Clinton wins - But is it enough?

Its a big surprise of course - Hillary Clinton has won in Pennsylvania. Ok, not really - its no different to what we have been expecting for the last 18 months.

Moving on - what does it mean? Tomorrow we will see the real coverage, the real questions and the reactions of the superdelegates.

At best, Clinton's win is anywhere from 4 to 10 points. That latter result would be just on the cusp of what some pundits say she needed to stay in the game.

But the real results mean that the delegate lead wont be materially affected. The popular vote lead will still substantially be with Obama. Lets not forget, just weeks ago, Clinton's lead in Pennsylvania was significant - much more than today's result. The momentum, is actually with Obama.

However, make no mistake, Hillary Clinton will continue in this race. She will take it all the way to the convention if she has to.

Remember, this is about Hillary, this is truly her one shot at the title.

But in the end, so far, Hillary is still behind - well behind. She needs now to secure a massive majority of the remaining superdelegates, and that is a big ask.

Early Exits - Too Close to Call

In good signs for Barack Obama, the early exit polls have suggested that the race in Pennsylvania is too close to call.

The first exit poll suggested that Clinton had the lead, but only by a razor thin margin of 52%-48%. Early exit polls tend to give Obama a boost, but even so, even a 55-45 split should be enough for Obama.

Only weeks ago, Clinton had a substantial lead in Pennsylvania. Obama has steadily eroded that margin.

Up to half of the 4 million registered Democrats in Pennsylvania were predicted to have cast their ballot today, with long lines stretching from many polling stations.

When will Hillary Get Out of the Kitchen?

Hillary is up to bat in Pennsylvania - but will she strike out today, and if not, when will she say that it's time for her stop her campaign?

As Clinton has said in her latest 3am ad, if you cant stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. But its clear that Hillary can stand the heat. She is damn tough.

But can she stand to damage the chances of the Democrats to win the White House come November, and go down in history as the ultimate spoiler? That's the heat she needs to worry about.

Obama is in front in the pledged delegates, the popular vote and is closing in on Clinton's superdelegate lead.

And crucially, Obama in most polls leads Clinton in the match up with John McCain.

So will she pull the pin after today? Its doubtful.

If we factor in that Clinton is likely to win the Pennsylvania primary today, then we can expect that the spin from her campaign is that she is "back on track." No doubt, it will be the same line as when she secured a surprise win in New Hampshire.

Clinton will also again run the spin that only she is able to carry the swing states, and that only she is the candidate who has the best chance of beating McCain come Novemeber.

But spin can only take her campaign so far. If she cant secure enough delegate support, then what option does she have? She obviously cant win, so why continue?

We can only assume that the Clinton team are hoping that many of the undeclared superdelegates will fall her way. Or, in a more sinister possibility, Hillary may be waiting to see if Obama will stumble. And if we know anything about the Clinton team, they may be working to contribute to that outcome.

While today is important, keep a close eye on the media reporting, in addition to the reaction of senior Democrats tomorrow.

As for Clinton, she is still playing "wait and see". But there is only so long before that strategy would become terribly damaging to the Clinton reputation. The problem is, does she care?

Game On for Obama and Clinton

In less that 24 hours we will know the result of the crucial Pennsylvania primary.

The wait has been the longest since the voting season began, and it has been nothing if not eventful.

From the Rev. Wright saga, to dodging bullets on the Bosnian tarmac, it has been back and forth between Obama and Clinton for the last month. (And in the meantime, John McCain has kept his head down.)

And in the last few days, the race has become particulary nasty. Starting with that ABC debate (can we call it that? or was it a reality tv show?), and ending with yet another negative 3am ad from Clinton. Yet another one from the Republican playbook.

But Obama has a convincing lead in the popular vote so far - a lead that is unlikely that Clinton will catch. He also leads the pledged delegate vote, and nothing short of a miracle would see Clinton overtake him.

Hillary does however lead in the superdelegate stakes, but only just. Obama has been steadily eroding her lead, and by this rate will overtake her come the convention.

