Pennsylvania: When a Win Is Not a Win

Clear-cut margin of victory needed to be convincing
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2008 1:00 PM CDT
Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., kisses his wife Michelle.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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(Newser) – Polls agree that Hillary Clinton should win the popular vote today in Pennsylvania, but watchers say that victory won't be clear-cut. Adam Nagourney in the New York Times and Peter Wallsten in the Los Angeles Times predict that while an outright Clinton loss would end her candidacy and a 10-point spread would boost her enormously, a single-digit win will be tough to interpret.

The campaigns will jockey to spin middle-of-the-road results, with Team Hillary pointing to her minimal ad buys and Team Barack noting the advancing calendar. And crucial superdels are watching closely—“I do pay attention to the drilling down in the numbers,” said one—so demographic arguments, especially about blue-collar voters, will be front and center.