Posts Tagged ‘must win’

What If Obama Loses “Bitter” Pennsylvania?

September 22, 2008

DNC Chairman Howard Dean is hardly alone in calling Pennsylvania a “must win” state for Barack Obama.  But it’s a genuine possibility that he won’t.  Chris Matthews, that paradigm of journalistic objectivity, confessed to his “worry” that Obama may not be able to carry either Ohio or Pennsylvania.

Hillary Clinton carried Pennsylvania over Obama by 10 points, fueled at least partly by Obama’s infamous “bitter” statement about Pennsylvanians at an elite San Francisco fundraiser:

And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

Who wants to bet that Pennsylvanian voters won’t be reminded of that one a few thousand times between now and November?

Lest we forget, the pre-primary polling had Obama gaining on and actually overtaking Clinton in Pennsylvania.  And then they actually voted.

The current Real Clear Politics (RCP) average has Obama up by only 1.8 percent, which is within the margin of error.  And there are good reasons to believe that Obama will not do as well as the polls indicate.

There is a current barrage of stories that are already blaming racism for a potential Obama defeat.  These stories, while undoubtedly attempting to solicit a “guilt vote” for Obama, may actually backfire, as voters angered by having their motives questioned and impugned may harden against Obama.

If Barack Obama loses Pennsylvania, he will be the political equivalent of a smoldering chunk of dead meat.  Most experts agree that he MUST WIN Pennsylvania due to the electoral map calculus, and the loss of this state will likely single a very long night for Obama supporters.

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