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Biggest loser: Romney lost 44 of the 50 largest counties

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,2012 Elections,Larry Sabato,Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney's outsmarted and out-messaged campaign lost 44 of the nation's largest 50 counties, a stunning failure that he could not make up for in other parts of the country.

According to a new campaign report, Romney won only the few highly-populated conservative counties such as Salt Lake City, Utah, Orange County, California and Maricopa County, Arizona.

But in others he was crushed, and much worse than two other recent Republicans, George W. Bush, who won 16 of the 50, and George H.W. Bush, who won a majority, 29.

In Los Angeles County, for example, Obama won 68.6 percent of the vote. In Philadelphia he won 85.2 percent. Obama even won St. Louis County with 56.2 percent of the vote.

Democratic strength "is growing in the country's most densely populated counties," said Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics.

And in further proof that the GOP vote is coming from rural America, Sabato found that Romney won big in Appalachia. He said that 428 counties make up Appalachia and Obama won just 7 percent. The area used to be a hotbed of Democratic support, though. Former President Jimmy Carter, for example, won 68 percent of the