Monday, April 28, 2008

A Crazy Day: Indiana, the Reverend, and Elizabeth Edwards Nailing It

[segment 2]

1) Next week's Indiana Democratic Primary could be a nail-biter

In a contest where day to day polling tells us nothing more than that nobody knows anything, the Indiana Primary has the potential to come down to the wire. According to a new poll released today, Senator Clinton can take comfort in a 15% advantage over Obama among women, but Obama is making inroads among Northern Indiana residents, many of whom have been hit hard by the current economic slowdown (voters that have traditionally sided with Clinton).

Senator Evan Bayh's Central Indiana origins are boosting Clinton over Obama in the region by 13% in the latest polling, but Clinton's advantage is even greater in Southern Indiana where she is currently polling 32% ahead of Obama.

Notable: If Clinton can win the southern counties of Indiana by a wide margin she should be almost sure of a victory in neighboring Kentucky, a state that holds its Democratic primary on May 20th and in which Hillary Clinton is currently polling over 30% ahead of Barack Obama.

2) Reverend Wright is back

Reverend Wright appeared all over television on Saturday, Sunday, and today. Team Obama can't be pleased, especially when results from exit polls in Pennsylvania showed that voters deciding in the last weeks of the campaign tipped dramatically towards Senator Clinton.

Notable: CNN ran a story today on "The Black Church in America," and, iust as Obama has not been able to put the Reverend Wright issue away in a timely fashion, it concluded the segment by acknowledging that the words of Wright and similar preachers around the country were not shared by most "average white voters." I happen to think Obama DOES understand the issues facing "average voters" white or black, but with the "Wright-bone" connected to the "Obama-bone," Senator Obama will have to continue to fight in the coming weeks against the perception that he is out of touch with voters.

3) Americans forget about healthcare and Elizabeth Edwards puts herself out there

Considered by 27% of New Hampshire Primary voters to be the most important issue in America this past January, only 14% of voters in the Pennsylvania primary put healthcare as their greatest concern. Economic worries, fueled by rising gas prices (bad word choice), a topsy-turvy stock market, and the increasing cost of food and crops, have now become the most important issue for voters. All this comes as Elizabeth Edwards ran a beautifully-scathing piece in the New York Times lamenting the media's neglect in covering the important issues and candidates of the campaign so far, namely candidates like Biden and Dodd and the issue of healthcare in America. (see

Noteworthy: From Elizabeth Edwards' NYTimes piece:
"Few people even had the chance to find out about Joe Biden’s healthcare plan before he was literally forced from the race by the news blackout that depressed his poll numbers, which in turn depressed his fund-raising.

And it’s not as if people didn’t want this information. In focus groups that I attended or followed after debates, Joe Biden would regularly be the object of praise and interest: “I want to know more about Senator Biden,” participants would say."

I said the same thing back in October.... (read it HERE)

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