Electoral College votes are based on a winner take all tally based on the popular vote on a per state basis. In Pennsylvania, Barack Obama won by eleven points over John McCain, which gave him all 21 of the state's electoral votes. This is how electoral votes are tallied in 48 of the 50 states - the two notable exceptions being Maine and Nebraska. These two states split their electoral votes in a unique manner: part of the votes are reserved for the typical winner take all tally (three in each state) while the remaining electoral votes are assigned based on the popular vote for congressional districts in each state (two in Nebraska, one in Maine). Barack Obama has won the popular vote in Nebraska's 2nd Congressional District. From the Associated Press:
OMAHA, Neb. – President-elect Barack Obama won one of Nebraska's electoral votes, the first time in history that the state has split its votes and the first time in 44 years that it had given a vote to a Democrat.
After remaining ballots were counted Friday, Obama had a 3,325-vote lead over Republican John McCain in unofficial results for the 2nd Congressional District. Nebraska and Maine are the two states that divide their electoral votes by congressional districts.
Obama, who won the White House last week, has 365 electoral votes to McCain's 162. Missouri, with 11 electoral votes, is still too close to call. Election officials in that state have until Tuesday to finish counting.
The last Democrat to win Nebraska was Lyndon B. Johnson, who carried the state in 1964.
Prior to the election, when I was playing around with the interactive Electoral College map at 270toWin.com, I kept coming up with scenarios where the election was tied with 269 electors assigned to each candidate. It occurred to me that if Omaha were to come out strong for Obama, splitting Nebraska's electoral vote, that would break the tie in favour of Obama. Obviously, the electoral college results were not nearly as close when all was said and done, Obama securing himself a comfortable victory. However, it is still an interesting bit of historical trivia to note that not only will Obama be the first Black President, he will also be the first President who was elected who managed to split Nebraska's Electoral vote.