KDKA-TV Political Editor Jon Delano will be keeping a close eye on the key races and will have updates throughout the day.

Follow Jon on Twitter for more updates at @JonDelano

UPDATE: 10 a.m.: Pennsylvania is a must-win state for both President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney.

Since Abraham Lincoln carried the state in 1860, only two Republicans have won the presidency without winning Pennsylvania — Richard Nixon and George W. Bush.

The last Democrat to win the White House without Pennsylvania was Harry Truman in 1948.

So, it’s no surprise that Pennsylvania is now in the mix as a toss-up state, and is important for both presidential candidates.

As returns come in this evening, I will be watching a number of key indicators:

  • Voter turnout in Democratic-rich Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and Republican strongholds in the center of the state.
  • The suburban vote, especially women who gave Obama an 18-point advantage four years ago.
  • The traditionally conservative Democratic counties in western Pennsylvania that voted against Obama four years ago.
  • Senior citizens who narrowly favored John McCain four years ago and are the most reliable voters in the state.

Stay tuned! This should be an exciting election night!

Watch Delano’s appearance on Pittsburgh Today Live:

UPDATE 12:30 p.m.: I just returned from voting in my suburban community that often votes Republican but supported Obama four years ago. For the first time that I can recall, we had lines (at least at my poll, which is bigger than most).

How do you read a greater-than-average turnout? In Pennsylvania, 6 million voters (68 percent of registered voters) voted four years ago. I would expect close to the same this year, especially because this is a toss-up election.

Both the Obama and Romney camps are working hard to get their voters to the polls before they close at 8 p.m. At my poll, for example, poll workers were marking off the names of citizens voting. That’s so they can call the ones who haven’t voted (from their own party) later this afternoon.

Heavy turnout usually favors the party with the majority in that community.

For example, a large turnout in Pittsburgh or Philadelphia helps the Democrats. But, it can also be a message that voters want a change. And, finally, it can mean that one campaign or the other is doing a better job getting its voters to the polls.

Bottom line: Don’t read too much into more folks voting than usual. It’s never as simple as you think.

UPDATE 2:10 p.m.: I’m about to head out to Pittsburgh International Airport to report on Gov. Mitt Romney’s quick Election Day visit to Pittsburgh.

Now, this is strictly a media event — no rally or cheering crowd. The Romney campaign wants those folks to keep making their phone calls and getting out the vote for the governor.

So does it make sense for Romney to do this?

Well, the truth is that most folks who see this on television will have probably already voted. But if the election comes down to a few thousand votes, Romney may think that a quick visit is better than none. And it just might sway last-minute voters.

It’s the same reason that First Lady Michelle Obama did a satellite interview with me at 2 p.m. today.

She is in Chicago, but the Obama campaign realizes that any “last minute face time” on television on KDKA’s 4, 5, and 6 p.m. newscasts could be helpful in a very close race.

As the political editor, I never knock a chance to cover and interview public figures.

So, let them all come to Pittsburgh. But I have my doubts that these last-minute appearances really will change the outcome.

You can watch the interview with First Lady Michelle Obama here:

Eds. Note: You will not be able to hear Jon Delano’s questions to the First Lady. You will only hear her responses.

  • Here are the list of questions/topics that were discussed in order:
  • How are you holding up?
  • Neither you or President Barack Obama visited Pittsburgh this fall. Are you taking Pennsylvania for granted?
  • How are you spending election night?
  • Are you nervous or anxious?
  • Any last words for Pennsylvania voters?

UPDATE 4 p.m.: Reporting from Atlantic Aviation adjacent to Pittsburgh International Airport in Moon Township during Romney’s visit.

Watch Jon Delano’s live report here:


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