The long-awaited Pennsylvania primary is under way as voters cast their ballots Tuesday in the increasingly vitriolic contest between Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination.
Analysts have said Clinton will need a solid win in the Keystone state to keep her run at the nomination alive, but she vowed Monday to continue on, regardless of the results.
“I’m going until everybody’s had a chance to vote in this process,” Clinton told CNN.
Obama is looking to keep the race tight and deprive Clinton of the boost a major win would give her, but did not go as far as to predict a win in Tuesday’s contest.
“I am not predicting a win. I am predicting it is going to be close and we are going to do a lot better than people expect,” he told KDKA radio.
In the closing days of the campaign, the two candidates have launched increasingly negative attacks, with both camps flooding the airways with attack ads.
The final Clinton ad airing before Tuesday’s vote raised eyebrows with images conveying danger to the country, including Pearl Harbor and Osama bin Laden. “Harry Truman said it best: If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen,” the ad says.
The Obama campaign responded with a quote from Bill Clinton in 2004, reported MSNBC.
“Now one of Clinton’s Laws of Politics is this: If one candidate’s trying to scare you and the other one’s trying to get you to think; if one candidate’s appealing to your fears and the other one’s appealing to your hopes, you better vote for the person who wants you to think and hope. That’s the best.”
Pennsylvania is the largest of the remaining 10 primary contests, with about 4 million registered Democrats. At campaign appearances in Pennsylvania, Clinton tried to push the message that Obama can’t win the big states in the general election and that voting for Obama would be a dangerous leap of faith.
While she is heavily favored to win the popular vote, her pledged delegate gains in Pennsylvania are not likely to be large, and could be as low as 10, reported the Washington Post.
Though the Obama campaign has tried to manage expectations for the race, they will be looking for good support in upscale areas of Philadelphia and the surrounding wealthy suburbs, as well as watching college towns like State College for a potential swell of youth voters, reported Politico
The results in south central Pennsylvania could be a good indicator for Obama’s popularity with newly registered Democrats as well.
Obama will be moving on to Indiana tonight, while Clinton has planned a victory rally in Pennyslvania.