Saturday, March 08, 2008

Obama's Pennslyvania Strategy

as one of the slowest growing states, economically speaking, pennsylvania's in need of some jobs. looks like obama will be holding several roundtables and town hall meetings--as opposed to big rallies--to talk economy, which is especially on the minds of pennsylvanians.

there's another thing about pennsylvania, which holds its primary april 22. it's being cast in clinton's corner because it has the same demographics as ohio. but i don't think she's got it in the bag. though it has the white working-class workers, the ones who favored clinton in ohio, having spent time in pennsylvania, i don't think it has as big of a problem with race as ohio does.

many of those "lunchbox" workers in ohio said they voted for clinton because they wouldn't vote for "a black," but i think pennsylvania is more integrated so the state might be more inclined to go with obama.

pennsylvania is one of the "big states" with 158 delgates (it could've had more). but again, the big state argument is bogus for the general election.

clinton says pennsylvania is a must have for her, while not so for the obama camp. it is sticking to its strategy of getting as many delegates in all of the states. clinton has double-digit lead in the polls in pennsylvania and has deep ties there:

Obama campaign manager David Plouffe, in a separate conference call, said Obama is focused on "the whole picture, and not just one state."

"We will be campaigning a lot in Pennsylvania, but we will not be defined by it," Plouffe said. "Undeniably this is a state where Sen. Clinton has huge advantages."

Clinton has led Obama in Pennsylvania polls for more than a year. Gov. Ed Rendell, the state's top Democrat, and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, another powerful Democrat, are backing her.

"She should probably be expected to win by some margin," Plouffe said. "We are going to fight very hard in Pennsylvania. We have a lot of support there. We are going to campaign as hard as we can to get as many delegates and votes as we can."

Obama has nothing to lose by lowering the expectations in Pennsylvania, and everything to gain if he wins, according to analysts who say an Obama triumph in the Keystone State likely would sink Clinton's campaign.

"I think Pennsylvania is a must-win for Clinton," said Brian Schaffner, a political science professor at American University.

"It is a state where she should perform well, and it is a state that her campaign has singled out as one that they expect to win," Schaffner said. "Not to mention the fact that this race eventually comes down to delegates, and she cannot cut into his lead without winning Pennsylvania by at least several points."

the story also goes on to say that if clinton doesn't win pennsylvania, it's over for her.

Bert Rockman, chairman of the political science department at Purdue University, said Pennsylvania is "tailor-made for Hillary."

"Lots of white, working-class voters. Lots of older Democrats. A closed primary. Vintage lunch-bucket Democrats," said Rockman, a former University of Pittsburgh professor. "I believe that in general election voting patterns, Pittsburgh has the most Democratic white population of any city in the country."

G. Terry Madonna, a political scientist at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster County, said the stakes are higher in Pennsylvania for Clinton because her campaign has made an issue of being able to take big states, such as her primary wins in Texas and Ohio.

"If Obama wins Pennsylvania, it's over," Madonna said.
Upcoming primary and caucus schedule

Obama: the Un-Beholden President

Clinton’s Deliberate Race Baiting

Who Can Beat McCain?

It’s Still Over for Clinton

here's an interesting pennsylvania poll in february which has obama leading in a general election matchup with mccain.
this is just funny. the girl in clinton's 3AM ad is actually 17 now and an obama supporter. her photo as the sleeping child was something she'd done working as an extra.