By all reports, Clinton will win in Pennsylvania - but it may not be enough for her to avoid the calls for her to pull out of the race. If this race continues until the Democratic Convention, John McCain can sit back while the internal Democrat fighting does his job for him.

Obama Everywhere in Pennsylvania

Another great youtube clip brought to you by the Obama team. Barack Obama has been everywhere in Pennslyvania.

What will the Pundits say about a Hillary Win?

What spin can we expect from the media following a Clinton win in Pennsylvania? Probably about the same we got when she won in Texas (sort of), and Ohio. And then before that, in Massachusetts.

And that is, "its a comeback for Clinton and she is still in the race." I'm sorry? Say that again please?

Only a few months ago, Barack Obama was well behind in the national polls. On Super Tuesday, Hillary Clinton was expected to wipe the floor with Obama. It didn't happen.

In Massachusetts on super Tuesday, Clinton had led with double figures in the long lead in to the primary. Obama secured Kennedy's endorsement the week before the vote. The media reaction when Clinton still won the state? Kennedy's endorsement wasn't worth as much as it was thought and Clinton had prevailed.

This of course flew in the face of the fact that Obama has gained on Clinton, so significantly that his vote in Massachusetts ended up in the 40's - much greater than was predicted.

Then we had Texas and Ohio. In Texas, Clinton was expected to benefit from the large Latino community, and in fact had led consistently in the polls until a couple of weeks before the vote. She won on the day, just, with a subsequent final figure showing that Obama had in fact secured more delegates. Go figure.

Yet the spin continued. Another victory for Clinton.

But perhaps the most remarkable was Ohio. Barack Obama was never expected to win there. He didn't lead in the polls - in fact for months he was way behind. The best he could do was a few days before, when he came very close, before those negative 3am ads. Clinton prevailed, but only by 54 to 44 - a 5 point split.

The spin from the pundits? You got it, Clinton scores a remarkable victory. Not only that, they repeatedly ran with the line that she put out, that only she could carry the swing states. Ahem, umm, what happened to the swing state of Missouri? Oh yes, Obama won that one.

I'm not sure what part of the polls the media don't seem to understand. In states where Obama doesn't win, but increases his proportion of the vote against his historical poll data, the result can only be regarded as a victory for him, and not Clinton.

Victory in politics is not always secured by just recording a pure numbers win.

And thus we await what the pundits will say tomorrow - when Clinton will likely win, albeit with a much smaller margin than was predicted just weeks ago.

Its probable we will hear the same - "welcome back Hillary. How long can this campaign go on?"

And if that is the case, no doubt we wont be hearing about Obama's solid popular vote lead, his substantial lead in the pledged delegate stakes, and his moving within 24 votes of Clinton in the superdelegate race.

Yes, it's sometimes all about spin - not reality. I think the media just like the contest. After all, for them, this is the general election.

Michael Moore, Superdelegate Go for Obama

Activist and documentary filmmaker Michael Moore has today endorsed Barack Obama for President, taking a swipe at Hillary Clinton in the process saying her "actions and words...have gone from being merely disappointing to downright disgusting."

On Moore's website, he said that the final straw was the ABC debate last week. "I've watched Senator Clinton and her husband play this game of appealing to the worst side of white people, but last Wednesday, when she hurled the name "Farrakhan" out of nowhere, well that's when the silly season came to an early end for me. She said the "F" word to scare white people, pure and simple." Moore said in his statement.

"Of course, Obama has no connection to Farrakhan. But, according to Senator Clinton, Obama's pastor does -- AND the "church bulletin" once included a Los Angeles Times op-ed from some guy with Hamas! No, not the church bulletin!"

Moore says that although he cant vote in Michigan, the voters of Pennsylvania have a chance to "set things right. It has not had a moment to shine like this since 1787 when our Constitution was written there. In that Constitution, they wrote that a black man or woman was only "three fifths" human. On Tuesday, the good people of Pennsylvania have a chance for redemption.

And in yet another blow to the Clinton campaign, superdelegate from Ohio Enid Goubeaux has today also endorsed Obama ahead of Clinton. In the superdelegate race, Obama is catching Clinton, trailing by only 24 votes, 238 to 262.

