The saga of the Democratic Presidential Primary appears it will continue on after Hillary Clinton posted a decisive victory last evening in Pennsylvania. Clinton's 10 point victory is what she needed to stay semi-relevant in the campaign. It proves one point that everyone in politics knows and I have written many times before,,, never count out the Clinton's.
However, the Clinton campaign remains in a no-win situation. She won't win more states, more votes, or more delegates by the time the final primary takes place on June 3rd. The kitchen sink has been thrown at Obama in the past 6 weeks and he is holding his own in national polls and cracked a million votes in Pennsylvania.
Clinton has to basically win out in the bigger states to make any case as to why she should be President. If she loses Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky, or Oregon then there are going to be calls by many for her to drop out of the race. She won't drop out, but she has cornered herself into a no-win situation. Even if she pulls off a deal where the Super Delegates give her the nomination, it will be tainted and will create resentment towards her that will follow her through the campaign and if she won the nomination.
But she deserves credit for pulling off the victory in Pennsylvania. As written here 6 weeks ago I gave big credit to Ted Strickland the Governor of Ohio for getting her the big win there. The same holds true in Pennsylvania as popular Governor Ed Rendell used his clout to deliver for Hillary. Governors as CNN's Roland Martin said last night, "hold the purse strings" and unlike a Senator (ie Bob Casey) can really muscle votes and support.
Now for Obama. This guy can't close and it is continuing to raise doubts in the minds of many. He's a phenomenally attractive candidate, but as happened in New Hampshire, Super Tuesday, Ohio, and Texas the late breaking voters are leaning towards Hillary. I watched his speech from Evansville, IN last night and saw a very different kind of event than what went on in Iowa or Wisconsin. The event was an older crowd and the speech seemed to lack the fire of his earlier
Want to follow up on one point from the Pennsylvania Preview article from Monday and the interest in looking at the turnout numbers. The prevailing wisdom is that negative campaigns drive turnout down and my fear was that the fervor around this campaign may have taken a hit by Clinton staying in the race.
Well the numbers of last evening prove otherwise. Decided to compare the turnout of the 2002 Gubernatorial Primary between two favorite local sons, Rendell and Bob Casey. It was a hard contested race between the Philadelphia base of Rendell and the Pittsburgh/rural base of Casey whose father was a phenomenally popular Governor.
Rendell and Casey combined for 1,242,236 million votes between both of them. Hillary Clinton last night received 1,258,245 votes on her own and Obama pulled over a million on his own.
While many including myself think that this race dragging on is hurting the party, the voters want to have their say and the negative air surrounding this race yielded the biggest primary turnout in recent Pennsylvania history.
The bottom line, if the eventual nominee can get some time to heal the party, these turnout numbers are very good for Democrats.