May 7, 2008


Obama wins big in N. Carolina as Clinton narrowly wins Indiana: Results give Obama's campaign a boost (Jeff Zeleny, May 7, 2008, NY Times)

Senator Barack Obama won a commanding victory in the North Carolina primary on Tuesday and lost narrowly to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in Indiana, an outcome that injected a boost of momentum to Obama's candidacy as the Democratic nominating contest entered its final month.

The results from the two primaries, the largest remaining Democratic ones, assured that Obama would widen his lead in pledged delegates over Clinton, providing him with new ammunition as he seeks to persuade Democratic leaders to coalesce around his campaign. He also increased his lead in the popular vote in winning North Carolina by more than 200,000 votes.

Pretty much the opposite of what she needed. Getting George W. Bush numbers among black voters was too big an obstacle. If the American electorate were 33% black he'd have a real shot at the presidency.

Clinton's Hard Road Gets Harder (MICHAEL SCHERER, 5/07/08, TIME)

While more voters than ever before in a Democratic primary this year pegged the economy as their number one issue, an emphasis that traditionally favors Clinton, she lost North Carolina by a decisive 14 point margin and only eked out a two point victory in Indiana. When it was all over, Clinton ended the night no closer to winning the nomination than when she began the day—in fact, she emerged an even bigger mathematical long-shot to taking the lead either in pledged delegates or the popular vote.

Not that she would ever admit to such harsh realities. "Thank you, Indiana," she declared just before 11 p.m. on Tuesday night, at a time when most news organizations still considered the race too close to call. "It's full speed onto the White House." For a moment, it seemed, even she had embraced the audacity of hope.

But assuming Clinton resists more calls to drop out, such a rosy outlook will not long remain her campaign's theme. All year, Clinton has been the Democratic candidate of the concrete, the one focused on the tangible transaction between voter and politician. Her stump speech is built not on a story as much as a laundry list of the things she will give to voters. "This is not some abstract exercise for me," she told a crowd in Evansville late Monday night. "This is hard work."

And she certainly makes it appear so.

Obama's Next Big Challenge MASSIMO CALABRESI, 5/07/08, TIME)
Despite his talk of bringing Americans together, his outreach to blue collar voters and even the North Carolina victory he had under his belt as he boarded the plane that evening, despite all of that, Obama could at best hope that between now and August he will take the leadership of a deeply divided party.

The contests ahead will not help. After her dispiriting, two-point victory in Indiana, Clinton seems to have the lock on two of the next three primaries, in West Virginia and Kentucky, which have strong contingents of older and blue-collar voters that play to her strengths. Obama is expected to fare better in the west, in states like Oregon, Montana and South Dakota, but those will require work. And Clinton is in a strong position in Puerto Rico.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 7, 2008 6:18 AM

Begala said it yesterday on CNN: we can't win with egg heads and blacks.

But watch the media start to whisper that the white voters in PA, IN, WV, KY, OH and other states are not as important, are not as committed, and are not as valuable. They're just rubes. Anything to boost Obama.

NC shouldn't have surprised anyone - it is easily the most blue state in the South, with the highest taxes, three or four 'metro' areas that have reasonable black populations (~25 to 30%) and a large number of academic whites who no doubt voted for Obama. However, it will go GOP in the fall, probably 54-46.

Posted by: ratbert at May 7, 2008 7:45 AM