Obama Cleans up - Clinton in the Red

Questions will be raised over the viability of Hillary Clinton's campaign, after latest returns show her account is in the red by over $1million. In stark contrast, Barack Obama is cleaning up in the fundraising stakes, pulling in over $41 million in March, leaving him with $42 million to spend in his campaign to be President.

Clinton raised a comparatively modest $20 million in March, but only had 9 million available to spend, with debts of $10.3 million.

Of Obama's $51 million, $9 million has been allocated for use in the general election only.

Obama has so far raised $235 million, much of it from grass roots sources. Over $4.6 million of Obama's fundraising in March came from California, with $3.2 million coming out of New York.

Over $30 million was spent by Obama in March, while Clinton only spent $22.2 million. Obama has been spending a large amount on advertising in Pennsylvania, which has helped him cut into Clinton's lead.

The ability for Obama to fundraise at a much greater level than Clinton is sure to figure into the superdelegate's decision as to who to support.

The latest news showing cracks in Hillary's campaign finances is another concern for her flagging campaign. Earlier this year, Clinton was forced to contribute $5 million of her own money to keep her campaign alive.

Nailbiter Finish Predicted in Pennsylvania

With just 24 hours to go before the crucial primary in Pennsylvania, new polls out today are predicting a nail biting finish to the ballot between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Many Democratic insiders are suggesting that anything short of a convincing win by Hillary Clinton will see greater pressure applied to her to withdraw from the race.

So while Clinton's lead at the moment is a winning one, it is likley not to be enough to resist the growing pressure.

All the recent data suggests that Clinton is highly unlikely to overtake Obama on the popular vote and the pledged delegates. And the Superdelegate votes are moving increasingly to Obama.

In the latest Zogby tracking poll, Clinton has gained 2 points over the weekend, putting her in the lead 48% to 42%, with a margin of error of 4%.

Strategic Vision's latest poll, of 1200 Pennsylvania voters has Clinton in the lead 48% to 41%. Suffolk University's weekend poll of 600 likely Democratic primary voters has Clinton ahead by 10 points, 52%-42%.

Obama - On Track for Change

Barack Obama in Harrsiburg, Pennsylvania yesterday. Obama is steadily moving in on Hillary Clinton, in the vote that may prove crucial in the race for the nomination.

Obama within Striking Distance of Clinton

Barack Obama is just 5 points behind Hillary Clinton in the latest poll conducted in Pennsylvania, just 2 days before the polls open in the crucial primary.

Clinton leads Obama, 48% to 43% among 625 likely Democrat primary voters polled by the MSNBC/McClatchy/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. With a 4 point margin of error, it puts Obama well within striking distance of Clinton.

It has been widely reported that anything under a 10 point win for Clinton in Pennsylvania will be a major blow for her campaign. With her superdelegate lead seemingly narrowing by the day, a close result there will see greater calls for Clinton to drop out of the race.

Obama continued his campaign in Pennsylvania yesterday, taking a slow train across the state with various stops along the way. It was a continuation of his successful campaigning in Pennsylvania so far, coming after his speech to 35,000 people in Philly on Friday.

Barack Obama - Reason Ad

The latest ad from the Obama team in the lead up to the vote in Pennsylvania this Tuesday.

Entitled "Reason", the ad follows on the theme that Obama has mastered over the last couple of months. Further, it highlights the crucial endorsements that Obama has received from the major newspapers in Pennsylvania.

Again, its another well made ad from the Obama team - and it goes to the heart of the differences between the two candidates. These are the types of ads that actually change votes. Positive message, affirmed by independent newspapers.

Obama 's Slow Train Through Pennsylvania

In a move back to real old school politics, Barack Obama was yesterday on a slow train through Pennsylvania ahead of Tuesday's crucial primary.

Waving and talking to the many people who turned out to cheer him, Obama's train ride is amazing imagery, harking back to the grand old days of electioneering in the 19th century.

Latest polls have shown Obama gaining on Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania, but also taking a big lead among registered Democrats across the nation.

