The American Prospect: Obama will win Pennsylvania

That creaking noise you hear is the sound of me going way out on limb to predict that Barack Obama will win the Pennsylvania primary on Tuesday, finally ending Hillary Clinton's presidential ambitions.

After all sound and fury, the race in Pennsylvania will come down to the strength of get- out-the-vote (GOTV) operations, and I think Obama's campaign's organizational advantages will be enough to push him past Clinton by almost two percentage points. He's got money, he's got energy and enthusiasm (despite his debate performance on Tuesday), and he's got Philadelphia and its suburbs

Broadly speaking, presidential elections are almost always decided by what and who Americans think best suits the moment. After all the wins and losses, after all the gaffes, the deceptions, and the rare moments of inspiration, Obama, is simply closer to the mood of the country than either Clinton or McCain.

Obama is selling change. Both of his opponents are selling the virtues of experience, but voters, fed up with the way things have been going, view experience as more of a problem than a solution.

Still, it's an election and Obama can blow it (he erred in, among other things, not anticipating the controversy over Rev. Wright ), but he has shown himself capable under attack and in Pennsylvania he has some underreported advantages.

At first glance, Pennsylvania, one of the whitest, oldest, and most working class states in the country, should be Clinton's to lose. The demographic numbers are indisputable, but the beating heart of Democratic politics in the Keystone state is Philadelphia -- and now, its suburbs -- and the whole region is indisputably in the Obama column.

Since Election Day 2007, 306,686 people have registered as Democrats in Pennsylvania -- more than 45 percent of them (139,000) in Philadelphia and the Philly 'burbs. And two college counties, Centre, 19.6 percent (Penn State), and Union, 17.3 percent (Bucknell University) are in the top three counties in terms of the percentage increase of new Democratic voters. Again, it's fair to most new registrants are Obama voters. He will not win Northeast Philadelphia or some precincts in South and Southwest Philly, but he will still win by a large margin in the Philadelphia region.

The path to an Obama win is relatively straight forward: run up the numbers in and around Philadelphia, fight for and maybe even win the Lehigh Valley cities Bethlehem and Allentown, and minimize his losses in the west. This is a strategy that tracks with Democratic victories in Pennsylvania in recent years.

Here, finally, is why I think he wins:

Clinton hasn't succeeded in making any of her criticisms of Obama stick. He has managed to weather scandals that would sink politician of lesser skill.

Clinton has been most effective when she is seen as the victim and underdog, but, given her aggressive response to Obama's "bitter" comments and her established strength in Pennsylvania neither of these circumstances apply. If can resist the urge to complain about his treatment in the debate he may be the one seen as a victim.

Bob Casey, Jr.
The importance of the Casey's endorsement of Obama is hard to overstate. In part that's because Pennsylvania's junior senator is as daring as a piece of Lackawanna anthracite coal and is seen as unwilling or unable to play cynical political games. What's more, he is an able counterbalance to Clinton's two biggest supporters -- the affably pugnacious Gov. Ed. Rendell, and Philadelphia's African American Mayor Michael Nutter.

Casey is also exactly kind of conservative, Catholic, blue-collar Democrat that Obama is supposed to have the most trouble attracting. He needs Casey's help all the more now that some of these voters think that he sees them as clinging to guns and religion out of a sense of economic frustration. In a new ad for Obama, Casey makes the election clearly about the economy, declaring on camera that "in towns like yours and mine, families are struggling with bills they can't afford and jobs moving away. It has to change -- but it won't until we change Washington."

But Casey's endorsement does something less obvious for Obama -- it rescues him from being the 'Philadelphia candidate' and all the taint of racialized politics, corruption, and urban decay that such a label would put on him. This is especially true when Casey's support is contrasted with Rendell's and Nutter's, since both are current or former mayors of Philadelphia.

So my call is Obama by a point and a half. Creak ... why_obama_will_win_pennsylvania

Tags: clinton, obama, out on a limb, Pennsylvania, shampoo and conditioner (all tags)



Re: American Spectator: Obama will win Pennsylvani

I look forward to see how he wins. But again, a general election victory by Democrats, as the article seems to rely on as a way for Obama to follow as a model, is a vastly different ball game than a primary win.

by VAAlex 2008-04-21 05:22PM | 0 recs
Re: American Spectator: Obama will win

The democrats could run a My Pet Rock and win against McSame in November.  That is why Hilary is putting up such a fight.  In any other year, losing this badly, any candidate (Hilary included) would have dropped out by now.  She and Barack both know that the democratic nominee will be the next president.

