Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Obama and Clinton On Par in Indiana

indiana has 72 delegates up for grabs and a big turnout of younger voters could mean an obama win there.

wash post:In Indiana, Obama has a home-field advantage, while Clinton has the backing of the popular Sen. Evan Bayh and may have an edge on the kind of economic issues that are likely to dominate the discussion before the state's Democrats vote on May 6.

"If I had to pick -- and I'm not usually shy about saying who's going to win -- I couldn't tell you today," said Rep. Joe Donnelly, a Democrat who represents Indiana's 2nd District and has not committed to either candidate. Others entrenched in Indiana politics put Clinton ahead, if only slightly.

The state's Democrats have reacted to their sudden relevance with enthusiasm -- thousands waited in the cold to see Clinton at several stops last week -- and the campaigns have responded by pouring resources into the state. Obama arrived here first, making an appearance March 15 in Plainfield, and the Clinton campaign is launching an attempt to limit his following on campuses with its own blitz on the numerous colleges and universities around the state. On Monday, Chelsea Clinton is set to help kick off the effort, appearing with her father, former president Bill Clinton, in South Bend before traveling to Bloomington.

Obama's bases of operation are likely to revolve around the Hoosier State's three major universities -- Notre Dame in the north and Indiana University and Purdue University farther south -- and build out into their respective host cities of South Bend, Bloomington and West Lafayette. The African American populations that spill over from Chicago are expected to favor Obama, as is Indianapolis, the state's largest city.
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