Enjoy the slow train.

Obama - For Health Care We Can Afford

Obama's "Afford" ad, playing in Pennsylvania. "For health care we can afford, vote for change that we can believe in."

This is an ad which runs on one of the classic political formats - start with the negative, recognise the problem, offer a solution. It's a format that works.

Obama has Massive Lead - Newsweek

The latest Newsweek poll, conducted over the last few days, has Barack Obama leading Hillary Clinton by nearly 20 points among registered Democrats.

The survey of 1209 registered Democrats found that Obama leads Clinton 54% to 35% - a massive turnaround from the March Newsweek poll which had the split favoring Obama 45% to 44% - a statistical tie.

The amazing turnaround has come in a month where Obama has been subjected to increasing pressure by the Clinton camp and the media.

Of particular note is the fact that this poll was conducted after the "bitter" comments which were apparently to have played badly among Democrats. Not so according to these figures.

These latest results will be another blow to the Clinton campaign in the lead up to the crucial vote this Tuesday in Pennsylvania.

The only bright spot in this poll is the fact that both Obama and Clinton lead John McCain as the preferred President among all registered voters.

Registered voters give Obama a favorable rating of 56% compared to Clinton on 49%. Clinton has also suffered in the trustworthy question. Only 41% of people now consider her trustworthy - not a very promising figure for a candidate running for President.

Obama's speech to 35,000 in Philly

Barack Obama spoke to over 35,000 people at the Independence Center in Philadelphia yesterday, ahead of the crucial primary in Pennsylvania on Tuesday. This was the biggest crowd that Obama has addressed in the campaign till this point. Can it get any bigger?

This is the best of the speech.

Massive Crowds turnout for Obama

Barack Obama played to the biggest crowd of his campaign thus far, in his visit to Philadelphia, just days ahead of the crucial Pennsylvania Primary.

Over 35,000 people turned out to hear Obama speak at the Independence Visitor Center, a number which far exceeded the 30,000 who came to him and Oprah Winfrey in December in South Carolina.

Polls have shown Obama closing on Hillary Clinton, even after the much publicised bitter comments by Obama last week, and the tough debate conducted by ABC.

Obama spent at least some of his speech on Hillary Clinton, effectively labelling her a political opportunist.

"She's taken more money from Washington lobbyists than any other candidate in this race, even John McCain, because she says that lobbyists represent real Americans" he said. "She's taken a different position at different times on issues as fundamental as trade and even war, to suit the politics of the moment."

Obama as a contrast said that he was focusing clearly on change politics, and was not "running for President to play the same old Washington game.I'm running to end the game-playing" he said.

Obama secures Key Endorsements

In the lead up to the crucial Pennsylvania vote, Barack Obama has secured more key endorsements, in a further blow to the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Former Senators, Sam Nunn and David Boren have formally endorsed Obama, in addition to Robert Reich, the former Labor Secretary in the Bill Clinton administration.

Nunn was a former Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman from Georgia. Boren of Oklahoma an Oklahoman was chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Reich's endorsement for Obama will be a major disappointment for the Clinton camp - the second high profile former member of the Clinton administration to back Obama. Bill Richardson's endorsement of Obama last month is still grating on the Clinton team.

Jon Stewart breaks down ABC Debate

Who would have thought? An enlightened break down of the ABC hosted debate between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Jon Stewart's commentary is very funny, and in all seriousness, absolutely spot on.

Edit - youtube video removed

Check out the video here.

Obama speaks on ABC Debate

Barack Obama in Raleigh, North Carolina, responds to the latest debate moderated by ABC. Minor controversy has erupted over the negative questioning of Obama by former Clinton adviser, George Stephanopoulos.

Amongst other things, Obama was questioned on the issues of Rev Wright and the bitter comments made last week.

His reponse here sums up his approach to the campaign - he is not playing this election the way they are expecting.

Springsteen Defends & Endorses Obama

Music legend Bruce Springsteen has endorsed Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee for President. And he has also defended Obama for what many in the media and Hillary Clinton had described as elitist comments made last week by Obama.

