Pa. Senator to Endorse Obama

Backing represents big break; Casey had vowed to stay neutral in crucial race
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2008 9:05 AM CDT
Barack Obama, left, and Bob Casey Jr. right, greet supporters after talking with campaign volunteers working for Casey's campaign to unseat Republican Rick Santorum in Pittsburgh on Oct. 11, 2006.   (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, FILE)
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(Newser) – Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey will endorse Barack Obama today, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports, in what could be big break for the presidential hopeful who's been trailing Hillary Clinton in polls there. Not only can Casey help Obama with Keystone State Democrats, says Politico’s Ben Smith, but his endorsement could signal a superdelegate surge to Obama. Casey had vowed to stay neutral until after the April 22 primary.

Casey wields influence with Pennsylvania's working-class voters, a demographic that usually breaks Clinton’s way. But Casey admires Obama’s populist roots as a community organizer “in the shadow of closed steel mills,” according to a source close to Casey. The senator’s daughters also helped convince him to endorse. “He thinks we shouldn't be deaf to the voices of the next generation.”