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Monday, April 21, 2008

Pennsylvania Primary in One Day has Hillary ahead by 7% with approximately 7% undecided. In the absence of a major shift, 7% undecided are not all going to Obama. And where has his "Yes we can" gone? I haven't heard it in weeks. Since bitter-cling-gaffe in fact.

Before any one was paying attention, she was ahead by 20%. As more attention was paid, the gap naturally narrowed to about 12% and in the last 2 weeks, maybe Obama closed to within 5% of Clinton. But if I can tea-leaf-read the wiggles, that has now expanded again. We'll see if the undecideds again break for Clinton in a big way. I'd guess 10% final margin for her, but I don't really put a lot of stock in my prognostication.

Look to Obama's camp pointing out that this was friendly Clinton territory, and that she was ahead by 20% not long ago. All true.

Look to the Clinton camp to point out that he didn't win by 20% and that he outspent her by 2 or 3 to 1. All true.

The truth is it is a big state. Big states are harder to change people's preferences merely because of their size. And like every state in the country, when the campaign started, she had a sizable advantage. When Obama wins a state, he has overcome, at some point in the distant past, virtually zero percent name recognition, and near complete Clinton domination. (I'm ignoring Edwards in all this discussion. ) So figure that when he wins, he needs to pick up the entire margin of victory during the run up to the primary or caucus. Hillary has merely needed to maintain her edge, which is generally easier, and which she has mostly managed in states where she lives, has lived, neighbor states and states that are large where it is difficult to get Obama's message out.

The networks are playing this as a "Will Obama win? Will Clinton Lose?" But Clinton has won, they just want you to tune in for the exciting finale for 4 hours on their news channel.

I'll be glad when this one is over.

Time to move on to Indiana and North Carolina.

I'll be glad when the primary is all over.

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