Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Pennsylvania Wars: Clinton Strikes Back

Photo taken by Barbara Kinney

Before the voting day in Pennsylvania, many people felt that Obama would lose in that state. He was behind in the polls and the citizens are people who fall into the categories that typically vote for Clinton. However, I'm always skeptical about polls - especially after the surprise in Iowa earlier on this year.

Anyway, as the results show, the polls were correct:
CandidateVote %ageDelegates
Hillary Clinton5552
Barack Obama4546
This is undoubtedly a good result for her as it's a big state with plenty of delegates and it will give her a certain amount of momentum. However, it's not as big a margin as everyone thinks.

It seems that even after all this time, the media still doesn't undertand how the election process works in the US. They are all reporting the "big" 10% gap and forgetting that the vote percentage counts for absolutely nothing. The important statistic is the relatively small difference between the two in terms of delegates (six). That doesn't prove there's a huge swing towards Hillary (which is why I said 'a certain amount of momentum').

This is what Hillary had to say after the results were announced:
"You know, some people counted me out and said to drop out. But the American people don't quit, and they deserve a president who doesn't quit, either"
It's true - she hasn't quit. It would have been easy to do that earlier on because Obama continually won primaries and got to the point where he went past her delegate count. However, she realises that there is still time to overtake him because there are 9 Democrat primaries/caucuses and numerous delegates left before the the party's convention.

As a side note, it seems that Mike Gravel dropped out a few weeks ago. It shows how effective his campaign was when the media barely report it. I was thinking that he decided to remain in the race because he wanted to do some profiling before a run as an independent. However, due to the lack of media coverage I doubt that many people will know about him when the general election starts.

So, what about John McCain? I haven't heard much from this guy lately. It's possible that he could be pleased that the Democrat race is still going on. It means that there is still indecisiveness among the party and that could give him an advantage. It also means he has a bit more time to prepare his general election campaign. However, the continuing Democrat contest gives more media coverage to that party. It means that the voting population know more about the candidates and what they stand for. To stop this from being a problem, I think McCain needs to start doing a lot more.

According to the polls, the presumptive GOP nominee is way behind Obama and Clinton. As an example, here are the fundraising totals for March:
CandidateMoney ($)
Barack Obama40m
Hillary Clinton20m
John McCain15m
It's amazing that Obama is able to raise twice as much as Hillary and 25m more than McCain in just one month. It'll give him a great advantage interms of creating publicity if he becomes his party's candidate.

It's interesting that, despite all that Obama momentum and the total dominance of McCain on the Republican side, there are still some sections of the media that have a bias towards Clinton. Take this article in the Telegraph as an example. All it mentions is Hillary. It's almost as if nobody else was running. I wonder if this is still the case on some of the US media networks aswell.

Another thing that hasn't changed is the ability of each candidate to use tired clichés. On Monday's episode of WWE RAW, each candidate made a short speech about why they should be the President. Each speech contained a healthy dose of clichés that were (presumably) included so that they would appear to be in touch with the people that they are talking to. There were classics such as "the election is like the King of the Ring" and "Can you smell what Barack is cookin'?". Oh dear. I'm sorry, but if they wanted to appear 'in touch', they should have avoided those and respected the intelligence of the fans by just talking about policies.

Anyway, the race to the Whitehouse carries on and the conventions to decide the candidates are getting closer (I say that because McCain is only presumptive and, technically, the delegates still have to cast their votes). There will be many people who will be glad when this lengthy process is over, but I have found it both interesting and enlightening.

So, what do you think?

Technorati tags: USA, Election, Politics, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama


Alfred Thompson said...

They are pretty much all "must win" for Clinton at this point. Clearly a lot of people were holding off on giving her money to make sure she was not done. By winning PA in the face of being out spent she showed that and money is pouring in. Will it be enough? Hard to say. I actually think that this shows that money is not enough. I think that Obama is more acceepted in the midwest and among minorities. So he may win big in the next set of primaries. Although there is a lot of quiet racism in Indiana that no one likes to talk about so the polls many not get it right. We'll see. It stays interesting and I for one like it that way.