Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Clinton Evens Things Out Tonight
Sen. Hillary Clinton scored a big 10-point win in Pennsylvania tonight. Her statewide victory in the Keystone State is bigger than that margin indicates. If you remove Philadelphia's vote from the total, Clinton crushed Sen. Barack Obama in every other region of the state, winning all but a handful of counties. The bigger story tonight, however, is the fact that Clinton has wiped out the popular vote lead Obama has held to date, even though she's still more than a hundred votes behind him in the all-important delegate count. In fact, Clinton will take a small lead in the popular vote after all the votes are counted tonight when you include every primary and caucus to date, including Michigan and Florida. That's going to make it a tougher sale for Democratic leaders to convince Clinton she should get out of the race so the party can rally behind Obama. It also puts intense focus on Indiana's primary just two weeks from tonight. An Obama win in Indiana could prove to be a knockout punch, assuming he also wins the North Carolina primary on that same day as expected. Unless Obama can pull off a big win in northwest Indiana, however, I'm inclined to think Indiana's Democratic primary voters are more likely to follow the lead of Ohio and Pennsylvania Democrats in choosing Clinton. Clinton's huge margins in the old industrial towns and rural counties of Pennsylvania tonight probably doesn't bode well for Obama here in Indiana.