The Barack can whoop the living shit out of Hilary in the primary, but can't win the GE meme in worn out and laughable.

by lockewasright 2008-04-21 06:01PM | 0 recs
Re: American Spectator: Obama will win

You really know how to win friends, don't you?

by Denny Crane 2008-04-21 06:17PM | 0 recs
Re: American Spectator: Obama will win

I'm picky about my friends.

by lockewasright 2008-04-21 06:25PM | 0 recs
Re: American Spectator: Obama will win

Hillary's not 'losing badly' regardless of what you may think. And unlike you, I don't believe that this election will be handed to Democrats. We will have to work for it. But apparently, you don't think it will be that way, which is why you'd rather resort to diverting the issue.

by VAAlex 2008-04-21 06:56PM | 0 recs
Re: American Spectator: Obama will win

Get an abacus.

by lockewasright 2008-04-21 09:17PM | 0 recs
Re: American Spectator: Obama will win

Get a map.

by VAAlex 2008-04-22 07:43AM | 0 recs
Re: American Spectator: Obama will win

My map shows twice as many states in the Obama column as the Hilary column.  

I repeat, get an abacus.

by lockewasright 2008-04-22 08:04AM | 0 recs
Re: American Spectator: Obama will win

Yay! You can count! Too bad number of states is relevant to exactly nothing. On that, this is getting boring and trading insults with someone who doesn't get facts is like beating a dead horse. Not fun, so good day.

by VAAlex 2008-04-22 08:18AM | 0 recs
Re: American Spectator: Obama will win

Fact: Your candidate is losing.  

Fact:  YOU brought up the map you twit, not me.

Fact:  Even a 30% win in PA won't catch your loser, liar, republican light candidate back up.

Fact:  N.C. will seal the deal.

Fact:  You clearly don't know a damn thing about what you're talking about

Get an abacus.

by lockewasright 2008-04-22 09:05AM | 0 recs
Re: American Spectator: Obama will win


Fact: Clinton supporters don't deal in facts
Fact: MYDD will be a quiet place come June 3rd

by wellinformed 2008-04-22 09:14AM | 0 recs
Re: American Spectator: Obama will win

Since you butted in to this, may I remind you that I was referring to the fact that Clinton won Texas. This is a fact, and I didn't mention anything else, so please take your insults elsewhere.

by VAAlex 2008-04-22 09:15AM | 0 recs
Re: American Spectator: Obama will win

Of the total number of delegates that Texas has to give, which candidate got the most?

Hint:  Not Hilary.

by lockewasright 2008-04-22 10:27AM | 0 recs
Re: American Spectator: Obama will win

Unlike you, I'm not going around troll-rating comments I don't agree with.

by VAAlex 2008-04-22 03:31PM | 0 recs
Re: American Spectator: Obama will win

Answer the question liar.

by lockewasright 2008-04-22 06:08PM | 0 recs
Re: American Spectator: Obama will win

Give me a break. I'm done talking to you since you do nothing but insult and call me names and hide behind troll ratings. Thank god other people are more reasonable and actually have an argument.

by VAAlex 2008-04-22 06:48PM | 0 recs
Re: American Spectator: Obama will win

anything to not answer the question, eh?

by lockewasright 2008-04-22 06:54PM | 0 recs
Re: American Spectator: Obama will win

The incompetent is beating your candidate... soundly.

by lockewasright 2008-04-21 09:18PM | 0 recs
Re: American Spectator: Obama will win

Why do you believe Senator McCain is such a stong candidate? He isn't strongly supported by his own party. A one issue candiate. Too old. What do you see in him? Obama has beaten Senator Clinton and will easily beat McCain.

by Politicalslave 2008-04-21 06:42PM | 0 recs
Re: American Spectator: Obama will win

Except that in every single poll I have seen, and in the RCP aggregate of polls, both Obama and Clinton are within 1.5 points of McCain. This will NOT be an easy election, and this conceit that is starting to develop among some here is worrying.  

by VAAlex 2008-04-21 06:57PM | 0 recs
Re: American Spectator: Obama will win

I laugh at those that think this is a cakewalk election.

I heard the same things from diehard Kerry supporters/Democrats in 2003-04.  "We can't lose!"  "Bush is a joke!"  "This will be a cakewalk!"  "War hero vs. War monger!"

And yada yada yada...

Anyone who thinks John McCain is not a formidable opponent is just asking to look ridiculous.

