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Clinton’s lead falls to 8.48%

April 1, 2008

D-Day for Hillary Clinton

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Adding the weighted average of the Survey USA and Rasmussen polls to the collection of Pennsylvania polls, I’ve come up with the following projections.

Hillary Clinton 49.84
Barack Obama 41.36

The gap is now in single figures. Given that the par for the course for Hillary Clinton, and there are now daily calls for her to drop out, she needs to do something dramatic that will move the figures and show that she will stay in the contest. My advice would be to attack him directly, over Wrightgate and directly question his ability to be commander-in-chief. Of course, it needs to be said that such a direct attack needs to be strong enough to rule her out of the veep spot, but it also needs to be above the belt. She needs to make this into a question of foreign policy and leadership, rather than following her husband into the gutter.

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8 comments

  1. Living next door in Ohio and being in PA much of the time, I see a lot of this contest. It has turned into a nasty racial fight. At first the Rev. Wright flap backfired on Mr. Obama, but Mrs. Clinton overplayed her hand a bit and thing are turning a bit on her. She will win PA, but if she does not win by 20 points or close to it, she will be in poor shape.


  2. Obama was absent from the Illinois Senate
    on November 4, 1999. His name was on 2 bills
    mentioned during that session.
    Does anyone know where Obama was on November 4?


  3. As a lifelong citizen of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, I think I can speak for the state of things better than any one of my neighboring brothers.

    Some things to consider about the state of things in PA:
    1. Sen. Obama has reduced Hillary’s lead to single digits. (With all the endorsements Hillary had going into the race, it doesn’t look like they’re making much of a difference. She’s gone DOWN instead of up.)

    2. There are three weeks to go until April 22. (Does anybody know where Sen. Obama stood three weeks before the Texas or Wisconsin primaries? Rasmussen had Hillary at +16% in Texas, and Wisconsin… nobody even bothered to poll them!)

    3. Obama has already won the money race. (Sen. Obama is outspending Hillary 5-1 on TV ads in the state and he has more money in the bank than her campaign has debts, and that’s saying something. I’ve seen about 3 or 4 Obama ads on TV since his campaign cruised to PA. Hillary? I’ve yet to see a single one of her ads. All she has going for her are free spots on Jay Leno and SNL.)

    4. Obama is winning the superdelegate race for good timing. (Gov. Richardson showed the country that you can break away from the Clintons and still live to talk about it. Furthermore, Jim Carvel’s tasteless reaction did not make the state sympathise for the Clintons any more. If anything, it showed an ugly side of how uncompromising a president Hillary would be. Sen. Casey just threw his support in after pledging neutrality, a major endorsement given that he’s pro-life, a Catholic, and won his senate seat by the biggest margins ever recorded in an incumbent Senate loss against Rick Santorum in 2006.)

    5. The Wright flap fizzled out. (When faced with the biggest challenge to his campaign thus-far, Obama delivered the most courageous and honest speechs on race since Robert Kennedy spoker after the Martin Luther King, Jr assassination. Sen. Obama gave this address in Philadelphia, PA, “the cradle of liberty.” All the spin in the world couldn’t deny Pennsylvanians a sense of pride that came with it.)

    6. Hillary’s Bosnia story was 100% made up. (See above for an example of how you effectively deal with a scandal: tell the truth.)

    7. Obama’s lead keeps swelling. (Thanks partly to Hillary’s backfiring strategy of telling pledged delegates to vote based on their conscience. So far, they are disproportionately backing Sen. Obama.)

    8. The Democrats want closure. (Pennsylvanians know they can end this race if they truly want to. Hillary’s do-or-die approach sounds more like Veruca Salt than Gen. Patton. That’s not leadership: that’s a liability to the Democrats in November.)

    9. Hillary has already lost the nomination. (With no revotes in sight in Michigan or Florida, Hillary’s last hopes for winning the nomination are worse than Sen. Obama’s bowling average.)

    and finally…

    10. Hillary simply doesn’t “get” the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. (This state prides itself on underdogs, not bullies. On inspiration, not smear. On integrity, not lies. Why else to do you think we voted for Al Gore in 2000, for John Kerry in 2004, or for anybody who wasn’t Republican in 2006? Because all the negative campaigning in the world couldn’t shake this purple state from it’s soft-blue mindset that always prevails at the end. Pennsylvania likes to vote for Democrats, and in this race… Hillary is the Republican.)

    Translation: she will lose.


  4. Clinton’s ratings in national polls, however, have risen even while polls have tightened in Pennsylvania (see the latest Gallup and Rasmussen polls). Considering that she is running against the mainstream media and a candidate with seemingly huge coffers to spend on ads, she is holding her own. My guess is that it’s going to be very hard to get Clinton supporters to switch to Obama in the event that her nomination fails, not because of the rancor in the party but because of the belief that she has had to compete on a very uneven and unfair playing field. Clinton supporters are beyond angry about the role that the mainstream media have played in this primary season, and they are not likely to forget it when (if?) they vote in November.


  5. I agree with Giacomo. Also being from PA, I have a first-hand look at what is going on around here, and am also familiar with the state politics. The momentum is clearly in Obama’s favor, and frankly, Hillary really doesn’t have a realistic chance at winning the nomination anymore. She would have to win all remaining states by comfortable margins and accumulate most of the remaining superdelegates (which are currently breaking toward Obama) in order to even HOPE at overcoming his current lead.

    That being said, Obama is still the underdog in PA. While he does have the momentum, she has a lot of traditional Democratic support in PA that he will need to overcome. However, his expected large wins in Phila may prove to be a saving grace for him. At this point, I’m either a Clinton win of 4 points or less, or possibly a very small Obama win. Either way, Obama wins and Hillary loses big time.


  6. Lynn,

    Sen. Clinton was anointed this election’s “inevitable” nominee by the media, had enough money to burn, received the blessings of late-night TV, Rush Limbaugh, and was considered viable after losing 11 contests in a row.

    Face it: if the shoe were on the other foot, Obama would’ve been forced out of this race months ago. I don’t think anybody on this website could effectively argue otherwise.


  7. While it is true that Mr. Casey’s endorsement was huge and Mr. Obama will most likely win the nomination. I just don’t see Mr. Obama winning PA. Yes he is closing the gap, but I know far too many Democrats in Western PA who will not vote for Mr. Obama. I am not saying that I agree with their reasons, but it is what it is.

    Perhaps if the shoe were on the other foot, Mr. Obama might have been forced out. However, the fact is that Mrs. Clinton is in and she is popular enough in PA to win. She may have overplayed her hand to so that Mr. Obama will come within single digits, but it will be tough for Mr. Obama to win the state outright. Then again, he does not have to.


  8. Giacomo,

    You may be right that Clinton dominated the air waves in the period leading to the first primary. I was not following the election at that time as I live outside the United States. However, as a professional who engaged in media analysis for politicians in another country for more than ten years, I can tell you that by any gauge you want to use (# of pundits speaking on behalf of the candidates, time devoted to positive vs. negative commentary on the candidates, number of candidate messages from press releases picked up and carried by the media, control of the media agenda, number of spokespersons invited to comment on issues, or other measure), the American media have demonstrated a bias since the Iowa primary (the point at which I began following the coverage) that I have not witnessed in past years. I am also dismayed by the hate language that finds its way onto blogs, and I am not just talking about racist or sexist language. It is one of the reasons that I have posted only two other times on blogs of any group, but this web site seems to engage in more rational and less emotional discourse. So I respect the views of those of you who have posted even while I don’t agree with all of the assessments.

    There are responses to the points raised in your listing of Clinton’s deficits, but the secondhand argumentation appears on many other blogs. I’ll doubtless be reading more than contributing to your discourse in the coming weeks, but I wanted to add this one comment.



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