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A BIG WIN in Pennsylvania is essential to that strategy. Almost all observers expect Hillary to win today’s primary in a state where every credible poll has shown her leading since last year. But if she can win by the double-digit margin suggested by the internal poll the Clinton campaign leaked to Drudge yesterday, Hillary’s people are ready to declare a momentum shift based on Obama’s apparent inability to win in states that will be major battlegrounds in November.
“Senator Obama has been outspending us three-to-one here in Pennsylvania,” Elleithee said. “I think a lot of people are going to have to ask the question, if he fails to win here, despite outspending us three-to-one — which would be the same pattern as we saw in Texas and Ohio — he’s going to have to start answering a lot of questions as to why.
“Why can’t he close the sale? Why can’t he win in these big states, and these swing states in the general election?”
The Clinton spokesman’s mention of Obama’s spending points to a key problem facing Hillary. While the latest reports from the Federal Election Commission showed Obama came into April with more than $40 million campaign cash on hand, the Clinton campaign had only $9 million cash on hand, and more than $10 million in debts.
Hillary has apparently been able to withstand a non-stop barrage of Obama ads in Pennsylvania, but without a major influx of cash soon, her campaign’s financial disadvantage could become fatal.
A big win in Pennsylvania may breathe new life into Clinton’s campaign and bring more contributions into her coffers, but she will still lag behind Obama in the delegate count.
Obama’s advantage in convention delegates — recently calculated by Bloomberg News at 1,645 to Clinton’s 1,504 — is Exhibit A in the case presented by Democrats who say Hillary should quit the race because she can’t possibly win the nomination.
YET HILLARY OBSTINATELY refuses to quit, and her spokesman says there is no reason for her to bow out. He points out that when the primary season ends, neither Democrat will have secured the 2,025 delegates needed to lock up the nomination in Denver.
“Neither candidate will have won the nomination after the primaries are over…so there are other factors that are going to have to weigh in, including super-delegates, including however Florida and Michigan are finally resolved,” Elleithee said. “So there’s still a lot of game left to be played.”
Clinton clearly plans to keep playing the game, as she stressed her readiness for the presidency to the Harrisburg crowd.
“I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work,” she said, warming up to a theme that she wrapped up in a peroration asking Pennsylvanians to consider their primary vote a “hiring decision” with two final applicants up for the job.
“Ask yourself, who’s ready to turn the economy around?…Who’s ready to deliver universal health care for every single American?…Who’s ready to take care of our veterans and end the war in Iraq and win the war in Afghanistan?”
She heard the answer she wanted from the roar of the Pennsylvanians whose voices nearly drowned out her final words, commanding them to go forth to victory.
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