointed, personally, about that."

Historically since FDR, Herman said, no Democratic president has won re-election in Berks County.

"For the president to come close in a second election, less than a thousand votes, since FDR. He almost won this county. That's never happened before," said Herman,."That tells me we are on the road of building a Democratic majority that's going to last."

Regardless of how they see this election, they are focusing on the next one.

"Our committee and our folks understand our work is never done," said Herman.

Voter turnout in Berks was 66 percent. Four years ago, it was 70 percent.