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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

    No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

    Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

    Political Crumbs

    Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

    Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


    An Idaho Six Pack

    Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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