By Daniel Politi, Today’s Papers, Slate Magazine
The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Wall Street Journal‘s world-wide newsbox all lead with looks at the continuing Democratic presidential contest after Sen. Hillary Clinton’s victory in Pennsylvania. As all eyes turn toward Indiana, the Clinton campaign announced that it received $10 million in contributions after the Tuesday victory, reports the WSJ. The NYT has a double-story lead, one looking at increasing questions of how Sen. Barack Obama’s race might affect the general election and another questioning how much primary results really foreshadow what will happen in November. The LAT talks to “dozens” of superdelegates, who seem to accept that the race will continue for six more weeks but insist that a decision has to be made after the last primary on June 3 and can’t wait until the convention, which will take place in late August.
The NYT‘s Adam Nagourney acknowledges that “the role of race is difficult to disentangle from the other strands of the political debate surrounding” the senator from Illinois, including his “values, elitism, ideology, and experience.” But it seems clear that race is at least playing some sort of factor in a key part of the electorate, and that is increasingly worrying Democrats. Although Obama says he’s made inroads with white, blue-collar voters, the Post points out that “exit polls dispute that.” Not only did he lose white voters without college degrees in Pennsylvania by pretty much the same margin as in Ohio, he even lost ground with white Roman Catholics, who make up an important constituency in several key states.
Clinton‘s victory in Pennsylvania allowed her to continue making the argument that she’s winning the states that are essential to a Democratic victory in November. But the NYT says that just because she’s winning the states in the primary doesn’t mean Obama can’t also win them in November. For its part, Obama’s camp contends that the senator from Illinois could put other states in play that have traditionally leaned Republican. Ultimately, political analysts seem to agree that “state primary results do not necessarily translate into general election victories,” and most of those who voted for Clinton would likely pull the lever for Obama in November.
Despite the spike in donations, the former first lady still expects to be vastly outspent in Indiana, notes the WSJ. According to the Associated Press, Clinton still trails Obama in the national delegate count by 131. In terms of the popular vote, “the gap both narrows and widens” depending on how it’s counted, notes the WSJ. Traditional counts put Obama ahead in the popular vote, but if the results from Michigan and Florida are included, then Clinton has a narrow lead.
In a WSJ op-ed piece, Karl Rove says that although Obama is still clearly the favorite, the last few weeks have weakened him as a candidate. “His appeals are based on two aspirational pledges he is increasingly less credible in making,” Rove writes. There’s little evidence that Obama “demonstrated bipartisanship” in any important issues as a senator, and he has also “not provided leadership on any major legislative battle.”