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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

    Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

    The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

    Political Crumbs

    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.


    Home Field Advantage?

    When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


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