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Experts say Pa. up for grabs in presidential election; Berks could have impact

By Dwayne Parker, Reporter, DParker@wfmz.com
Published On: Nov 07 2012 12:02:39 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 06 2012 01:12:55 PM CST
READING, Pa. -

Berks County could play a pivotal role in which presidential candidate wins the state of Pennsylvania.

Tim Blessing, political science professor at Alvernia University in Reading, said there has been a steady movement toward the Democratic Party in Berks County, as well as in southeastern parts of the state.

Those voters, he said, are made up mostly of young, college-educated suburbanites, as well as Hispanics and African-Americans.

"Obama wins if he carries the four collar counties [Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery], Philadelphia County and Allegheny County of Pittsburgh," said Blessing.

But Blessing said Gov. Mitt Romney also has a shot. He said he would have advised Romney to skip visiting Bucks County this past Sunday and to concentrate on parts of western Pennsylvania.

"He's got to win the counties heavily around Pittsburgh. There are six or seven counties which are trending Republican, heavily populated," said Blessing.

But in the end, the voters will decide.

Carl Schupp, of Wyomissing, said this about Romney: "I like his economic policies. I asked myself if I'm better off now than I was four years ago, and I'm not, so I think it's time for a change."

Kaleigh Glick of West Reading said this about President Obama: "It's just that I like where he's going with things, and his wife doing the health thing."