It seems like such a long time back when I wrote post-Super Tuesday that the race would go till Pennsylvania. Of course, now PA has come and gone - and we are none the closer to an end. If anything, the inability of Senator Obama to win the popular vote in at least one of OH, TX and PA could create some doubt in the minds of superdelegates (remember that Senator Obama won the delegate count in Texas). Though it appears this was not a problem for OK Governor Brad Henry, who earlier said he would wait till the Convention but announced this morning he is backing Senator Obama (even though Senator Clinton won OK...) (via Taegan Goddard's Political Wire.)
Separate from the MSM and Clinton spin, Senator Obama may not have won these 3 states, but he did win Senator Clinton's backyard states of CT and DE, as well as the battleground states WI (handily) and MO (by a hair!), and potential Dem takeover VA. Senator Clinton has not won states-favorable-to-Obama [MS, GA, AL, SC, WA, VA etc.] I think it is also interesting that while Senator Obama has usually managed to cut down Senator Clinton's substantial starting leads in states that are favorable to her - TX, PA, OH - and even overtaken them handily - WI - she has not been able to do so in the very rare reverse situations, for instance MS.
Both the Clinton and Obama teams say Indiana could well be the tie-breaker. Senator Clinton was expected to win PA; she will win KY, WV and PR. Senator Obama will likely take NC, OR, MT, SD and Guam. WaPo says as much. However, if Senator Clinton just edges Senator Obama in Indiana, while Senator Obama wins NC by 20% as current polls indicate, the Clinton gains in PA will be wiped out, and we will be back to where we were on April 21: Senator Clinton way behind in pledged delegates, as well as the popular vote - even if we add Florida into the mix (but here's why the "popular vote" is a fatally-flawed metric). Chuck Todd has a very nice analysis of this situation (via the Great Orange Satan):
So it looks like Pennsylvania didn't change much, except give some extended breathing space to the Clinton campaign. But at what cost? The Gray Lady herself slams their favorite Senator Clinton for taking the "low road to victory."
The questions that I have for Senator Obama's campaign are:
1. Where was the youth vote? [just 12% in the 18-29 age group, lower than the 16% in OH; SurveyUSA's last PA poll (via Pollster.com) put the 18-49 at 50% of the electorate (18-34 21%), but this turned out to be just 42%.]
2. Turnout in Philadelphia and the suburbs: Again, SUSA's last poll had this region at 43% of the PA vote with Senator Obama leading 55-41. Instead, with 99% of the PA precincts reporting, Philly and the suburbs were just 38% of the PA vote - though Senator Obama won this area 57-43. That extra 5% would have made a HUGE difference. [Hmmm... should they have distributed yard signs and paid the Philly ward leaders to boost turn-out? - See this LAT story.]
Well, this should all be over on May 6. Or June 3. Or August 25-28. Please?