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Live Blog: The Pennsylvania Primary

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7:00 p.m. MSNBC characterizes the race as "too close to call." Fox News calls it "close" and CNN calls it "competitive."

7:10 p.m. It was an interesting, though not surprising, turn by the media during the past few days. The need to make Pennsylvania appear to be as competitive as possible to spur interest in the race (and thus drive ratings) first was characterized as a "Barack Obama surge." But when Hillary Clinton began to pull ahead in some polls by double digits over the weekend, the media moved the yardmarker -- and now the battle was defined by the media as to whether or not Obama could prevent Clinton from winning by 8, 9, or 10-points. You see, without the conflict, without a change in the expectations game, the media fears people will find little reason to stay tuned to their broadcast in what has been a campaign season of unprecedented length.

7:34 p.m. The race is now being characterized as "too early to call" by MSNBC.

8:04 p.m. All three networks have now called Hillary Clinton the winner of the Pennsylvania primary. Clinton has now won 15 states plus American Samoa, plus Michigan and Florida. Obama has won 27 states plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The call by the networks puts, in Smart Politics' eyes, an undramatic bookend to more than a month of this blog calling the state a sure-win for the Clinton campaign.

8:08 p.m. (7% reporting)
Clinton = 52%
Obama = 48%

8:30 p.m. (18% reporting)
Clinton = 54%
Obama = 46%

8:37 p.m. (22% reporting)
Clinton = 53%
Obama = 47%

8.40 p.m. Clinton has now won 15 state primaries, including Florida and Michigan; Obama has also won 15, including the District of Columbia. Clinton has won only two caucuses (Nevada and New Mexico) while Obama has won 13 caucuses. There are no caucus contests remaining.

8:47 p.m. (35% reporting)
Clinton = 54%
Obama = 46%

8:51 p.m. (42% reporting)
Clinton = 55%
Obama = 45%

9:00 p.m. (47% reporting)
Clinton = 54%
Obama = 46%

9:12 p.m. (57% reporting)
Clinton = 55%
Obama = 45%

Clinton's current lead - subject to change as more votes are counted - basically reflects the poll trends captured within the last few days (Zogby +10, InsiderAdvantage +7). Everyone lines up pollsters with a firing squad when they 'get it wrong', but survey organizations rarely get the credit when they 'get it right.'

9:17 p.m. A new poll of likely North Carolina voters was just released tonight by SurveyUSA with Obama leading Clinton 50 to 41 percent. North Carolina and Indiana will hold their primaries in two weeks. Indiana should be Clinton territory, though recent polls by Downs Center and the Los Angeles Times each show Obama with a 5-point advantage. Expect that to change in Clinton's favor after the Pennsylvania victory makes tomorrow's headlines.

9:22 p.m. (66% reporting)
Clinton = 54%
Obama = 46%

9:30 p.m. (70% reporting)
Clinton = 54%
Obama = 46%

Clinton's victory speech is serviceable, but delivered in her customary cue card / teleprompter robotic style; a style which is unlikely to lure over new (i.e. young) voters from Obama's side to hers.

9:39 p.m. (76% reporting)
Clinton = 54%
Obama = 46%

11:02 p.m. (96% reporting)
Clinton = 55%
Obama = 45%

Previous post: Final PA Polls; Live Blog Tonight
Next post: Pennsylvania Primary Wrap-up; Or, Why Clinton Could Actually Be Winning the Race for the Democratic Nomination

2 Comments


  • Ratings, ratings!

  • Very informative, I hadn't seen these stats before and it's quite interesting to see the percentages.

  • Leave a comment


    Remains of the Data

    Who Has Won the Most Votes in US Senate Electoral History?

    Only three of the Top 10 and nine of the Top 50 vote-getters of all time are currently serving in the chamber.

    Political Crumbs

    Six for Thirteen

    Collin Peterson remarked last month that he is leaning to run for reelection to Minnesota's 7th Congressional District in 2016. If he does and is victorious, he will creep even closer to the top of the list of the longest-serving U.S. Representatives in Minnesota history. The DFL congressman is only the sixth Minnesotan to win at least 13 terms to the U.S. House of the 135 elected to the chamber in state history. Peterson trails 18-term DFLer Jim Oberstar (1975-2011), 16-term Republicans Harold Knutson (1917-1949) and August Andresen (1925-1933; 1935-1958), and 14-term DFLers Martin Sabo (1979-2007) and John Blatnik (1947-1974). Andresen died in office, Sabo and Blatnik retired, and Knutson and Oberstar were defeated at the ballot box in 1948 and 2010 respectively. At 70 years, 7 months, 11 days through Monday, Peterson is currently the ninth oldest Gopher State U.S. Representative in history. DFLer Rick Nolan of the 8th CD is the seventh oldest at 71 years, 1 month, 23 days.


    Seeing Red

    Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


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