Springsteen said that Obama "...has the depth, the reflectiveness, and the resilience to be our next president. He speaks to the America I've envisioned in my music for the past 35 years, a generous nation with a citizenry willing to tackle nuanced and complex problems, a country that's interested in its collective destiny and in the potential of its gathered spirit."

In defending Obama, The Boss said that "Critics have tried to diminish Senator Obama through the exaggeration of certain of his comments and relationships. While these matters are worthy of some discussion, they have been ripped out of the context and fabric of the man's life and vision, often in order to distract us from discussing the real issues: war and peace, the fight for economic and racial justice, reaffirming our Constitution, and the protection and enhancement of our environment."

Springsteen campaigned with John Kerry in 2004, playing to crowds of up to 100,000.

Obama Grilling General Petraeus

A select portion of Barack Obama grilling General Petraeus on the Hill this week.

Obama on Idol

Barack Obama on Idol? Yeah, i guess so....

Barack Obama and Education

Barack Obama on his tour of Pennsylvania, speaks here in a town hall style meeting about education, particularly how the no child left behind policy is affecting local schools.

Obama is obviously passionate about this topic - and its yet another effort at putting meat on the bones of his policies. Hillary Clinton and some sections of the media have been critical of Obama for just giving good speeches, but not actually saying much in detail of what he will do if he becomes President.

Over the coming weeks and months, look out for more detail as Obama expands on his policies with real substance. Its a clever strategy - lay out the groundwork, then gradually expand.

And it seems to be working, by many reports Obama is clawing back Clinton's lead in Pennsylvania.

Obama to Offer Gore Key Position

Barack Obama has made a commitment that Al Gore will play a "central role" in his Administration, particularly in the field of climate change. However, it is a little unclear if Al Gore is a possibility for the Vice Presidential role again.

Campaigning in Pennsylvania, Obama was asked at a town hall style meeting if he would engage Gore as part of his Administration.

"Not only will I, but I will make a commitment that Al Gore will be at the table and play a central part in us figuring out how we solve this problem." Obama said

"He's somebody I talk to on a regular basis. I'm already consulting with him in terms of these issues but climate change is real. It is something we have to deal with now, not 10 years from now, not 20 years from now."

Al Gore is yet to endorse either Obama or Clinton. He may stay out of it, seeking to stay above the fray. But there is speculation that if he was to endorse, it would not be Hillary Clinton.

Superdelegates moving heavily to Obama

While many eyes are looking towards the battle in Pennsylvania on April 22, Barack Obama is slowly but surely winning the race for Superdelegates.

While Hillary Clinton still leads Obama in the superdelegate stakes by 250 to 217, Obama has been cutting that lead steadily over the last 8 weeks.

According to reports, since Super Tuesday, 64 superdelegates have pledged for Obama, with only 9 heading to Clinton.

With 330 still up for grabs, if Obama continues to secure superdelegates at this rate, even a large win for Clinton in Pennsylvania and other smaller states wont be enough for her to gain the lead.

Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota is the latest in a line of superdelegates to pledge to Obama. This comes after Sen Casey of Pennsylvania and Gov. Bill Richardson pledged to Obama last week.

Klobuchar said that Obama has a "different voice...and is bringing a new perspective and inspiring a real excitement from the American people."

Reports in the Wall Street Journal suggest that as many as 7 US House Members from North Carolina will be shortly throwing their support behind Obama as well. North Carolina holds its primary on May 6.

Klobuchar Backs Barack Obama

Democratic Senator from Minnesota, Amy Klobuchar has formally endorsed Barack Obama as the nominee for President.

This is yet another in a long line of significant endorsements for Obama. It is the second femalee US Senator to endorse him, after Sen. Clare McCaskill of Missouri came out early for Obama and was instrumental in helping him win that state's primary.

"Between Barack and a hard place, I chose Barack," Klobuchar said.

"He's able to dissolve the hard cynical edge that has dominated our politics under the Bush administration."

Obama still continues to trail Clinton amongst women - this endorsement should go a good way to helping to appeal to that important demographic.