CNN Senior Political Analyst
What the Pennsylvania primary really means:
- Demography is destiny. Pennsylvania has a lot of seniors, blue-collar workers and Catholics. All strongly for Hillary Clinton. African-Americans, young voters and Independents were loyal to Obama. But there were not as many of them. This is now trench warfare. Each contender is trying to pump up turnout from his or her own base.
- Pennsylvania borders Ohio. It voted like Ohio (both went for Clinton by 10 points). Three other Ohio neighbors will vote next month – Indiana, West Virginia and Kentucky. WV and KY look good for Clinton. Indiana may be closer because 20 percent of Indiana voters live in the Chicago (Obama) media market.
- North Carolina is nowhere near Ohio. North Carolina demographics look good for Obama – African-Americans, young professionals in the Research Triangle area.
- When Pennsylvania primary voters were asked who they thought would win the Democratic nomination, they said Obama. But they voted for Clinton. This is odd. More and more Democratic voters believe Obama will be their candidate. But there’s no Obama bandwagon.
- Hillary Clinton is not just the Comeback Kid. She’s the Comeback-of-the-Month Kid. Four months, four comebacks: January – New Hampshire, February – Super Tuesday, March – Ohio and Texas, April – Pennsylvania. Each time, from a near-death experience.
- The Democratic Party is in a tough place. Obama can’t close the sale. Clinton can’t overtake him. It’s not that she’s so far behind – she’s not. It’s the Democratic Party rules that make it difficult to pick up delegates. Or to gain the edge in popular votes without counting Florida and Michigan.
- We’re seeing evidence of damage to the Democratic Party. Only 53 percent of Clinton voters in Pennsylvania said they would vote for Obama over McCain. 68 percent of Obama voters say they would vote for Clinton over McCain.
- There is a growing danger that the loser will argue the process was unfair – that he or she was cheated out of the nomination. That would split the party wide open.