If I was betting, I'd say either Clinton or Obama would beat him by 5% and maybe 310 EV total.  But, I do not see some effortless contest.

by reggie44pride 2008-04-21 07:06PM | 0 recs
Re: American Spectator: Obama will win

Even 310 electoral votes is optimistic. We have great candidates, and that will be key. But both will have to earn and fight for the Presidency; we don't need a rehash of the same attitude that caused us to lose '04.

by VAAlex 2008-04-21 07:09PM | 0 recs
Re: American Spectator: Obama will win
well you do have a point if Bush can win a second term anything is possible  I agree lets not underestimate our oppponent McCain
I see he is building up his republican support by flip flopping on his policies to mirror bush  IE tax cuts he was against now he is for them
and saber rattling with IRAN  to get the NEOCONS frothing at the mouth. I strongly believe that while our candidates are beating each other up he is just getting stronger and watching the dems and studying their strengths and weaknesses remember he is old but not stupid  he will not be a cake walk  
by wellinformed 2008-04-22 09:24AM | 0 recs
Re: American Spectator: Obama will win

Exactly!! These same people who claim that Obama cannot win the GE also take pride in what a scrapper Hilary is.  The pride in Hilary as a fighter is not misguided.  After facing her, McSame really ain't shit.  Even were we not in the middle of a mass swing away from conservatism in the mood of this country, even if the turn out didn't reflect a fired up base, if the fundraising on our side wasn't absolutely astonishing at the same time as it is abysmal on the GOP side, even if the current GOP president hadn't lead us simultaneously into an unpopular war and and even less popular recession, it would still be easier to beat McSame than Hilary.

Like I sad, we could run a pet rock against McSame and win.  That's why Hilary is fighting so damn hard right now.  She knows that the democratic nominee will be the next president.

by lockewasright 2008-04-21 09:26PM | 0 recs
Re: American Spectator: Obama will win Pennsylvani

I call you crazy, and I am calling Clinton by 9

by TruthMatters 2008-04-21 05:23PM | 0 recs
Re: American Spectator: Obama will win Pennsylvani

It's not my opinion.  I am just forwarding it along as something to consider.

My official prediction was:

C 54.0
O 44.8

Turnout: 2,176,000
Clinton nets ~200,000 votes, loses them back in NC, hopes for an Indiana win.

by reggie44pride 2008-04-21 05:26PM | 0 recs
Re: American Spectator: Obama will win Pennsylvani

ok good you are sane they are crazy.

by TruthMatters 2008-04-21 05:27PM | 0 recs
Re: American Spectator: Obama will win Pennsylvani

I hope your latest prediction holds up. I would love to see Senator Obama win Pennsylvania. If Senator Clinton was to win what is the widest margin you can imagine?  Great Post

by Politicalslave 2008-04-21 06:48PM | 0 recs
Re: American Spectator: Obama will win Pennsylvani

It was not my opinion, it was the American Prospect that made it.

I would not be terribly surprised if Clinton won by up to 15 points.

I would put the over/under at 8.3

by reggie44pride 2008-04-21 06:57PM | 0 recs
Re: American Spectator:

Anything is possible, but I have Hillary by 12.

by mjc888 2008-04-21 05:26PM | 0 recs
I say Clinton

by 5.6%.  That scenario is possible but would require massive turnout in Philly and depressed turnout in the center of the state/

by Student Guy 2008-04-21 05:30PM | 0 recs
American Spectator: Obama will win Pennsylvania

Hillary will have huge night!

I am sticking to my 16% margin!

by Hope Monger 2008 2008-04-21 05:31PM | 0 recs
Then You're Banking on ARG polling!

OK . . . good luck with that!

by Davidsfr 2008-04-21 07:07PM | 0 recs
That American Spectator? Really?

Hillary by 14....

by WashStateBlue 2008-04-21 05:34PM | 0 recs
Clinton 54%

   to Obama's 46%. I'd love to see NH happen again, this time for Obama....but I don't see it.
by southernman 2008-04-21 05:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton 54%

yeah you see the same as me 54-46, I see a 8-9 pt win for her.

they point out that Obama never goes above 45, well Hillary hasn't been above 52

so tomorrow will be interesting.

by TruthMatters 2008-04-21 05:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton 54%

  and Alegre, Campskunk, atd, and the others will all tell us what a great victory it was...that she gained 9 whole delegates...(according to Clinton people, it's all about delegates)

  And I'll laugh my ass off, as usual.

by southernman 2008-04-21 06:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton 54%

Clinton was above 52 in several polls, I believe.  Never for her RCP average, but that's another story.

by reggie44pride 2008-04-21 06:17PM | 0 recs
Re: American Spectator: Obama will win

Gutsy prediction, and one that I'm not with. At this point, I think you're right that it's all in the ground game, and that Obama has had a strong ground game. But I don't think any recent polls have put Obama ahead of Clinton, which would mean that he'd have to have a very strong turnout, along with a comparatively weak Clinton turnout. I can't say I see that happening.

