Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Pennsylvania Race

Sorry I haven't been checking in recently, but it's almost like there's so much going on right now I can't even figure out what I should be commenting on. For this post, I'll step away from my continuous Hillary Clinton-bashing to talk about what the contest in Pennsylvania really means. We sit here a bit more than three weeks from the primary that will decide if the Democratic nomination fight lasts a bit longer or if Clinton will finally throw in the towel. It already feels like it's been forever since the Mississippi primary on March 11, and we still have a lot of time left to go before voters make their choice in the Keystone State.

And time is the prime ally of Barack Obama right now. Most recent polls show Clinton roughly 10 points ahead of Obama in PA with nearly the same amount undecided. While it's clear Obama should carry much of the eastern region around Philadelphia, other urban areas, and places like State College, Clinton definitely has an advantage in the western, rural, blue-collar areas. This area is where Obama is concentrating his week-long bus tour. By the looks of this picture, he's really getting into it.

Obama also elected to bring in Iowa campaign organizer to spearhead his PA effort. Obama is definitely hoping to regain some of that magic that put him on the road to this improbable nomination. By getting really getting down into those predominately-white, working class places and trying to intimately understand their issues, he can make better headway with this group who's support he seems to be lacking. This was the strategy that translated into victory back in December and January for Obama, and I don't see any reason why it won't work again. Getting the endorsement of Senator Bob Casey, a man who embodies much of the working class in the state, was a tremendous get for Obama and could possibly translate into more votes for him by itself.

I'm just hoping that Obama doesn't give up trying to win here. I don't think it's a foregone conclusion Clinton will take the contest and Obama's populist appeal should play well statewide. There's no reason why he can't win. The problem is that unless Obama wins the primary outright, there's no way Clinton drops out. I'm really hopeful Obama can put the kabbash on this whole thing so the Dems can start preparing for John McCain this fall.

That's all I've got.

No comments: