White Men Swing Towards Obama, Though Clinton Still Carried Them

Interesting stuff just on CNN. According to Bill Schneider and Soledad O'Brien, Hillary Clinton carried the White male vote in Pennsylvania by a 53 percent to 46 percent margin (MSNBC had her up by a similar 55 percent to 45 percent margin). To keep in mind, Clinton won White males in Ohio by 19 points, suggesting this swing demographic may have moved towards Obama in the past month and a half. In contrast, Clinton carried White women by a 64 percent to 36 percent margin, about the same margin by which she led in Ohio. Whether this apparent movement will have a meaningful impact on the results (remember, Clinton won Ohio by about 10 points) remains to be seen...

Update [2008-4-22 20:28:21 by Jonathan Singer]: The Obama campaign, via Marc Ambinder, adds:

With voters over 60 in OH, Clinton won 69%, Obama got 28%. In PA, Obama earned 41% of the vote among voters over 60, and Clinton won 59%. The gap among seniors was cut by more than half, from 41 to 19.

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"Too Close to Call" in Pennsylvania

MSNBC calls it "too close to call" in Pennsylvania, CNN calls it "very competitive" but will wait until actual ballots are counted. More as we have it...

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Cutting in Opposite Directions?

We're about five minutes out from beginning to get some hard numbers. As always, we'll be updating this site very regularly with new numbers, both actual vote totals as well as interesting exit polling, so make sure to stick around.

I'm just getting back from class now, but a couple of interesting -- and perhaps conflicting -- exit poll data points stick out to me. According to the numbers, 67 percent of Pennsylvania Democratic voters believe that Hillary Clinton unfairly attacked Barack Obama. However, among those voters who made their decision within the last week, 58 percent backed Clinton and 42 percent backed Obama. Does this mean that even as voters chide Clinton for going negative they're willing to listen to the message imparted?

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What a Clinton Win in Pennsylvania Would Mean

Looking at Markos' predictions of a 54 percent to 46 percent victory today for Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania, I think that's about where I'm at: 45-46 percent for Barack Obama, 54-55 percent for Clinton in the state, with a slightly greater likelihood that Clinton will come in above 55 percent than Obama will come in above 46 percent. Obama has been able to move his numbers up a bit in recent polling, from a ceiling of about 41 percent to a ceiling of about 44 percent in pre-election polling, and though I think he should be able to improve a point or two from that mark, I'd imagine that more undecideds would move towards Clinton than Obama (given that in states like Pennsylvania that has been the case).

Regardless of what the margin is, however, what would a Clinton win in Pennsylvania mean for the overall race for the Democratic nomination? Bloomberg News' Catherine Dodge and Kristin Jensen take a look:

To overtake Barack Obama in the nationwide popular vote, Hillary Clinton needs a bigger win in tomorrow's Pennsylvania primary than she has had in any major contest so far. And that's just for starters.

After more than 40 Democratic primaries and caucuses, Obama, the Illinois senator, leads Clinton by more than 800,000 votes. Even if the New York senator wins by more than 20 percentage points tomorrow -- a landslide few experts expect -- she would still have a hard time catching him.


``Popular vote matters,'' says Steve Grossman, a marketing executive and one of Clinton's top fundraisers. ``If there is an opportunity for her to pick up enough popular votes, that is a powerful calling card to the superdelegates to say the will of the people is a split decision.''

To earn that split decision, though, Clinton would need a 25-point victory in Pennsylvania, plus 20-point wins in later contests in West Virginia, Kentucky and Puerto Rico. Even that scenario assumes Clinton, 60, would break even in Indiana, North Carolina, South Dakota, Montana and Oregon -- a prospect that's not at all certain.

The folks at First Read did their own number crunching today, and found that in the case of a 10-point win for Clinton today, followed by very favorable results in the remaining primaries (for instance, only losing by 10 points in North Carolina rather than the close to 20-point deficit she nows faces in the state), Clinton would still end up close to 200,000 votes short of winning the nation-wide popular vote -- a margin large enough so that Obama would still lead in this tally even if Florida were included as well. (Update [2008-4-22 13:6:6 by Jonathan Singer]: It looks like either I'm reading the First Read folks incorrectly or they're just wrong when they write, "So Team Clinton couldn't get there with also adding Florida; they'd need Michigan, too", because Clinton's margin in the uncontested and non-delegate yielding Florida contest was larger than 200,000 votes.)

Does this all mean that a Clinton win in Pennsylvania would be meaningless? Far from it. If Clinton can exceed expectations and win by a healthy double-digit margin tonight, as well as eat away a significant chunk of Obama's delegates, she would have more than enough reason to keep her campaign going, at least through North Carolina and Indiana, and probably even through to the end of the voting process in early June. However, it is important to keep in mind -- for voters, for election-watchers, for superdelegates, for the candidates themselves -- that even under some of the rosiest predictions, Clinton will not be able to overtake Obama in the pledged delegate race, she won't likely be able to overtake him in the popular vote race, and, without an immense and unexpected movement from within the ranks of the superdelegates, she won't be able to overcome his overall delegate lead by the time Democrats stop voting at the beginning of June.

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Clinton Campaign in the Red for Third Straight Month

For the third straight month, the Clinton campaign has ended the month in debt. First Read has the details.

The woman in red? The official March fundraising numbers are out. They are basically meaningless numbers -- since much of the money has already been spent -- but going into April, Obama had more than $40 million in cash to spend in the primary, after raising approx. $41 million. As for Clinton, her March fundraising report has just gone online, but we don't yet know the primary/general split of the $20 million she raised or the primary/general split of the $31 million in cash on hand. Yet at least $22 million of that $31 million is designated for the general, leaving Clinton less than $10 million to spend at the end of March. By the way, when you factor in Clinton's $10 million+ debt, she was technically operating in the red at the end of March.

The fact that Clinton doesn't have any money in the bank hasn't stopped her from holding a fairly consistent lead in Pennsylvania, nor has it forced her to shut down her campaign. What it has done, however, is inhibit her campaign from coming anywhere close to keeping up the pace with the Obama campaign in Pennsylvania. Again, this hasn't meant that Clinton has not been able to be competitive in the state, or indeed hold a lead. What it might mean, however, is that she won't be able to rack up the type of overwhelming win in the Keystone state tomorrow that she will need to in order to meaningfully eat away at Barack Obama's overall delegate lead, his pledged delegate lead, or even his popular vote lead. Nevertheless, we'll have to wait and see til tomorrow...

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