I think it'll be closer than some of the Clinton supporters have been suggesting, but I'm not betting money on Obama actually coming out on top.

by Jaffee 2008-04-21 05:50PM | 0 recs
PPP Out Today Said Obama by 3

So there is one poll that puts him ahead. It is within the MOE of most of the polls showing Clinton leaning, so I expect a narrow Clinton victory, certainly not the double digits some are predicting in this thread.

by Davidsfr 2008-04-21 07:00PM | 0 recs
American Prospect, not Spectator

Big Difference!

by elrod 2008-04-21 06:23PM | 0 recs
Re: American Prospect, not Spectator


The perils of multi-tasking and basketball watching at once.

Big edit necessary here.

by reggie44pride 2008-04-21 06:38PM | 0 recs
I think it will be close

Clinton by less than 5% and fewer than 10 delegates. A Pyrrhic victory for the Senator from New York.

by MILiberal 2008-04-21 06:43PM | 0 recs
Yeah Right

the media supports Obama--that is why they are spending disproportionate time on manufactured nonsense!

Please! You sound like the right-wing noise machine makers claiming a "liberal" bias in the media.

by Davidsfr 2008-04-21 07:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Yeah Right

Hey, has the media aired the fact that the Clintons asked Wright to the WH as support during the Lewinsky scandal?

Has it done extensive exposes (as in, to the Wright or Ayers level) on all the dirtbags Clinton pardoned, and demanded answers about the Clintons' associations with them?

Has it covered the Saudi donors to the Clinton library, and how that might compromise Hillary's foreign policy?

Has it covered Bill's 800K from the right-wing government of Colombia? (you know, the guys who fund the paramilitaries down there?)

Has it covered Bill's trip to Kazakhstan with Canadian magnate, Frank Giustra, that netted Giustra $3 billion and Bill's foundation a $131 million contribution from Giustra?

Has it covered how Bill's tangled ties to an investment concern of Clinton friend, Ron Burkle, and it's dealings with Dubai may yet, again, threaten to compromise Hillary Clinton's execution of foreign policy as president?

Has it covered how "dishwashers, waiters and others" poured $1,000 and $2,000 contributions into Clinton's campaign treasury?

Has it covered Norman Hsu and his bundling of money for her campaign?

Has it covered how much money she's taken from foreign interests?

Has it covered how much money she's taken from Big Pharma?

Have they asked her what kinds of favors are expected for 1 million dollar contributions?

Yeah, they've really been all up in her grill.


by rhetoricus 2008-04-21 09:52PM | 0 recs

You were saving that one up, weren't you?

by Dracomicron 2008-04-22 04:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Ouch

Ya just get so sick of the whining and the "I'm so vetted," ya know?

by rhetoricus 2008-04-22 10:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Yeah Right

^^^^talk about kitchen sink  jeez!

well there goes the media bias argument

comment from the clinton supporters aaaaannndd........... GO

by wellinformed 2008-04-22 09:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Yeah Right

Not sure, but I know WaPo covered the story.

Is that high-profile enough coverage to get at least a few minutes of whining respite?

by rhetoricus 2008-04-22 10:39AM | 0 recs
Re: The American Prospect: Obama will win Pennsylv

YOu need to make it clearer in the diary that the entire thing is from the article and not your views, Reggie. That's why you are getting those puzzling comments. I think you could just put something in the opening that clearly attributes who the author of the piece is, that he wrote it, and that you are just quoting it.

Just saying.

I also think MyDD has rules about attribution. It's good form to go out of your way in this regard.

by DrPolitics 2008-04-21 07:18PM | 0 recs
I hope you're right

But i unfortunately, see Hillary  winning by 10 points. Aside from PA having the second highest population of older people in the country, there are more non-educated voters than educated and tons of blue collared workers.

But, I have faith in Barack's organizers to GOTV. Hopefully the Philly rally of 35,000 strong made people realize that tens of thousands don't forego a Friday nite of partying unless this candidate is truly worth it.

by april34fff 2008-04-21 07:38PM | 0 recs
by fugazi 2008-04-21 08:30PM | 0 recs
Re: The American Prospect: Obama will win Pennsylv

You're both high. She'll take it by 15% at least.

But nothing wrong with hopin. :)

by rhetoricus 2008-04-21 09:41PM | 0 recs
May want to check the posting rules

I believe you're not supposed to post diaries that are just a cut & pasted article.

You might also want to consider putting the quoted sections in blockquotes, like this

< blockquote > Quoted Text < /blockquote >

Just remove the spaces between the brackets and the word "blockquote" and

It should look like this


I'm still going with an 8% Clinton win.  Enough for her to claim victory and continue the race, but not enough for her to really convince the superdelegates that Obama can't win, especially when she was at +20% six weeks ago.

by Dracomicron 2008-04-22 04:25AM | 0 recs


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