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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


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