Pennsylvania, a Swing State

All elected officials, except the US president, need the plurality of ballot votes to win an election. The US presidential race is determined by the Electoral College.Each state has a different number of electoral votes that contribute to the total of 538 Electoral College votesThe sum of the number of a state’s US Legislators determines how many electoral votes that state has for the US presidential race

Pennsylvania has 18 US representatives and 2 US senators, for a total of 20 Electoral votes. Whichever candidate has the most votes in Pennsylvania receives all 20 electoral votes. A candidate needs a total of 270 electoral votes to win the election. Since Pennsylvania is considered a “swing state (meaning Republicans and Democrats havesimilar levels of support in the state), presidential candidates spend a lot of time campaigning in our state.

Below are campaign materials for successful U.S. presidential campaigns. 

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Zachary Tylor (Term 1849 - 1850) and Theodore Roosevelt (Term 1901 - 1909) 

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From top left to right: William Harrison (Term 1841-1841), Calvin Coolidge (Term 1923 - 1929), Andrew Johnson (Term 1865 - 1869), William McKinley (Term 1897 - 1901), Woodrow Wilson (three buttons, Term 1913 - 1921), Herbert Hoover (Term 1929 - 1933), William Taft (Term 1909 - 1913), Franklin Roosevelt (Term 1933 -1945), Ulyssess Grant (Term 1869 - 1877)


From top left to right: Lyndon B. Johnson (two buttons, Term 1963 - 1969), Dwight Eisenhower (two buttons, Term 1951 - 1961), Richrd Nixon (two buttos and a ribbon, Term 1969 - 1974), George W. Bush (Term 2001 - 2009), William McKinley (Term 1897 - 1901)


Below are campaign materials for unsuccessful U.S. presidential campaigns. 

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Pictured from left to right: General Winfiled Scott Hancock (1876, lost to James Garfield), John C. Fremont (1856, lost to James Buchanan), John Bell and John C. Breckinridge (1860, lost to Abraham Lincoln), Herbert Humphry (1968, lost to Richard Nixon), Barry Goldwater (1964, lost to Lyndon B. Johnson)


General Winfield Scott Hancock (b. 1824 - 1886)

Born in Norristown, Winfield Scott Hancock spent much of his life in the military. After graduating from West Point in 1844, Hancock served in the Western frontier, the Mexican-American War, and the Civil War. After distinguishing himself in several battles during the Civil War, Hancock became a major-general on March 13, 1865.

While serving as Governor of the 5th Military District (Louisiana and Texas) after the war, Gen. Hancock issued "General Orders No. 40." This meant he and his soldiers would not interfere with civil authorities in the district, which included not stationing soldiers at polling places. Although the order was intended to help reintegrate the South into the U.S., it also enabled people to hinder the voting rights of recently freed slaves.

Many Democrats wanted Gen. Hancock to run for public office. In 1869 he was asked to run for Pennsylvania governor and in 1869, 1872, and 1876 he was asked to run for president. Each time Gen. Hancock refused. Finally, Gen. Hancock's supporters convinced him to run for president in 1880. He ultimately lost to James Garfield, another Civil War general. Gen. Hancock died on February 9, 1886 and is buried at historic Montgomery Cemetery in Norristown.


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